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Wreck of the Matai

Avarua, Cook Islands
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Ranked #9 of 19 Attractions in Avarua
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
Owner description: The SS Matai, owned by the Union Steam Ship Co., was carrying a load of Model T cars when it was...
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Attraction details
Type: Historic Sites, Cultural
Owner description: The SS Matai, owned by the Union Steam Ship Co., was carrying a load of Model T cars when it was wrecked on Dec. 24, 1916. This area is now a favorite spot for snorkeling and diving.
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14 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
166 reviews 166 reviews
86 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2014

This is the wreck that is viewable right in the middle of town. It does not look much from the surface, but go closer and deeper and you do appreciate how big and old it actually is. From memory, I believe it sunk in 1916 !!!! Was great to see how the sea had turned a wreck into a place... More 

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Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2014

Catching a ride on the yellow submarine from the harbour took us right over the wreck. We were escorted part of the way by Giant Trevally which were offered some food by the skipper. The wreck is easily viewed from the semi submersible.

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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
37 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2014

We took a trip on a calm day and the wreck was easily accessible for snorkeling off the reef. Lots of fish to see and plenty of bits of ship from the rudder to the bow, laid out neatly along the flat bottom. The various parts are now part of the reef with lots of growth of coral on the... More 

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Busselton, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 18, 2014

Pacific Divers took us to this spot and for intro divers its a great dive site and interesting looking over the wreck

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Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
97 reviews 97 reviews
46 attraction reviews
39 helpful votes 39 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 21, 2013

Unless you want to get deeper into history of the island it is not worth spending time on checking the piece of metal sticking out of the water. You can have a decent view from the shore no need to swim to check rusting piece of metal.

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Hamilton, New Zealand
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Diving since the early 90's its not often you add a fish to your tick list, the Wreck of the Matai delivered this, along with a beautiful specimen of a "standard lion fish and a not very shy grouper, find the oscillating lion fish it's by the Ghost Octopus!

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Southport, Australia
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 23, 2013

We easily snorkelled out to the wreck from the marina and were awestruck by the amazing site of the wreck lying in 4-5m ocean. Not only is it intriguing to look at the boiler from the shore but the details of the wreck lying beneath the waves is amazing. It was well worth the swim out. Highly recommend it!

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Auckland, New Zealand
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
28 attraction reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

The wreck of the Matai, just about all visitors ask what is that thing out in the water!! Seen from Trader Jacks or by the shopping area, I think its worth just knowing what it is but really not much else.....So many wrecks around the Islands.....Books have been written on these wrecks, Don Silk, the late Harbour master wrote a... More 

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Redding, California
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2012

We saw the strange object jutting out from the ocean.......and had no idea what it was until we asked! Incredible to see a piece of history so close offshore.......and in front of the center of Avarua.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
nz
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
31 attraction reviews
370 helpful votes 370 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

As others have said - not a pretty attraction. But it does play an important part in the annual Triathlon which takes place in May every year. There is always a swim in Avarua 'round the boiler' which is part of this wreck.

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