Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Rangiroa is a tender port – Ships have to anchor inside Rangiroa’s interior lagoon, often at Tiputa Pass and tender passengers ashore by boat. When tendering is required, guests using mobility devices will not be transferred into or out of the tender. Many tender ports do not provide wheelchair access so even if the guest can board the tender they may not be able to disembark ashore. Again the shore-side facilities, movement of the tender, weather and tidal conditions can also preclude tendering.

Rangiroa, French Polynesia

Rangiroa is the largest atoll in the Tuamotus in French Polynesia. It is part of the Palliser group and is located in the Pacific Ocean.

As there is limited transport options here, it may be best to book a ship’s organised excursion.

Blue Lagoon is an hour from Avatoru by boat. Visitors can swim and snorkel in the natural pool and there is a white sand beach fringed with coconut trees to enjoy.

If you have limited time, why not visit the Green Lagoon, which is smaller and is in the middle of a residential area, but is only 5 minutes by water taxi from Avatoru.

Another attraction here is Sables Roses pink beach near Motu Vahituri, which is a 2 hour boat ride from Avatoru.

Visit a pearl farm, Rangiroa is known for it’s high quality black pearls, Gauguin’s Pearls is one of the largest black pearl farms in French Polynesia and is located on Motu Avatoru.

Go on a dolphin watch trip and see wild bottlenose dolphins.

Local guides are available at the pier if you want to experience some deep sea fishing.

The disabled cruiser visiting Rangiroa 

Since the cruise ship does not dock and the disabled cruiser is tendered to the island from out in the harbor; if the water is too rough, the captain may not let the disabled cruiser off the ship. Anyone with limited mobility would have some difficulty. Anyone in a wheelchair would have to be carried on and off the tender.

Where You’re Docked

Rangiroa is an anchorage port. Passengers transfer to shore via ship’s tender.

Cruise ships anchor inside Rangiroa’s interior lagoon, often at Tiputa Pass and passengers are tendered ashore.

There is not many facilities at either Avatoru or Tiputa, the two towns but both offer island handicrafts for sale.

Car hire is available near the pier.

There are limited taxis at the pier.

A mini-bus drives between Tiputa and Avatoru a few times a day (no set schedule).

Water taxis take you to various swimming and snorkelling sites.

By Bike and Scooter: Local hotels and guest houses rent bikes and scooters to tourists.

Good to Know

Chickens crossing the road! Moorea is sleepy and safe, and besides sunburn and mosquito bites there’s little to fear. Still, practice common sense.

Getting Around

On foot: 

By car: 

By bus:

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The French Pacific franc is the local currency. A good rule of thumb is that 100 francs equal $1. There are two banks in the small village of Avatoru, but their ATM’s are only accessible during the banks’ limited operating hours. It’s best to exchange currency onboard your ship or on one of the larger islands before arriving in Rangiroa.


French and Tahitian are the official languages. Some locals speak English, but don’t count on it. Carry an English/French dictionary or phrase book.


Dining ranges from traditional French and Polynesian dishes to pizza and international options.

‘Poisson cru’ (raw fish and diced vegetables marinated with lime juice and soaked in coconut milk) is the national dish. Other popular choices include ‘chevrettes’ (freshwater shrimp) and ‘poe’ (a sweet banana pudding).

Points of Interest

  • Rangiroa – a seven-

Rangiroa Accessible Excursions

Whether your cruise ship stops in 

Rangiroa Accessible Guided Tour

This 4 hour accessible