The Final Moorea Journey Information

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Moorea French Polynesia Travel Guide

The “little sister” of close by Tahiti, Moorea (correctly spelled Mo’orea) is a wonderland of lush tropical landscapes, dramatic mountain peaks, palm-fringed bays, turquoise lagoons, and aromatic pineapple plantations.

Moorea’s shut proximity to Tahiti—the worldwide hub of French Polynesia—signifies that it’s quickly rising in reputation amongst vacationers. However for now, the island has managed to keep up its laid-back island vibes and sluggish tempo of life.


Moorea Journey Information: Desk of Contents

  • Why Go to Moorea?
  • The way to Get to Moorea
  • The place to Keep on Moorea
  • Greatest Issues to See & Do on Moorea
    • Belvedere Lookout
    • Historical Marae
    • Pineapple Route
    • Opunohu Bay & Cook dinner’s Bay
    • Rotui Juice Manufacturing facility
    • Greatest Seashores on Moorea
    • Circle Island Tour
    • Resort Day Go
    • Different Issues to Do on Moorea
  • The place to Eat on Moorea
  • The way to Get Round Moorea

Why Go to Moorea?

Moorea’s nickname is the “Magical Island,” and it’s all too simple to see why. This dreamy island is the poster-child of a South Pacific paradise—all shiny blue lagoons, swaying palm timber and plush peaks and valleys.

Moorea, French Polynesia Travel

Moorea Travel

What to See & Do on Moorea, French Polynesia

Whereas Huahine stays essentially the most pristine and undeveloped island we visited in French Polynesia, Moorea is hands-down essentially the most visually putting. The views merely must be seen to be believed!

Moorea has a inhabitants of roughly 16,000 individuals, together with the various French expats who name the island house. The truth is, Europeans have a long-running love affair with the “Magical Island;” the primary European explorers arrived to the island within the early 1600s, and the famed Captain James Cook dinner anchored in Opunohu Bay throughout the late 1700s.

Visitors Guide Moorea, French Polynesia

Thankfully for contemporary vacationers like us, Moorea is among the most accessible islands in all of French Polynesia, second solely to the primary island of Tahiti. A fast, handy 10-minute flight or 30-minute ferry trip is all it takes to achieve Moorea from Pape’ete.

If you happen to’re on the lookout for a second island to tack on to your French Polynesian getaway, why not make it Moorea?


The way to Get to Moorea

Vacationers will arrive to French Polynesia on the Faa’a Worldwide Airport on the island of Tahiti. From there, you’ll be able to both fly or take a ferry over to Moorea.

Ferry to/from Tahiti

There are two ferry strains with service between Tahiti and Moorea you can select from: the Aremiti (which really has two boats with distinct schedules, the Aremiti 5 and the Ferry 2) and the Terevau. The journey time between the 2 islands is roughly 30-35 minutes.

Any of the ferry choices will price you roughly $15 per particular person for a one-way ticket. There’s no must e book your ticket prematurely (until maybe it’s a nationwide vacation), though you must arrive to the docks 30 minutes earlier than your departure time.

Flight

Alternatively, you’ll be able to hop on a aircraft in Pape’ete and arrive to the island of Moorea simply 10 minutes later. Sure, the flight is admittedly simply 10 minutes! Bear in mind you’ll nonetheless must arrive to the airport one hour beforehand, and you’ll pay extra in comparison with the ferry.

If you happen to’re touring to Moorea from an island aside from Tahiti, then a flight might be your finest guess. Ebook on Air Tahiti as quickly as you’re able to lock your journey plans into place, as flights between the islands are restricted and may refill rapidly.


The place to Keep on Moorea?

Taking a look at a map of the island, it may possibly really feel overwhelming making an attempt to find out one of the best space to remain on Moorea. Personally, I strongly suggest staying on the northern shore, between the cities of Hauru and Tema’e.

Ultimate Moorea Travel Guide

For one factor, Moorea’s huge three overwater resorts (the InterContinental, the Hilton, and the Sofitel) are all located alongside this stretch of shoreline. If it’s adequate for the individuals spending the massive bucks to remain in a luxurious overwater bungalow, it’s definitely adequate for me!

Secondly, the northern a part of Moorea is house to the island’s most dramatic landscapes; most notably Mount Rotui, Opunohu Bay and Cook dinner’s Bay. The whole island is gorgeous, however this explicit area is particularly breathtaking.

Moorea Ultimate Travel Guide
Mount Rotui, with Opunohu Bay to the left and Cook dinner’s Bay to the suitable

We ended up staying proper on Cook dinner’s Bay, close to the city of Paopao. We booked our lodging at Aimeo Lodge (previously often known as Membership Bali Hai) through Airbnb; this was the precise unit we stayed in, “Honeymoon” Bungalow #40.

