Soft white sand, coconut trees, and a warm, crystal clear sea in shades of turquoise and blue. Sound good? Embark on a typical Polynesian fishing boat and head for a desert island paradise in the beautiful lagoon of Raivavae in the Austral Islands.

A veritable picture postcard awaits you on Vaimanu motu in the superb lagoon of Raivavae. Known as motu piscine (swimming pool motu), it is in fact three islets that together make a magnificent two kilometer beach of pristine white sand, encircling a truly stunning pool of warm, crystal clear water, in all the shades of turquoise and blue. It is as perfect a beach as any that you can find in the Tuamotu Islands or anywhere else in French Polynesia. You can take a boat trip to the motu from the main island, or cross over the lagoon by kayak, if you’re staying in one of the Tahitian Guesthouses opposite. Motu Vaimanu is one of many treasures in the Austral Islands. During your visit to The Islands of Tahiti, try to spend at least a few days in this wonderful and little-known archipelago.

A day on swimming pool motu in Raivavae

After a short boat trip, or a crossing by kayak if your accommodation is close enough, you arrive at motu piscine (swimming pool motu). The motu is in fact a small string of islets that form a near circle of pure, soft white sand. In the middle is an unbelievably beautiful expanse of crystal clear water in stunning shades of turquoise and blue. It is without doubt, one of the most picturesque places in The Islands of Tahiti. Be warned, once you set foot on Motu Vaimanu, you’ll never want to leave!

Raivavae is a tranquil island with many beautiful spots to visit. Without doubt, the most spectacular of all is Motu Vaimanu, known as motu piscine or swimming pool motu. The turquoise water is warm, and deep enough for swimming ,and the views are superb, with the Pacific Ocean on one side and Mount Taitaa on the other. The sun does get very hot on the motu, so take plenty of water with you, a tube of eco-friendly suncream, a t-shirt and a hat. And of course, a camera!

The fauna and flora of the Austral Islands

You’ll find countless different types of seashell on the white sandy beach, and colorful giant clams in the water. Motu piscine is bordered by the coral reef on one side, so there are plenty of tropical fis to admire. Raivavae itself, is an agricultural island. The main crops grown are taro, coffee, mangoes and bananas.

The protection and preservation of this remarkable environment is of prime importance to the local population, and the development of sustainable eco-tourism is a priority. For their part, the islanders prefer to travel in traditional va’a, outrigger canoes when possible, rather than a motorized boat. The Austral Islands are a veritable paradise and everything is being done to keep them that way.

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