Maupiti has some interesting petroglyphs etched into boulders in a rocky riverbed. The most impressive is a turtle image. To reach the petroglyphs, head north out of Vaiea and round the point before passing the basketball court near the church. You’re now in the Haranae Valley; on the mountainside is a signposted track heading inland. Follow it for 200m to a small pumping station, and then follow the rocky riverbed. After only 100m, on the left, you’ll find the petroglyphs.

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1. Vaiea

0.75 MILES

The village spreads along the east coast and is dominated by a sharp ridge running from north to south. Neat houses, brightened with hibiscus, are strung…

2. Marae Vaiahu


Maupiti’s most important marae (traditional temple) features a large coastal site covered with coral slabs and a fish box. Made of four coral blocks set…

3. Motu Tuanai

1.32 MILES

The airport and a couple of pensions are found on Motu Tuanai, another picture-friendly islet. However, the lagoon is shallow along this motu, which doesn…

4. Motu Paeao

1.39 MILES

Motu Paeao, at the northern end of the lagoon, is ideal for swimming and snorkelling, with fabulous coral gardens and jade waters.

5. Tereia Beach

1.55 MILES

A more scenic spot you’d be hard pressed to find. Here the lagoon is crystal clear and the bone-white beach is nearly all sand (no smashed coral or broken…

6. Motu Auira

2.29 MILES

There’s an important melon-production plantation on Motu Auira, as well as a lovely coral sand beach. At low tide you can reach it from the mainland by…

7. Motu Tiapaa

2.62 MILES

Motu Tiapaa has beautiful, sandy, white beaches and good snorkelling on its ocean and lagoon sides. It’s also the most developed motu, with several…

8. Motu Pitihahei

2.81 MILES

If you have a kayak, you can paddle to this completely isolated motu, but be sure to steer way to the north of Onoiau Pass, which is very dangerous due to…