Moorea

Moorea - Bungalow sunset

Moorea is a small volcanic island located just off of Tahiti in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. It is easily accessed by a 40 minute ferry ride or a very short plane trip from Tahiti.  The island is centered around 2 bays, the famous Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay.  Ringed by a barrier reef, the island has spectacular shallow lagoons teeming with sea life.  Due to its smaller size, Moorea has maintained its laid back lifestyle and has not yet been drastically altered due to tourism.  The local population is very friendly and welcoming to tourists and we advise getting out and experiencing the local shops and restaurants.

Things you MUST see/do:

Snorkeling – With a shallow lagoon that you can often stand up in for many meters off the shore, it is the perfect place to get up close and personal with the animal and plant life in the lagoon.  This makes it the ideal setting for snorkeling and the reward will be sights of numerous colourful fish, and possibly sting rays, octupuses, and black tip reef sharks.  Don’t forget to bring an underwater camera to capture all of the amazing life.

Diving – Although we are not divers, Moorea is world renowned for the quality of its diving.

Cook’s Bay & Opunohu Bay Beautiful bays where the cruise ships dock, as the water is much deeper than most of the shoreline.  On these bays, there are some public beaches, for accommodations that do not have beach access.  The best public beaches are located on Opunohu Bay.

Mount Rotui – Forms the northern rim of the original volcano.  Located between the 2 bays, it is best seen from Cook’s Bay.

Belvedere Lookout – Offering a spectacular panoramic view of Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay divided by Mount Rotui.  This is the only easily accessible location of the island where you can view both bays simultaneously.  The multiple shades of blue in the water is amazing.

Travels4Couples highly recommended EXPERIENCES:

Jeep 4×4 Safari – These tours go inland through the farmer’s fields, many of which contain pineapples.  Book a tour that includes traveling to the center of the now extinct volcano.  This tour is best done in fair weather so try holding off on booking until arriving on the island, where there is local weather reports.  Often bookings can be made the day before the tour to ensure views will be maximized.

Jus de Fruits de Moorea – The local fruit juice company and factory are worth a visit.  They offer free samples of a variety of their products including fresh fruit juices, alcoholic cocktails and fruit liqueurs.  The Rotui mango juice was the best we have ever tasted!  They also offer tours of the factory at certain times of the day – ask a local upon arrival for the times.

Overwater Bungalow – As this is one of the few places in the world with the right geography for overwater bungalows, it is worth the extra money to have this experience of a hotel suite above water.  Being able to jump directly in the water from the room’s balcony is a memory that will not soon be forgotten.

Rudy’s Restaurant – One of the true treats in Moorea is Rudy’s.  It is a restaurant opened up by a French chef who visited the island and loved it so much, he decided to stay and open a restaurant.  We chose to dine here because we really wanted to try something outside the resorts (not saying there food was bad).  We absolutely loved the meal, including beef bourguignon and the restaurants specialty, parrotfish.  Evan is not a fan of seafood, but even he couldn’t deny the parrotfish was delicious!

Travels4Couples #1 ROMANTIC thing to do in Moorea:

Watch the Sunset – Grab a glass of wine, find a great spot, curl up with that special someone and watch the sun disappear into the turquoise water in this tropical paradise.

 

More Articles on French Polynesia:

Taking Flight in Bora Bora

The Sea Life of French Polynesia in Photos