(Pssst – get $40 off your first Airbnb reserving!)

Cook dinner’s Bay ended up being a wonderful, very centrally-located place to remain on Moorea. We had been lower than one mile from a fantastic grocery store (Tremendous U Are) and strolling distance to a handful of eating places. Our bungalow was additionally a brief drive to most of the island’s finest sights, just like the Belvedere Lookout Level and the Pineapple Route.

Where to Stay on Moorea, French Polynesia
Cook dinner’s Bay, Moorea

If you wish to be within the heart of the motion, with loads of eating places, grocery shops and memento retailers in shut proximity, then the city of Maharepa could be a wonderful place to remain. Tema’e is one other extremely popular selection, though personally I feel it has a bit too a lot occurring, being so near the airport and ferry terminals.

Where to Stay on Moorea, French Polynesia
Maharepa, Moorea

The northwestern nook of Moorea (between Papetō’ai and Hauru) is a  beautiful a part of the island, house to among the most stunning seashores we noticed throughout our keep. Regardless of being a comparatively quiet and laid again a part of Moorea, there’s a strong collection of resort and restaurant choices right here.

If you happen to determine to base your self elsewhere on the island—for example, in Ha’apiti or Ma’atea to the south—you’ll be able to count on a really quiet, locals-only kind of vibe. There’s rather a lot much less occurring within the southern half of the island by way of sights, actions and eating places, however when you’re the kind who likes to settle into a pleasant little rental property and simply chill, this might be an excellent choice.

The place We Stayed: Aimeo Lodge on Cook dinner’s Bay

Where to Stay Moorea

Going into this journey, Derek and I knew that we weren’t going to be staying at one of many fancy resorts. Many of the overwater bungalows begin round $700-800 per evening (and rapidly skyrocket to $2,000+ per evening) and that’s simply not the funds we roll on for an off-the-cuff getaway.

We ended up reserving a comfy little overwater bungalow proper on Cook dinner’s Bay. Our non-public deck had among the most beautiful and dramatic views we noticed on all of Moorea…and it solely price $158 per evening!

Best Place to Stay Moorea

Best Place to Stay Moorea

Best Place to Stay Moorea

I don’t need to paint a deceptive image—our bungalow was the furthest factor from “luxurious.” It did have A/C and scorching water (which was greater than let’s imagine of our Huahine bungalow) however by way of aesthetics, it seemed prefer it hadn’t been up to date because the 80’s.

Cook's Bay, Moorea | Aimeo Lodge Review

Cook's Bay, Moorea | Aimeo Lodge Review

Cook's Bay, Moorea | Aimeo Lodge Review

That stated, we’re not fancy individuals! Our high priorities are 1) superb views, 2) handy location, and three) primary comforts, which made Aimeo Lodge an ideal selection for us. In order for you the overwater bungalow expertise at a fraction of the prices, I extremely suggest the unit we stayed in!

Different Lodging on Moorea

As I discussed earlier than, there are a shocking variety of reasonably priced lodging choices out there in Moorea…far too many to record right here!

There are greater than 300 listings on Airbnb and greater than 100 on Reserving.com, that are the 2 predominant web sites I used when planning this journey. Each websites embrace a mixture of non-public leases, family-owned guesthouses and conventional inns.

I discovered many stunning, comfy choices at lower than $100 per evening, and an much more plentiful choice by bumping the funds as much as $200 or much less per evening.

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Luxurious Lodging on Moorea

If you happen to’re in search of the basic, luxurious overwater bungalow expertise on Moorea, these are the 4 resorts you’ll need to contemplate:

  • Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa
  • InterContinental Moorea Resort & Spa
  • Sofitel Moorea la Ora Seashore Resort
  • Manava Seashore Resort & Spa Moorea

Resort Day Pass Moorea


Greatest Issues to See & Do on Moorea

1. Belvedere Lookout

You may soak in Moorea’s most iconic, breathtaking views from the Belvedere Lookout, positioned close to the city of Paopao.

It’s a steep, slender and winding street as much as the Belvedere, by dense forests and previous historic Polynesian temples (extra on these in a bit). I extremely suggest renting a automotive with the intention to attain the Belvedere and lots of of Moorea’s different sights, though I do know ATV excursions additionally often make their means up right here.

Moorea Travel Guide

Personally, I’d be a bit cautious of driving a scooter as much as the Belvedere (though I’m certain it’s executed very often). Biking or strolling sounds a bit depressing, however when you’re in form and up for a problem I’m certain it may be executed as properly.

