Moorea “The Majestic Island”
The majestic island of Moorea is only 12 miles across what locals call the Sea of Moons from its sister island of Tahiti Nui. Only 30 minutes by boat or 10 minutes by air, this island covers an area of 53 square miles and is 36 miles around. It can easily be circled by rental car or scooter. With only 12,000 inhabitants, the pace of life is much slower here than on the big island of Tahiti Nui and is everyone’s dream of rural paradise.
Moorea is shaped like a heart or front of a turtle , and is famous for its spectacular & famous lagoons, Cooks Bay and Opunohu Bay. These symmetrical twins, are each surrounded on all sides with lush tropical mountains, remants of an extinct volcano. The highest peak on the island Mount Tohivea provides one of the most photographed backgrounds Polynesia. High above the 2 bays is the famous Belvedere lookout. One of the most breathtaking views on the planet.
Charles Darwin was inspired for his theory on formation of coral reefs while looking down on Moorea from atop the mountains of Tahiti Nui. Don the Beachcomber was also inspired and lived here until his houseboat was destroyed by a cyclone. Moorea has kept its old Polynesian charm and offers an intimate selection of hotels and bed and breakfast style accommodations for all budget levels.
Moorea translated means Yellow Lizard. Known for its amazing underwater life, Moorea is home to some of the best dive sites, seasonal whale watching, and deep sea fishing. The main towns are Maharepa, Paopao & Afareaitu. The Aremeti ferry docks at Vaiare wharf located on east side of the island along with Moorea’s Temae Airport and the newly opened Jack Nicholson designed Golf Course. Moorea should be part of any multi island itinerary.
Moorea Hotels & Resorts
Moorea Island Activities
There are three wonderful surf spots on Moorea. Temae Point, Haapiti Pass & Atiha Pass are all known for their year round surf. There are many surf spots on main island accessible by ferry. Moorea & Tahiti are best for travel with surfboard without incurring baggage fees on interisland air. 6’ board limit on Air Tahiti.
Great diving sites are located on Moorea. Local Dive Operators will pick up at all Moorea Resorts & Hotels.
Many options available locally for hire.
The Tiahura Ranch is located on the west side of Moorea near the old Moorea Village Hotel. They offer excellent excursions into the valleys and offer sunset riding on the beach. Ranch is located on Motu Piti Aau near Le Meridien Hotel.
This is a seasonal activity. Whale watching is best experienced from July through November. The best authority on the island is Dr. Michael Pool. He is a marine biologist who will take up to 40 people at a time on Sundays and Thursdays only. You can book with your Fly Tahiti agent or arrange with your hotel concierge.
A year round activity on the island hosted again by Dr. Poole. This tour also operates on Thursdays and Sundays. Also available for all visitors to Moorea is Dolphin Quest located at Intercontinental Hotel Moorea. Its an opportunity to swim with Dolphins.
4 x 4 Excursions
Travel off-road to the interior of the island that are not accessible by rental cars. This is the only way, except by foot, to view beautiful waterfalls and pineapple plantations.
Most trails on Moorea are single trek trails and there are no loop trails so you must go all the way or return the same way you go in. Hike from the coast through the Opunohu Valley to Belvedere Lookout. Or take guided half day hikes across the island or to archeological sites on Moorea with www.tahitievasion.com
Gardens are located at the end of Opunohu Bay and are home to more than 100 tropical plant species.
Car Rental, Bicycle, and Scooter Rental
From bikes to cars you will find you can rent directly from your hotel reception or activities desk. Local rental kiosks for Avis and others are available in main villages of Maharepa, Paopao & Afareaitu.
Moorea Dining & Nightlife
Tiki Village Theater
This is a cultural and folkloric center that presents a Polynesian extravaganza on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday & Saturday evenings. The evening includes a Tahitian Feast with dancing and fire. Tiki Village is also available & famous for providing Tahitian Wedding Ceremonies.
Serves a good selection of seafood and meat dishes. The Poisson cru is excellent with homemade chili condiment. Aito offers excellent cocktails and desserts. Restaurant has lagoon views with nice breezes.
For dinner this restaurant offers nice ambiance, good food, and some evening entertainment.
Te Honu Iti
Very nice upscale restaurant that is romantic and one of the nicest places to eat on Moorea. Ask for table by the railing so you can watch and feed the fish.
Roulotte Chez Mariana
Located in Maharepa, its in the magasin parking lot next to Le Mohagany. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Best chao mein, poisson cru and boeuf au legumes anywhere on the island.
Located in Maharepa this restaurant serves French, Tahitian and Chinese food. Nice ambiance & good food..
Le Motu Pizza
Great place to stop roadside for lunch or snack. Located across the street from the old Club Med Moorea.
Blue Pineapple Grill
Located at Club Bali Hai. Great views of Cooks Bay, serves breakfast & lunch only.