Austral Islands/Rurutu: Towns & Churches

Rurutu is roughly shaped like the African continent and steep cliffs and ridges make traveling around not so simple or fast. There are three settlements on the island – Avera, Moerai, Hauti. All three are located in coastal valleys and are pretty isolated from each other, especially Hauti which only has a gravel road leading to it. Each town is a mini-province with its own administrative center and spectacular churches. On Sunday, deeply religious locals dress up in white and come to churches for service and traditional singing. If you haven’t been to Polynesian churches before – it’s a sight and experience unlike any other religious service – very traditional, long, and almost like a theatrical performance. The church buildings are also spectacular, soaring high and brightly painted, and visible from far away.