We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Review Highlights
A window to the past

Straight out from the sea front in Avarua are the remains of this ship. It reminds us of the... read more

Reviewed July 9, 2018
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
via mobile
Easy to see the wrech

Possible to see a lot of this old ship. Quite interesting and also a lot of colorfull fishes nearby... read more

Reviewed June 11, 2018
Copenhagen, Denmark
Read all 51 reviews
All photos (14)
Full view
Traveler Overview
  • Excellent41%
  • Very good39%
  • Average17%
  • Poor3%
  • Terrible0%
Travelers talk about
“low tide”(3 reviews)
“great dive”(2 reviews)
“trader jacks”(3 reviews)
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.
Avarua, Cook Islands
Improve This Listing
Top Selling Tours & Activities in and around Avarua
from $90.12
More Info
from $55.19
More Info
from $69.86
More Info
from $55.19
More Info
Reviews (51)
Filter reviews
45 results
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
More languages
Show reviews that mention
All reviews low tide great dive trader jacks sea life pacific divers boiler ship reef snorkel dives cars turtles parts island
Updating list...
1 - 10 of 45 reviews
Reviewed November 30, 2018

Just two rusty boilers are now all that remains of the Matai that foundered on the reef in 1916 – sadly there was no ‘history information board that we could find – a seen it when passing attraction unless you are a diver as any...More

Date of experience: November 2018
Thank GDay1044
Reviewed October 31, 2018

A visible reminder of the ship dangers many years ago. It is rusting away. If you want to learn more about it, suggest going to the library and museum not too far away. There you can read about the details.

Date of experience: October 2018
Thank wayne m
Reviewed August 2, 2018

Good snorkel spot. If you plan on going on the reefsub or rongohiva speedboat, don't bother making a special trip as these both give you opportunities to snorkel around the wreck. At low tide you can swim/walk out to it, it's quite a big wreck...More

Date of experience: July 2018
1  Thank KaylinC28
Reviewed July 22, 2018 via mobile

We kayaked out and snorkelled around the Matai which was a surprise find for us. Not only was it great in the sun and calm water but the wreck (from 1916) was alive with fish. Definitely worth a visit - but may be hard to...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank seniortrend
Reviewed July 9, 2018 via mobile

Straight out from the sea front in Avarua are the remains of this ship. It reminds us of the dangers of the sea, particularly before modern navigation aids and provides a link with the present as it was carrying cars when it foundered. There are...More

Date of experience: July 2018
Thank PMQuestions
Reviewed June 12, 2018

Great dive plenty to see. Thanks sandy of pacific divers for showing us around the wreck. Had a couple of intro divers with us and they managed extremely well. Saw some different fish than the traders dive so a fun time was had

Date of experience: June 2018
Thank vupton63
Reviewed June 11, 2018

Possible to see a lot of this old ship. Quite interesting and also a lot of colorfull fishes nearby and turtles

Date of experience: May 2018
Thank Milde13
Reviewed February 25, 2018

It is worth a look to see what's left of this wrecked ship. Now that I'm back from my vacation, I am Googling it's interesting history.

Date of experience: January 2018
Thank David B
Reviewed January 4, 2018

Well worth the swim and the climb for a jump! Watch out for the currents and be careful swimming back that you don't get too close to the reef.

Date of experience: September 2017
Thank KiwiShezza
Reviewed November 21, 2017

Left by one of the ships this still stands in the sea & the locals love it. It is very unusual to see this in the middle of the sea still standing. So it has become one of the place to see in Rarotongo

Date of experience: October 2017
Thank Lorraine V
View more reviews
Nearby HotelsSee all 20 nearby hotels
Central Motel
39 reviews
.16 miles away
Club Raro Resort
301 reviews
1.35 miles away
The Islander Hotel
260 reviews
1.40 miles away
Kiikii Inn & Suites
77 reviews
1.50 miles away
Nearby RestaurantsSee all 108 nearby restaurants
The Waffle Shack
277 reviews
.51 miles away
Tamarind House Restaurant
1,387 reviews
.84 miles away
Bite Time Cafe
127 reviews
.42 miles away
Cafe Salsa
710 reviews
.09 miles away
Nearby AttractionsSee all 118 nearby attractions
Punanga Nui
404 reviews
.51 miles away
Rehab Nightclub
62 reviews
.06 miles away
Empire Movie Theatre
35 reviews
.11 miles away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from Wreck of the Matai staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Posting guidelines