Motu Fareone and Motu Tiahura are two islets located at Moorea Island’s north-western extremity. They are separated by a channel about 100 m long, which is a quite renowned snorkeling spot, thanks to its calm and shallow waters. In a picture perfect land and waterscape, you will be able to spot gorgeous common stingrays, schools of butterflyfish and numerous other reef fish species. If you come to this spot, you absolutely have to pay an additional visit to the Sharks Sandbank, located only a few hundred meters from here, where you will have the opportunity to swim amongst small blacktip reef sharks.

How to get there?

The cheapest way to explore this spot is by renting a kayak on the beach in front of Hotel Les Tipaniers (about €10/hour). To get to the beach, follow the path located on the left of the hotel entrance. The beach rental staff will tell you how to get to the spot and to the neighbouring Sharks Sandbank. If you’re paddling, reaching the islets will take you about 20 minutes. Land your kayak on Motu Fareone sandy beach (located on your left when arriving from Moorea).

Motu Fareone snorkeling, Moorea

You can also take part in one of the very popular day tours of Moorea island, but they are quite expensive (often more than €100 per person) and you might have to share the spot with dozens of tourists.

Water entrance

After landing your kayak on Motu Fareone, you can enter the water directly from the beach. If you’re part of an excursion, your boat will moor directly in the channel and you’ll simply have to dive in.

Motu Fareone snorkeling map, Moorea

Exploration

You can explore the whole channel separating the two islets. The water depth rarely exceeds 2 meters, the deepest places reaching only 12ft.

The seabed is composed of white sand sprinkled with coral clumps. Don’t expect much from the coral : it is quite degraded and often covered by seaweed. However, numerous fish species are attracted by the warm water and waves shelter provided by the area.

Snorkeling with stingray at Motu Fareone, Moorea's lagoon

Common stingrays are the spot celebrities. They can be hard to find in quiet times, but they gather whenever a boat enters the channel: some excursionists actually still feed them here. Stingray feeding is controversial today as it alters their natural behavior, yet it will give you a unique opportunity to get very close to those impressive animals.

This spot is not all about stingrays: amongst the numerous species to be seen here you will be able to spot Pacific double-saddle butterflyfish (sometimes going by in dozens), threadfin butterflyfish and mailed butterflyfish.

Double-saddle butterflyfish at Motu Fareone, Moorea

Restaurants and accommodation

There are no amenities on Motu Fareone, but you can have a picnic on its beach. After your return trip to Moorea, you can enjoy a snack on Hotel Les Tipaniers’ beach bar. If you take part in a day boat tour, lunch will most probably be included. Make sure of it when booking.

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth12ft/4m
  • Water entranceEasy, from a sandy beach or a boat
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.