Blogs from Moorea, French Polynesia, Oceania


Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea October 25th 2023

Tour Day 17, Cruise Day 17 - Island Drive & Belvedere (3.5 hours) - Tour the island of Moorea by bus. It is 38 miles around, and along the way you will stop at lookout points and special landmarks. From the Belvedere Lookout Point, located up in the mountains between the two main bays of Moorea, you will take in the sweeping views of Cook and Opunohu Bays. Pass some inland pineapple fields and stop at a marae -- an ancient, sacred site -- to learn about Polynesian culture. Heading down the east coast, you will come to the Ia Ora viewpoint, showcasing the clear blue lagoon of Temae Beach nearby and the island of Tahiti, only 10 nautical miles away. Notes: The guide will comment on daily life on Moorea but will not offer a ... read more
In and Around Bahia d' Opunoha, Moorea, French Polynesia
Island Drive & Belvedere Tour – Moorea, French Polynesia
Island Drive & Belvedere Tour – Moorea, French Polynesia

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea September 19th 2023

The following morning we took the ferry to the island of Moorea, a short 45 minute ride across the channel. By all accounts Moorea is just as beautiful, if not moreso than Bora Bora, but for a fraction of the cost and only an inexpensive ferry away. We thought the mountains plunged straight into the sea on Tahiti, well the landscape was even more extreme here. Sheer jagged peaks and spires leap vertically from the lagoons here in a postcard perfect landscape. We stayed at Residence Vainau ($83), one of the last beds on the island despite my booking months in advance. Not necessarily out of popularity but just because there is not much tourism here at all either. In the 1960s there was less than a dozen hotel rooms on the entire island, and by ... read more
pineapple plantation
Residence Vinau

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 16th 2023

Today we’ve signed up for a land-based tour of the island with the apparently iconic local company Franckyfranck Tours. Issy and I did this same excursion back in 2014 with the man Franckyfranck himself. She’s decided to pass on a repeat so Scott and I set of on our own. It seems that Franckyfranck isn’t going to guide us today but rather his offsider Tammo. Tammo tells us that he’s originally from Germany, but first came to the Marquesas 25 years ago, so for all intents and purposes he’s a local. When we were here in 2014 Franckyfranck lived on his yacht, which we were given to understand was just an interim measure. Well it’s either been a very long interim or housing here’s a bit hard to come by … it seems he still lives ... read more
Early morning on the Moorea waterfront
Looking west from Magic Mountain
Belvedere lookout

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 15th 2023

This might be our last post. As we sit quietly on our little deck munching away on our cereal it’s a bit hard not to notice a guy marching around the garden with a serious looking tank on his back, spraying anything that looks like it might be even vaguely green. This wouldn’t normally be worthy of comment, but he’s wearing a suit that wouldn’t look out of place on an astronaut, so we’re starting to suspect that whatever’s in the tank's probably not going to do much to improve your day if you happen to breathe any of it in. The breeze springs up and it’s now wafting in our direction, so we beat a hasty retreat inside and seal up all the doors and windows. It must be a slow acting poison. It’s now ... read more
Moorea Beach Club
Beachfront, Cooks Bay
Moorea Beach Club

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 14th 2023

Today we‘ve signed ourselves up for a full day boat tour out into the lagoon. As we wait for our craft to arrive we’re serenaded by a highly entertaining local four piece band who it seems we’ll have for company for the whole day. Most Polynesians we’ve come across seem to have a real gift for harmonious singing and these guys are certainly no exception. First stop is at the mouth of Cooks Bay, which we’re told, perhaps unsurprisingly, is named after the great navigator. He apparently first landed in Moorea in 1777. This was his third voyage which I think also turned out to be his last - something about a bit of a misunderstanding with the locals in Hawaii. We’re told his first landfall was in the other of Moorea’s two major bays, the ... read more
Tahitian local
Getting up and close with the rays
The band

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 13th 2023

We were all feeling like zombies when we arrived here yesterday so we sleep in ‘til about lunchtime. We think we remember through our zombiness walking a few hundred metres to the supermarket in the pitch blackness last night to stock up on some supplies for breakfast. If I’m remembering correctly it was a terrifying expedition that we were probably lucky to survive in our near comatose states - total darkness, no streetlights, no footpath and a heavily trafficked main road. And as if to prove how stupid we were being we then ventured out along the same road again to get pizza. And very nice pizza it was too. The young lady who served us apologised for the quality of her English, which made it about half a dozen times yesterday that this had happened. ... read more
Moorea’s spectacular peaks
Moorea waterfront
Local flora, Moorea

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea June 12th 2023

So having not been anywhere near an airport since we came back from last year’s lap of the globe, we’re now off again. And a very exciting sojourn it will be too. By far the most notable event along the way will of course be our beloved daughter Emma’s wedding to Canadian fiancé Michael up in the Rocky Mountains on 29 June. We’re then continuing on to Europe, and at the end of that Issy’s signed herself up for a 20 day art tour through the Greek Islands, with me tagging along for the ride. She’s a talented artist, but I find even stick figures a challenge, so as long as they don’t ask me to model …. Airports seem to have recovered a bit in the intervening period, with health checks and vaccination certificates now ... read more

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea February 13th 2023

The next morning, we skipped breakfast and headed to the market in Papeete instead. We checked out of the hotel and headed down the mountain one last time. Papeete is the capital of Tahiti. Much like Hawaii, they pronounce all the vowels. So it's pronounced Papay-EETEE. The market there reminded me of a few others I've been to - some local fruits and vegetables, but mostly stuff for tourists. There may be sections that we missed that would have been more used by locals, but I didn't get the sense that this was set up for locals. It was just as well that we didn't spend much time, because we had a ferry to catch! We stopped for a quick but nice bite to eat before heading to the ferry. It was so hot, at 1030am, ... read more
Croque Monsieur!
View from the bungalow in Moorea
Inside the bungalow

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea April 8th 2020

Let me give you a tip, never ask your wife where she would like to go for your 40th Wedding Anniversary ! Her answer, "Always wanted to go to Tahiti" So in March 2019, I booked for us to travel with Air Tahiti Nui, from Sydney, via Auckland to Papeete. This was a really good flight and also gave us the opportunity to fly onwards to Los Angeles to visit our daughter and me the opportunity for another trek. But thats for another story. So, when planning, my wife had decided that she didnt want to island hop, but stay for a week on one island and chill. She chose Moorea Island, a short distance form Papeete. After arriving in Papeete, we stayed at a hotel close to the airport and figured we would catch the ... read more
Moorea Island
Moorea Island
Moorea Island

Oceania » French Polynesia » Moorea October 27th 2019

I would suggest it's almost every traveller's dream to visit French Polynesia. The stunning images of five star resorts perched on pylons over the water with private aquariums underfoot teeming with marine life fulfills our wildest dreams ... and hopes for that perfect honeymoon! For as long as I can remember I've shared in the dream of visiting this polynesian paradise, and after many years exploring other travel destinations I have to pinch myself to realise I'm finally here! I hope all has been well with you, dear reader, and that you will enjoy the next three weeks of adventures in French Polynesia. The islands are famous for their pristine marine environment, and it's a genuine pleasure to embark on this once in a lifetime trip! From Sydney it's three hours flight time across the ditch ... read more
Resorts on the water
Amazing viewpoint
Beach life

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