Motu Auira. Maupiti, Polynesia. October 2012.

Living on A Motu in Maupiti

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation of an article originally written in French. I apologise for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have resulted. If you read French, click on the French flag below to access the original, correct text: 

When it's cold and gray, I remember Maupiti. I remember the light, the lagoon, the ocean... Come on! Back to Polynesia.

Landing between ocean and lagoon

The island of Maupiti, my globe-trotting friend Marie, who runs the blog Further...has already mentioned it here:
→  I entered a postcard in Maupiti

For my part, I had already slipped a few images into a very first post, here :
Pacific Blue

But for the rest, I'm very, very late in my stories ...  My trip to PolynesiaOur stay on this small island in the Society Archipelago dates back to October 2012!


Map of Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.Maupiti is an island-mountain similar to the famous Bora Bora, its neighbor, located a few kilometers away. But in smaller, and more authentic.

No luxury hotels on stilts in Maupiti. The inhabitants - around 1,300 of them - don't want any. To accommodate tourists, there are only guesthouses.

We will stay for five days at the Auira pension, on the Motu of the same name, opposite the airport, with the lovely Gilbert and Edna. It was one of the few places available... Maupiti isn't overly touristy, but it's best to book your accommodation in advance.

My window faces the ocean as I land. So I miss the view of the island. But I can see the motusThese are the flat islets that surround and protect the lagoon, inside the coral reef. Maupiti has five of them.

Maupiti. Polynesia. October 2012.

The airport's tiny runway is built on a Motu. A bed of grey coral, between the deep blue of the Pacific Ocean and the cerulean blue of the lagoon.

It's beautiful, it's beautiful!

Note, for those who prefer the seaway to the airway: there is also the Maupiti Express (affectionately nicknamed Vomiti Express by locals and metropolitans living there) which runs from Bora-Bora to the island... But I haven't tested it.

The princesses of the lagoon

Gilbert from Pension Auira greets us as we get off the plane. The parking lot here is a pontoon on the lagoon side. Yes, in Maupiti, they pick you up from the airport... by boat!!!! I love it.


Maupiti. Gilbert (Auira pension). Polynesia, October 2012.

Gilbert passes the traditional necklaces of tiare flowers, so sweet in perfume, waiting for us to collect our luggage.

The sun is beating down, the light is everywhere. In Gilbert's clear eyes and big smile, in the intense blue that surrounds us, from sky to lagoon, from sky to ocean. It makes you a little dizzy, everything blue that hurts eyes.

The recovered luggage, here we are like two princesses, with our necklaces of flowers and our sunglasses, spinning on the wavelets of the lagoon sparkling in Gilbert's boat.

Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

We marvel at the rugged beauty of the island-mountain, planted in the middle of the lagoon. As you'll discover, its appearance changes constantly, depending on the time of day, the light, the side you're sailing from...

Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

And then we discover "our" beach. Our fare ("Bungalow" in Tahitian) is here, waiting for us, under the coconut trees ...

Motu Auira, Maupiti, October 2012.
Motu Auira, Maupiti, October 2012.
Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Motu Auira. Maupiti, Polynesia. October 2012.
Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

Motu Auira

For five days too short, so we will live on the Motu Auira, located in the southwest of the island. The only Motu from which you can reach the island on foot: it is linked to Maupiti by a huge sandbar where the water is shallow at low tide.

Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

We tried kayaking too. Not a great success. Fortunately, as Gilbert goes back and forth between the motu and the island to run errands, we took advantage of the opportunity to get a ride home, without having to paddle.

A couple of Catalan tourists, also staying at the Pension Auira, thought they could make the crossing, but soon gave up! In fact, with the tide and the wind, and a more than random coordination of the paddles, the novices that we are are sailing mostly... in zigzags.

Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

Motu Auira, Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

On our MotuWe'll be enjoying peaceful days, lazing around and strolling on the island of Maupiti opposite.

We'll gorge ourselves on raw fish marinated in coconut milk, fish for clams with Gilbert, cross the motu's coconut grove to see the whales from the ocean side, admire sunsets and storm clouds, get a taste for Hinano beer, and wade endlessly in the lagoon...

Maupiti, Polynesia. October 2012.

