Situated at less than 600 km/373 miles to the southeast of Tahiti, rurutu is the northernmost island in the austral archipelago. here visitors will find incredibly diverse landscapes and a unique geology. The sheer cliffs along the coastline represent a safe harbor for numerous species of birds, and are interrupted here and there by beautiful sandy beaches and enchanting little creeks that make for the perfect romantic getaway. It is believed that rurutu became populated by Polynesians sometime around 1000 A.D during the migration and settlement of the islands in oriental Polynesia (including all the islands we know
today as French Polynesia). Nevertheless it was not until the beginning of the 19th century that a more constant contact with the Europeans was established. On August 25th 1900, the island was annexed by the French colonial government and became part of the islands of modern-day French Polynesia. Today Rurutu’s 2000 inhabitants live in the three main villages—moerai, avera and auti— that are situated along the coastline. apart from the main road that runs across the island, the island is covered with paths and tracks that are great for hiking by foot or with a horse. You can make your way
Rurutu at a glance
Coordinates: Latitude 22° 27’ South, longitude 151° 20’ West
Population: 2089 inhabitants
AIR TAhITI FLIghTS 6 flights to Rurutu offered each week.
PRACTICAL InFORMATIOn • Accommodation : 5 family pensions and one hotel on the island • Restaurants : some snacks and restaurants (local Polynesian and Asian cuisine available) • Shops : Grocery stores and arts and crafts • Services : Socredo Bank, post office, medical center and pharmacy
• A stunningly beautiful island that has a unique environment with sheer cliffs, green hillsides and great beaches
• A temperate climate which is conducive to cultivation (taro, coffee, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, litchi and more…)
• Various traditional Polynesian events on the program: the “open house ceremony” twice a year, the Tere (tour around the island) at the beginning of the year, the Me festitivities in May, the heiva festivities in July, and occasional big weddings.
• Archeological sites (marae) and geological sites (limestone caves with stalactites and stalagmites).
• Whale-watching during the whale-season (ca. July to October).
• Wickerwork (hats, mats, baskets and more), which is a specialty of the islands’ mama or artisans.
• Picturesque and colorful villages.
• A variety of excursions available: 4x4, horse- riding, boat-trips, bicycling or hiking.
some Good ReAsons To GeT THeRe !
through wild and luxurious vegetation—observing numerous endemic species—to discover amazing lookout points and other sites. rurutu is also known for its varied agriculture which is cultivated on a large part of the island’s fertile land: cabbage, salad and potatoes grow here, as well as more traditional Polynesian plants, such as manioc and taro. Pleasing not only to the eyes, but also to the palate, you can find coffee plantations as well as banana, orange and coconut trees. The numerous pandanus plantations supply the local artisans — called mama—who can often be seen working with great
dexterity creating the renowned Polynesian pandanus baskets, mats and more. adding to the geological richness and the island’s fascinating landscapes, rurutu is the perfect place to see the humpback whales. Before heading back to the ice-cold waters of the antarctic, the whales come to reproduce in the Pacific ocean’s crystalline and temperate waters. From July to october you can observe the whales from any of the especially designated lookout points that can be found along rurutu’s coastline. or maybe you decide you’d rather take an even closer look, and go swimming alongside these impressive animals ?
la gUeUle DU moNSTre, ToarUTU / the monster mouth, toarutu ©Jean-philippe yuam