A world-renowned diving location known for its abundance of underwater life, Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotus and attracts travellers from all over the globe. For those with an urge to explore and wanting a break from their underwater adventures, there is still plenty to see and do on land. Here’s a guide to help you embrace Mana, the life force and spirit of Polynesia, and enjoy the best of Rangiroa out of the water.
Tiputa Pass is a straight that connects the ocean with Rangiroa’s lagoon between the villages of Tiputa and Avatoru. Every day the resident dolphins ride the tides and put on a spectacular show of aerial acrobatics for anybody watching. Staying at Les Relais de Josephine we had the best seat in the house looking on from the shoreline of the pass.
Even if you choose to stay elsewhere on Rangiroa, a visit to Hotel Kia Ora Resort and Spa is highly recommended to get a glimpse of the famed over-water bungalows, relax on the pristine white sand beach or marvel at the vivid blue lagoon. You may even decide on a whim to enjoy a meal at the Te Rairoa Restaurant with a stunning view of the lagoon over the resort’s infinity pool.
A guided tour of Gauguin’s Pearl Farm offers an inside look into the process of pearl creation. Offering a shuttle service free-of-charge from any accommodation and the opportunity to explore the farm’s facilities, chat to the staff and witness the intricate creative process, Gauguin’s Pearl is the perfect spot to make the most of a free morning or afternoon on the island.
Les Relais de Josephine
On an island like Rangiroa where guests can easily, and often do, spend weeks diving, snorkelling and exploring the island, the place you choose to kick back and relax can be a crucial decision. The Tahitian lifestyle is centered around Mana, the life force and spirit of Polynesia, and whether you want to relax or find adventure, explore underwater or on land; Mana is ever-present. Staying at the charming Relais de Josephine on the shore of Tiputa Pass you can’t help but be embraced by Mana and fall in love with the island lifestyle. With friendly staff, a perfect location and a homely laid back vibe, I wouldn’t be surprised if you never wanted to leave.
My favourite Rangiroa discovery is the stunning palm plantation that leads from the ocean side of the island to a pristine white sand beach on the turquoise lagoon. You can find it just after Hotel Kia Ora and Top Dive when travelling North toward Avatoru. Although it isn’t guaranteed, you may just find you have the whole place to yourself in complete secluded bliss.