We visited the Belvedere very first thing within the morning, round 7:30am, and had these stunning views all to ourselves for round 10 minutes or so, earlier than one other couple arrived and we headed again down the street.

2. Historical Marae

Positioned alongside the street resulting in the Belvedere are two marae (historic temples) often known as Marae Titiroa and Marae Ahu-o-Mahine.

Moorea Things to Do

Moorea Ultimate Travel Guide

Admittedly there isn’t a complete lot to see at these historic ruins, which have been largely reclaimed by the forest. However contemplating that they’re almost 1,000 years outdated and served as spiritual and neighborhood gathering spots for historic Polynesians, there may be undoubtedly one thing very mysterious and awe-inspiring about these websites.

I like wandering by historic ruins and letting my creativeness run wild with photographs of the individuals who as soon as lived and thrived in the exact same location the place I now stand. The thought alone offers me chills!

3. Pineapple Route

Persevering with again down the identical street from the Belvedere, you’ll attain a crossroads: to the left you’ll be able to proceed down the paved street again in the direction of Paopao, and to the suitable you’ll be able to enterprise onto a bumpy filth street often known as the Pineapple Route.

Moorea Travel Guide

Lush, overgrown valleys and aromatic fields brimming with ripe pineapples await those that select to discover the Pineapple Route.

If you happen to’re driving a rental automotive, it’s technically a violation of your rental settlement to take the automotive alongside this filth street. If you happen to’re a strict rule-follower, you’ll be able to park in a paved lot simply earlier than the Route begins. Nevertheless, we took our automotive (very slowly and cautiously!) onto the street and didn’t run into any points.

Moorea Travel Guide

A little bit methods down the street, you’ll stumble throughout a parking space for Tiki Parc. It is a great spot to depart the automotive when you wander across the pineapple fields on foot. It’s a really rugged and delightful space, and the pineapples make the air odor AMAZING.

4. Opunohu Bay & Cook dinner’s Bay

Moorea’s twin bays are as famend for his or her unbelievable magnificence as they’re for his or her storied histories. Captain James Cook dinner famously anchored in Opunohu Bay in 1777, although it was Cook dinner’s Bay that was later named in his honor.

Though these two bays shouldn’t have the crystal clear, shiny blue water that’s so typically related to French Polynesia, I contemplate them to be among the many most visually putting and memorable elements of Moorea. The palm-fringed shorelines and dramatic, craggy mountain peaks are like one thing straight out Moana!

Why Visit Moorea, French Polynesia?
Opunohu Bay, Moorea

You may see Opunohu Bay and Cook dinner’s Bay from the Belvedere, however they’re finest skilled up-close. If you happen to’re driving, scootering or biking round Moorea, there are numerous locations to tug over alongside the aspect of the street and soak within the views. There are additionally a number of tour corporations on Moorea that conduct boat excursions.

Moorea Ultimate Travel Guide
Cook dinner’s Bay, Moorea

Of the 2 bays, Opunohu Bay is far much less developed. By comparability, Cook dinner’s Bay has considerably extra choices by way of eating places, lodging and retailers. Yachts and sailboats often anchor in each bays, and total I discovered them to be equally, indistinguishably beautiful.

5. Rotui Juice Manufacturing facility

Bear in mind all these aromatic pineapples from the Pineapple Route? You’ll know they’re being put to wonderful use after your first sip of Rotui Juice! You could find this model lining the cabinets of even the teeniest mini-marts throughout French Polynesia, and with good purpose: their juice is DIVINE.

Jus de Fruits de Moorea (Fruit Juices of Moorea) was based in 1981 below the Rotui model…in response to a pineapple surplus on the island, imagine it or not!

Ultimate Moorea Travel Guide | Things to Do Moorea

At this time, you’ll be able to go to the Rotui Juice Manufacturing facility & Distillery close to Cook dinner’s Bay, and take part in a tasting of a few of their top-selling juices and different flavorful drinks.

Along with their normal juices, you’ll be capable to pattern Tahiti Drink (a pre-mixed, packaged cocktail), coconut cream liquor (AMAZING! Like a tropical Bailey’s!), ginger liquor (questionable), and pineapple rum (not your common 10am refreshment however hey, it’s trip).

Ultimate Moorea Travel Guide | Things to Do Moorea

Ultimate Moorea Travel Guide | Things to Do Moorea

My solely qualm with the Juice Manufacturing facility was that the tasting expertise was very fast; I want it had lasted greater than just some minutes! Ultimately, my favourite juice was the watermelon passionfruit, whereas Derek cherished the vanilla banana.

