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.
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).
You can also take part in one of the very popular boat tours organized in Moorea which includes a snorkeling stop here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
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