Protected from the ocean’s fury by a small coral reef, Rurutu the “gushing rock” in the Polynesian language is the most northern island of the archipelago.

Its geological structure is unique in Polynesia as this island does not feature a lagoon but it is surrounded by steep cliffs and includes several chalky caves with stalactites and stalagmites made by erosion. This is why it is sometimes called the “Troglodyte island”. Those caves constitutes one of the major points of interest, the most famous ones being Anaaeo and Vitaria whose access located near Mount Rairiri is more difficult.

During the “Tere” ritual held in January, the entire population makes some kind of historic pilgrim that consists of a tour around the island with stops at maraes and other ancestral legend spots. This festival ends with a stone lifting competition that gather male and female athletes (the strongest ones lift up stones that can reach up to 150 kilos).

In the Villages of Moerai, Avera and Auti, the “mama” of the island specialize in the art of pandanus fiber weaving, but are also known their handmade hats, carpets “pe”ue” and excel in the art of “tifaifai” making, flashy colored patchwork blankets.

Cradle of the whales, Rurutu allows the observation of those fascinating mammals from july to october when the come to breed in the clear waters that surround the island.


  • The capital fo the art of weaving
  • Hiking trails
  • Private creeks surrounded by cliffs
  • The whale island
  • A well preserved culture

Activities and Sightseeing

  • Archeological sites
  • Cave visits
  • 4WD Safari
  • Nautical activities
  • Whale observation platforms in the bay of Moerai
  • Snorkeling session

Archipelago  : AUSTRAL ISLANDS

Surface  : 13 sq. mi.

Location : 357 miles south of Tahiti

Population  : + 2,404

Highest peak :
Mount Manureva (1,263 feef)

Capital city : Moerai


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