6. Greatest Seashores on Moorea

Pull your automotive to the aspect of the street nearly wherever on Moorea, and you’ve got an excellent probability of being a stone’s throw from a ridiculously stunning seaside. Beneath are two of one of the best seashores we visited on the island.

Les Tipaniers Resort Seashore: We ended up right here on a little bit of a whim, after stopping on the Les Tipaniers restaurant for lunch and a cocktail…and I’m SO completely satisfied we did! Not solely was this probably the most beautiful seashores we discovered on Moorea, it’s among the finest I’ve seen wherever, interval.

Best Beaches Moorea

Best Beaches Moorea

The water was extremely calm and clear—extra like a large, waist-deep swimming pool than the ocean. And don’t get me began on that shiny turquoise coloring!

The resort’s seaside merges with Tiahura Seashore (which is public), making for a pleasant lengthy stretch of sand for strolling or shallow water for floating. My model of paradise!

Best Beaches Moorea

Mareto Seashore: Identified regionally as Ta’ahiamanu Seashore, this well-liked public seaside really has all of it: jewel-toned blue-green water, palm-fringed shores and dramatic views of Opunohu Bay. We spent some time simply floating in a shallow spot by the top of the seaside and soaking in views of the bay.

The seaside was very quiet on the afternoon that we visited, however there have been a number of instances throughout our keep on the island that we drove previous and observed massive crowds of locals having picnics and swimming within the sea.

Ta’ahiamanu Beach Moorea

Mareto Beach Moorea

One factor that makes Mareto Seashore very distinctive and picturesque is the massive grassy garden framed by dozens and dozens of swaying palm timber. It’s a completely stunning sight!

Ta’ahiamanu Beach Moorea

7. Circle Island Tour

Among the finest methods to spend a half-day on Moorea is by renting a automotive and embarking on a self-guided circle island tour. There’s a single street that follows the entire perimeter of the island, so it’s almost not possible to get misplaced.

The 37 mile (60km) drive will solely take you round 1.5 hours when you full it with out stopping, however I like to recommend budgeting round 3-Four hours to permit for stops. Belief me after I say that you just’re going to need to pull over many times for numerous photograph ops and scenic vistas.

Best Things to Do Moorea

You’ll additionally move many markets, memento retailers, eating places and roadside fruit stands throughout your drive round Moorea. The stands are a fantastic place to fill up on recent tropical fruits for a low value.

Moorea Things to Do

There aren’t a complete lot of true “should see” sights on Moorea; normally, the surroundings is the primary attraction. However amongst my favourite sights to maintain a watch out for throughout our circle island tour had been the quaint Catholic church buildings.

St. Joseph’s Church close to Cook dinner’s Bay was significantly lovely, although I additionally cherished the Eglise de la Sainte Famille in Ha’apiti (pictured under).

Things to See Moorea

8. Resort Day Go

Anybody who has been studying my weblog for some time ought to know by now that I don’t by any means fall below the class of “luxurious traveler.” Certain, I’ve upgraded since my days as a shoestring backpacker (no extra $5 blended dorm rooms for me, thanks) however I nonetheless journey with a really reasonable funds.

…That stated, ya lady nonetheless likes to expertise a little bit little bit of pampering now and again! 😉

Resort Day Pass Moorea

On our final day in Moorea, Derek and I splurged on Day Passes on the Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa. I emailed the resort straight to order our passes, although looking back I’m unsure it was essential to e book prematurely (cost is just not due till day-of).

The Hilton Moorea Day Go prices roughly $90 per particular person, and contains pool and seaside entry, lunch, dessert, one gentle drink or beer, seaside towels, and entry to the resort’s snorkeling gear, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards.

Resort Day Pass Moorea

We additionally ended up buying lots of fruity, colourful cocktails, that are priced at round $15-20 every. So sure, it was a really costly day total!

However contemplating that the Hilton’s overwater bungalows begin at round $800 per evening, it was nonetheless a cheap method to get pleasure from a full, stress-free day at one in every of Moorea’s most stunning resorts.

Different Issues to Do on Moorea

Even with 4 days on Moorea, we merely didn’t have sufficient time to see and do all the pieces the island has to supply. Beneath are among the sights and actions I examine on-line, however in the end wasn’t capable of work into our itinerary:

  1. Snorkeling on the Moorea Lagoonarium
  2. See the views from the highest of Magic Mountain
  3. Snorkeling Tour – Appears similar to the superb lagoon tour we did on Huahine
  4. Tiki Village Cultural Heart – Reconstruction of a standard Polynesian village; hosts workshops like weaving, cooking and portray, plus a luau dinner and fireplace dancing present
  5. ATV Tour and/or 4×Four Tour
  6. Scuba Diving
  7. Mountain climbing
  8. Lycee Agricole Opunohu (Agricultural Faculty)

The place to Eat on Moorea

Snack Mahana: Don’t let the informal exterior idiot you; this is among the BEST spots to eat on Moorea. The restaurant is located proper on the water, so you’ll be able to expertise the attractive island sunshine and refreezing sea breeze whereas having fun with basic Tahitian dishes like coconut mahi mahi and poisson cru.

