Vai Nauri

Useful Information

Location: Mitiaro Island.
East coast, singposted branch off inland.
(-19.8647299, -157.6826989)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstCenote SpeleologyKarst Cave
Light: bring torch
Guided tours:
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Vai Nauri.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Vai Nauri is a collapsed cave, similar to a cenote, which is water filled with a huge opening which allows the sun to shine in. As a result the crystal clear water glows in a bright blue colour, a result of the high limestone content. The place is a popular bathing spot, a concrete staircase leads down the sinkhole to the water and there is a concrete platform. The pool is rather deep, and it is necessary to swim. Jumping into the water from a stalagmite is also quite popular, but the locals insist that it is necessary to ask a local before the first jump. But of course it is not to get info, where it is deep enough so you don't hit the ground when you leap in, it's just to learn the special chant necessary before each jump.

Local women used to hold gatherings known as terevai at Vai Nauri and Vai Tamaroa. They met to swim and sing bawdy songs of their ancestors. But Mitiaro’s population is declining, many live now in Australia and New Zealand. The terevai tradition is thus reactivated only during holiday periods like Christmas and New Year, when those islanders return to Mitiaro.