Stormy sky over the ocean. Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.
Stormy skies over the ocean. Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

Maupiti. Polynesia, October 2012.

I will also do some dives... I'll tell you about it in a future post!

???? ????

  Polynesia: Maupiti + Rangiroa + Moorea - October 2012

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. @Laurence: Arf... That's what I was thinking too, looking through my photos, it's crazy, this blue!!!! I can't get enough of winter right now.

  1. Ahhhh Maupiti! I love it... paradise on earth! We went there in December 2010 for 2 weeks, staying with Gilbert and Edna, who were just adorable! We spent Christmas with them and had a meal worthy of the name! We loved snorkeling in the lagoon, canoeing to do our shopping on the big island, camping on the motu with a dog who had adopted us and followed us everywhere! We even got engaged there! Their little son, Shea, who comes during the school vacations, is adorable too!
    Thank you for this article which reminds us that beautiful memories 😉

    1. @Sophie: Ah, là là... Yes, we eat so well at Gilbert and Edna's!!!! Like you, I have nothing but fond memories of my stay on motu Auira... Glad to have taken you back there a bit virtually.

  2. A real cure for sunshine 🙂 , blue skies, which come just at the right time indeed after this overcast winter that never ceases to shade its greyness... 😮 Thank you Corinne 🙂

    1. @Richard: what do you mean, you don't like the gray, the cold, the rain (or even the snow)???? 😡 Cheer up, the days are getting longer. We're heading into summer...

      Delighted, in any case, to have managed to brighten your day a little!!!! 8)

    1. @petitetête: I hope you want to live there, first!!! 🙂

      Yes, this island is truly pa-ra-di-siaque... I'm preparing a next post with more photos of the island of Maupiti itself. I'd weep to see the photos again on my hard drive...

  3. Yes, Maupiti is a postcard, lively and peaceful, blue and green, lagoon and ocean, "city" people and motu dwellers, Hinano beer and salt water, fish and clams, bicycles and kayaks. 🙄

    Great stay. Thank you for the memories.

    PS: That said, you exaggerate a little on the kayak ... Too easy! 8) : Mrgreen:

    1. @Marie: I love the association you make between Hinano beer and salt water... 😆

      Maybe if I'd had more Hinano, I'd have found kayaking easy... 😛

    2. No doubt! The same goes for cycling. Especially since there's no danger of getting lost on THE road 😉
      By the way, thank you for the link and the credits (and for having left in my hands the photographic monster of the seas).

  4. WAW it hurts the eyes all this blue even in photo, thank you for this walk that lets you dream. It's breathtaking, it's like paradise on earth. Thank you for sharing this adventure, there are some who really need a change of scenery (ME). 😉

  5. Hello,
    We're there now... Nothing seems to have changed: the place is just magical! We've just come back from clam-fishing with Gilbert and Biscuit, that amazing dog-fisher, now slumped on the terrace of our bungalow facing the lagoon and the island of Maupiti ... It's truly Magical!
    Zou ...

    1. @Escapades: ah, fishing for clams... How I envy you being there!!!! And what great memories in Auira with Gilbert and Edna. Give them my best and enjoy this exceptional place 8)

    2. Hello,
      We wake up facing the lagoon... we hear Gilbert preparing our breakfast. We'll be sure to give him your "good morning"!
      Zou ...

    3. Bonjour transmis ; Gilbert seems to remember your visit here : when he heard "Corinne", he spontaneously associated your family name ! A slightly surreal day spent in his company. As part of the municipal election campaign 😉 (elections taking place next week!), we accompanied him on a tour of bars and friends ... these discussions, so far removed from our European preoccupations, amused us greatly; it's fair to say that the "Hinano" was flowing freely! Back on the motu, on our umpteenth visit (we've lost count of the number of "Hinano" we've swallowed), we saw Edna appear like a fury ... Gilbert had left to "fetch bread" on the island nearly 7 hours earlier! Perhaps tomorrow I'll say "Bonjour" to her! We'll never forget our time here, we loved it so much!
      We personally have never heard Gilbert push his "Cafééééé!" (we are tea drinkers!); we will rather retain his "Tama'a" (spelling more than uncertain?!) which would mean "A table!"
      Bouh ... we're leaving tomorrow 😥