The island was formed in an interesting way, thanks to two consecutive volcanic hot spots, which created unusual mountains circled with coral cliffs. Hence its name “Rurutu”: the gushing rock. Basaltic rocks and a limestone belt offer surprising stalactites and stalagmites around the former lagoon, now a coral reef.
The cool climate is auspicious to lush vegetation covering the island’s rocks. The curvy road will lead you through a poetic and impressive tour, combining long white sand beaches, beautiful bays and various plantations. Coffee, pineapple, wild basil and lychees abound around these rich lands.
Within this pristine environment, just 2089 inhabitants look after their traditions and organize friendly games. The feast of Tere or ‘island tour’ gathers all villages and allows the strongest to lift volcanic rocks as heavy as 150 kg (300 pounds).
You will best discover the island’s specificities with the local people, such as the māmā, smiling ladies weaving their specialty materiel all day. Their agile hands make delicate artwork such as pē'ue or mats and also fine woven hats. They are also experts in the making of tīfaifai, traditional patchwork blankets featuring exotic patterns and requiring patience and know-how.
Finally, do not miss a whale water ballet, attracting nature and whale lovers each year along with many scientists. They come very close to the coast to give birth. Adventurous snorkelers will have the opportunity to share a very special moment with these sea giants.
Archeological sites are found in abundance. The limestone caves overlooking the cliffs were originally tombs for the islanders’ ancestors.
The handicrafts from the Australs are well-known for its basket weaving. Hats, baskets, mats, wallets, table mats… many quality works offered to visitors.
The island is a great mix of beautiful white fine sand, deserted beaches, a crystal clear lagoon, lush valleys and varied farming, majestic peaks and hiking trails… Land and sea blend nicely to provide travelers with a fulfilling range of experiences.
Humpback whales arrive in Moorea each year. They come between August and October to mate or give birth in the amazing clear waters. Mothers and calves swim under the water while males and females communicate offering whale watchers a moment of pure bliss.
Charming family pensions are dotted around this island. They offer all sorts of activities ranging from guided tours, hiking, horseback and bike riding. Many hiking tracks crisscross the island, taking travelers to the heights of mount Ta’atioe, Ina’s Cave (ask a local islander to tell you the story!) and to the lost sea-dug track along a very sheer cliff. Endless white sand beaches are awaiting you, hidden in crystal clear creaks. Do not miss the private To’a-taratara creak and its overhung cliffs.