A less commercial holiday destination than Tahiti, Rangiroa offers the quintessential South Pacific experience: languid days spent beneath an endless blue sky in a landscape of unspoiled scenic beauty. What more could you ask for on a romantic beach holiday?
Things to do and see
Dip your toes into the squeaky-clean, powder-white beaches of Rangiroa, the largest motu (islet) in a dazzling necklace of 240 coral atolls that comprise the Tuamotu archipelago, which in turn encircles the world's second-largest lagoon.
This stunning expanse of crystal clear water is around 70km-long by 26km-wide; so large that it’s impossible to see from one side of the lagoon to the other.
Here you can swim, snorkel and dive in the turquoise lagoon, and even play Robinson Crusoe (for a day or longer) on a selection of gorgeous white-sand beaches that rank among the best in the South Pacific for an unforgettable honeymoon experience.
For couples wanting to spice up a languorous honeymoon, Rangiroa offers a wide range of activities and is probably the most famous shark diving destination in the South Pacific, with more than 10 species of shark commonly sighted.
Adventurous couples can snorkel above colourful reef fish at the famous ‘Blue Lagoon’ of Toeo’o, spot schools of dolphins playing in Avatoru Pass and Tiputa Pass and watch thousands of seabirds nesting at Ile aux Oiseaux (Bird Island).
Or cruise out to L'ile Aux Recifs (Reef Island) to see its fossilised razor-sharp coral formations and sunbathe on the gorgeous soft pink sand of Les Sables Rose – one of Rangiroa and French Polynesia's most beautiful beaches.
For an insight into traditional South Sea island life head to Avatora or Tiputa Village. Don't miss Tiputa Point – the perfect spot for a picnic with panoramic views over the Rangiroa archipelago.
Often rising no higher that a metre above the surface, Rangiroa's sandy coral atolls boast an array of upmarket beach resorts including: the luxurious beach bungalows of Kia Ora Sauvage, which lie hidden beneath swaying coconut palms on a tiny secluded motu; the overwater bungalows of Hotel Kia Ora; Les Relais de Josephine, where beach bungalows overlook famous Tiputa Pass; and the Novotel Rangiroa Lagoon Resort, which lies within a shady coconut plantation.
Best time to visit Rangiroa?
The best time to honeymoon on Rangiroa is during the dry season between May and October, when the average annual temperature of 29°C is tempered by refreshing sea breezes. The wet season lasts from November until April, with February and March the hottest months. The water temperature hovers between 26°C and 29°C throughout the year.
Location – Rangiroa is located in the Tuamotu island group some 350km north of Papeete. At 68km long by 27km wide, Rangiroa’s ring of low skinny islets encloses the world's-second-largest lagoon.
Flight time – Rangiroa is 60 minutes from Papeete.
Getting around – Hire a scooter or bike to explore the island.