Reports from French Polynesia say the tsunami waves triggered by the earthquake in Japan pushed a wall of water 30 metres inland on the island of Ua Pou in the Marquesas islands.
Radio reports say the wave, which entered the bay of Haka Hau, caused no serious damage.
The authorities warned that the island group could see waves of about three meters but an official says the wave measured about half a meter.
The Marquesas remain on full alert.
Reports from Tahiti say at the Papenoo surf beach, the sea retreated and the waves inundated beachfront gardens.
There are reports of confusion on Mooera where tourists wanted to return to their beachfront accommodation after the first wave was only minor.
Schools have been closed for the day.