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’t make it good for swimming except for young children.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby attractions

1. Vaiea

1.23 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. Haranae Petroglyphs

1.32 MILES

Maupiti has some interesting petroglyphs etched into boulders in a rocky riverbed. The most impressive is a turtle image. To reach the petroglyphs, head…

3. 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…

4. Motu Paeao

2.28 MILES

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

5. Motu Tiapaa

2.43 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…

6. Tereia Beach

2.75 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…

7. Motu Pitihahei

2.78 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…

8. Motu Auira

3.59 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…