MAHANATOA, RAIVAVAE (Austral Islands)
Raivavae has been described as a smaller and laid-back version of Bora Bora –without the tourists. The island’s lagoon is circled by a coral reef with 28 motu (islets). Apart from strolling the white sand beach of Mahanatoa, it is possible to circumnavigate the island by bike or bus passing the four villages or to view a marae and the lush greenery. All this is the quintessence South Sea with its crystal clear waters and the casuarina and coconut palm tree fringes. Snorkelers may enjoy seeing the reef fish at one of the motu while tropicbirds, reef herons, and noddies glide overhead.