Rurutu, Austral Islands

Rurutu is the northernmost island in the Austral archipelago of French Polynesia, and the name of a commune consisting solely of that island. It is situated 572 km (355 miles) south of Tahiti. It is a very pretty island with a unique geological structure, 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.

The main village on the island is Moerai, which features a gendarmerie, a post office with telephone facilities, an infirmary with doctor and dentist, two branches of Tahiti banks, four small stores and two bakeries, a couple of snack bars and a butcher shop. An electric station provides 24-hour service, a radio and TV video station gives news and entertainment, and there are primary and high schools. Other villages are Avera and Hauti.

Activities on the Rurutu include swimming and snorkeling in certain areas, horseback riding and hiking to waterfalls, whale watching and circle island tours. A special attraction on Rurutu is the ‘Tere’ ritual which occurs each January and July. Young men and women of each village prove themselves in a show of strength by attempting to lift huge volcanic stones to their shoulders.

Things to See & Do

* Island tours
* Village visits
* Hiking to waterfallls
* Whale watching
* ‘Tere’ ritual

General information

Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency - CFP franc (XPF)
Language – French, Tahitian
Land Area – 29 km²
Population – 2,300 approx
Electricity – 2 round pins European style, two parallel flat pins Japanese style
Time - GMT minus 10
International Country Telephone Code – + 689

Port Location – Anchorage is available at the main village of Moerai.

Transport Links – Rurutu has a territorial airport with 4 weekly Air Tahiti flights.

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