Spot

Motu Ofetaro


The small motu Ofetaro is located in the Raiatea lagoon, on the edge of Teavapiti pass. This public motu is appreciated by families during the weekend, who come and spend the day around a barbecue. The very well preserved coral reef bordering the motu is a real jewel: in less than one meter of water, you can meet clownfish, lionfish, bannerfish and hundreds of another species. Due to its proximity to Uturoa and its accessibility, it is a snorkeling spot not to be missed if you are staying in the island.
How to get there?

The motu Ofetaro is generally found in kayak, and more rarely in boat, during an excursion. If you choose the first option, inquire about the rental possibilities with your pension or your hotel. One of the most practical launch points is just in front of the Sup'Tepua supermarket, located less than 2km south of the city center of Uturoa. From here, you will have to row for one kilometer to reach the motu. Once you arrive, hoist your kayak on the beach, near the pontoon.

Water entrance

You can enter the water from the motu beach. The reef is practically facing the pontoon (see map).

Aerial view

Exploration

The exploration area covers the reef about 100 meters wide, extending from the west point of the motu, where the pontoon has been installed. The water depth is less than 1.50m over the entire area. The southern edge of the reef (island side) is the richest in corals and fish. It ends in a slight drop towards the lagoon.

By joining the reef, you can stop on the first coral outcrops located 20 to 30m from the beach. This area is populated by orangefin anemonefish (amphiprion chrysopterus), the only species of clownfish found in French Polynesia. Present in colonies of dozens of individuals, they usually share their anemones with juveniles domino damsels (dascyllus trimaculatus)

Motu Ofetaro Snorkeling Raiatea Clownfish
Orangefin anemonefish at Motu Ofetaro

Keep exploring the reef by reaching the richest areas in corals, along the reef edge. This area is inhabited by colorful giant clams, which close their shells when disturbed. Nearly a dozen of species of butterflyfish are present in the area. Some of them a quite intrepid, and seems to pose for a photo shoot. Lionfish, Moorish Idols, bannerfish, colonies of blue damsel and sergeant majors also populate the reef. With a little luck, you will perhaps cross the road of a stingray, but these are far more fearful than on other spots of French Polynesia.

Restaurants and accommodation

There is no snack or restaurant on the motu, but you can take your picnic with you.

Snorkeling Report gives the most precise tips possible about the snorkeling spots and potential dangers, but each one of us is responsible for our own safety in the water. For more information, take a look at the snorkeling safety page. If you want to add extra information or make any corrections to the spot descriptions, please contact us.

Spot’s weather forecasts (°C)

Spot tips

  • Type of spot
  • Level of difficulty
    Beginner
  • Maximum depth
    2-10ft/0.5-3m
  • Water entrance
    Easy, from a sandy beach
  • Potential Dangers
    Lionfish
  • Lifeguard
    No
  • Visitor numbers
    Low to medium
  • Access costs
    Free
  • Restaurants nearby
    No
  • Public toilets & showers
    No

Spot map

Spot photos

Underwater spot photos

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