From Elin Teuruarii :
Rurutu is an island in French Polynesia (Tahiti), Austral Islands, it's been my home since September 2007. I run a guesthouse here with my husband, who is from Rurutu. It's a long way for a Welsh-girl to have come, but I'm enjoying my new life here in Rurutu.....
If you would like to come to Rurutu please don't hesitate to get in touch. We can help you out with travel advice and of course a big warm Polynesian welcome when you get here!
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Our island is a tiny speck in the middle of the Pacific ocean, ~560 km south of Tahiti (22.5degS, 151.3degW), with nothing much between us and the Antarctic. There are ~2200 inhabitants. We're best known for the humpback whales that breed off our fringing reef, between July and October. The island is an ideal sheltered spot for females and their newborn calves to rest and grow, before they make the long journey back to their Antarctic feeding grounds. The whales hang-out just outside the reef, and you can see them easily from the shore - it's pretty magical!
The heiva is a month long cultural festival celebrated every year across French Polynesia. In Tahiti it's a large and rather professional festival, but in the islands it remains charmingly rustic. This year was the first year that I've really done the whole heiva in Rurutu. The festival includes a huge variety of competitions ranging from sporting events like paddling, stone-lifting, and, of course, the bareback horse race along the beach.....
There are also dance, singing, music, flower-arranging and weaving competitions, as well as the country-fair sort of things, the longest/heaviest bunch of bananas or taro root, coconut husking and taro-pounding competitions, all in all it's a lot of good fun for the whole family!!