First recorded sighting of Maewo Island by Europeans was by the Spanish expedition of Pedro Fernández de Quirós at the end of April of 1606. They charted it as Aurora (The light of dawn in Spanish).
Maewo is the island with the highest rainfall in Vanuatu, greater than 2500 mm per year. The island is covered in green, lush vegetation. The heavy rainfall provides abundant fresh water and waterfalls. There are also hot springs in the centre of Maewo. The largest of these waterfalls is a series of cascades located near Maewo-Naone Airport on the north end of the island near the village of Naone. This series of cascades is commonly referred to as Big Wota.