Seabird nest in Pisonia TreeSeabird nest in Pisonia Tree
©Seabird nest in Pisonia Tree|Tetiaroa Society

Tetiaroa and bird island

Set sail

Atoll bound

Set sail for bird island. The motu Tahuna iti is an ornithological reserve on the atoll of Tetiaroa, 50 km north of Tahiti.
Can you tell the difference between a brown booby and a red-footed booby?


"There are birds everywhere, it's hard to identify them all!"

Birds ahoy!

The day begins bright and early on the quayside in Papeete. That’s where you board the catamaran for the day trip to Tetiaroa atoll. Breakfast is served once you’re underway and clear of the pass. The adventure has started and there’s two and a half hour’s sailing ahead, so relax and enjoy the trip. Keep an eye out for dolphins and whales.

The atoll is in view, but where’s the pass? Well actually, there isn’t one! The only way in is to catch a wave and surf over the reef in a dinghy. Once on the motu, please keep at a distance from the birds. You aren’t allowed to walk across the reserve itself, but you can stroll along the beach and observe the incredible number of birds as you wade in the warm water. Lunch is a picnic, either on the beach or on the boat, and then it’s time for a swim or a little snorkeling.

Birds of the land and seabirds

Fifteen recorded species

On the bird island live both land and sea birds. It is said that every evening, birds from Tahiti return to the...