Moorea Best Restaurants Lunch

Snack Mahana Moorea

Allo Pizza: You may not anticipate finding wonderful pizza within the South Pacific…however you’d be flawed! After studying Allo’s superb critiques on-line, we stopped in a single evening and ordered the Regina pizza, which was absolute perfection. Better of all, they do takeaway and even supply.

Moorea Seashore Cafe: If you happen to’re on the lookout for an upscale eating expertise with superb sundown views, look no additional than Moorea Seashore Cafe. The meals and drinks are undoubtedly expensive right here, however luckily the standard of the meals matches the excessive value level; my smoked salmon pizza was extraordinarily satisfying (I even took half of it house to eat later) and Derek’s chorizo & scallop risotto was divine.

Best Places to Eat Moorea

Les Tipaniers Resort: This resort restaurant has all of it—unbelievable meals, comfy ambiance and a stunning white sand seaside ready simply exterior its doorways (see the Seashores part above). Derek and I each ordered the grilled fish with Tahitian vanilla sauce…and oh my goodness, I’m now a believer that fish + vanilla is match made in heaven (it sounds bizarre, however PLEASE attempt it when you ever end up in French Polynesia).

Where to Eat on Moorea

Le Sundown (at Resort Hibiscus): One other scenic spot perched proper above the water, on the northwestern nook of the island. Honestly, we weren’t blown away by the meals—my seafood pasta was completely positive, however Derek didn’t a lot get pleasure from his curried shrimp. The views and cocktails are very good, although!

Toatea Creperie & Bar (on the Hilton Moorea): Think about having fun with your selection of savory or candy crepes whereas watching a cotton candy-colored sundown, as reef sharks and stingrays circle within the shallow water under you. Sound intriguing? Welcome to the Creperie on the Hilton Moorea, probably the most distinctive eating places we skilled on the island!

Resort Day Pass Moorea

Iaorana Smoothie: If you end up craving açaí bowls and smoothies whereas on Moorea, do your self a favor and cease by this little shack simply throughout from Aimeo Lodge in Cook dinner’s Bay. The peanut butter, banana and strawberry smoothie was SO FREAKING DELICIOUS—similar to a dessert PB&J shake!


The way to Get Round Moorea

Right here’s the inside track: A rental automotive is by far one of the simplest ways to get round Moorea. 

Certain, renting a automotive (particularly an automated transmission) in French Polynesia is just not low-cost. However you’ll save your self SO a lot time and frustration by renting a automotive (even only for one or two days) so the prices are completely price it.

With your personal rental, it is possible for you to to go to lots of Moorea’s finest sights (just like the Belvedere, Pineapple Route, Cook dinner’s & Opunohu Bay, and the Juice Manufacturing facility) by yourself schedule. And not using a automotive, you will want to depend on non-public or group excursions to see those self same sights.

Moorea Things to Do

Renting a scooter is one other viable (and extra reasonably priced) choice for getting round Moorea. That stated, contemplating the best way the locals drive on the island, I used to be completely satisfied to have the additional safety from our car. You undoubtedly wouldn’t need to depend on your scooter after the solar units!

We did journey by taxi a number of instances whereas on Moorea, although it’s most likely the one LEAST economical selection. Even the shortest rides will price $15 or extra; longer rides (15+ minutes) will rapidly improve to $30-40 and up.

Bicycle is a good selection for getting round Moorea, because the roads are largely flat. Remember that Moorea will be very heat, so deliver loads of water when you’re planning to journey a major distance.

Lastly, I used to be shocked to search out that hitchhiking is a quite common observe on Moorea. Contemplating how costly the opposite transportation choices will be, in addition to how secure the island is, I suppose I shouldn’t have been so shocked!

I’ve personally by no means hitchhiked in my life, so I can’t suggest it a method or one other. However I’ll say that it appears to be a considerably well-liked selection amongst funds backpackers.


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Moorea Ultimate Travel Guide

Moorea, French Polynesia Travel Guide


Would you want to go to French Polynesia’s “Magical Island?” If you happen to’re planning a visit to Moorea, what questions do you continue to have about visiting? 

The put up The Final Moorea Journey Information appeared first on The Wandering Blonde.

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