Having recently returned from a week in Tahiti I can tell you first hand that your visions of turquoise blue lagoons with untouched, palm fringed beaches will indeed be bought to life. There is also a world of abundant nature and rich culture to discover when landing on the island. I personally split my time between the popular islands of Moorea, famous for whale and dolphin spotting and Bora Bora, honeymooners paradise.
Moorea is a beautiful island with a large number of choices when it comes to luxury accommodation including those enviable picture-perfect over water villas.
There’s a common thought that in such an idyllic location there’s little more to do than sunbathe or swim but having recently returned from the vibrant island I wanted to write this post to expel such myths! Once the magic of the island’s beauty has sunk in, the blue lagoon outside your hotel has been swam in and the novelty of water-villa balcony lazing has calmed down there’s a few fabulously fun and adventurous things to do on the island, all tried and tested by moi. Here goes:
Snorkelling with Wild Sharks
Tahiti is known for the flourishing marine life that thrives in the French Polynesian waters and there are a number of ways in which you can enjoy the underwater world when visiting Moorea.
One of the most popular trips and instagram famous excursions is swimming amongst a large number of sharks and stingrays, both of whom are completely friendly (sometimes too friendly!) towards human visitors. These trips however are mostly arranged by locals who are feeding the marine life each day to attract them for the tourists to see. I am personally opposed to feeding any wild animal that is not domestic or living in a rehabilitation centre so I chose not to indulge in the popular shark and ray feeding trip myself. Instead, we hired a private boat and snorkelled freely in the deeper the waters surrounding. For me this was a far more rewarding experience, we were able to swim with much larger black tip reef sharks, turtles and even a lemon shark, all of whom were roaming freely and inquisitively gliding past as we watched from the surface in awe.
Quad Bike to Belevdere Point
Moorea has a uniquely stunning mountainous backdrop, not every island Tahiti boasts such scenery and even the ones with such natural beauty don’t have mapped out routes up to the higher terrains. There’s a number of view points on the island all with their own breathtaking scene once you reach the top. Some are accessible by car but there are a couple that can only be reached by foot or quad bike.
There are a number of tours that offer a guided drive, allowing you to ride your own ATV through the island. The guide drives in front and the rest of the group follow, winding through the luscious scenery and dusty dirt tracks as well as driving on the coastline roads. It’s a great way to see the majority of the island in one afternoon and as an extra adrenaline bonus, some of the tracks are really exhilarating!
Watching for Whales and Dolphins
Our entire trip was actually based around my love for whales and dolphins. In Tahiti during whale season (end of July-end of October) you can even swim with the gentle giants of the sea so we booked our entire trip in the hopes that we would be able to fulfil my lifelong dream of swimming with the whales. Sadly the waters were too choppy for us to swim with them during our stay in Moorea but we were able to watch the beautiful animals from the surface and it was incredible.
You can arrange a private boat tour in search of the magical mammals or there are regular group trips that take to the waters every day to try and find them. The humpback whales migrate to the French Polynesia during this of year to enjoy the safety of the warm pacific ocean whilst nursing their young. It’s a truly amazing experience to see them and one that I would say is an absolute must if you are travelling to Moorea. It’s one of the best places to see and swim with humpbacks in the world.
Visiting the Pineapple Plantations
A uniquely beautiful sight on the islands Tahiti is the vast amount of pineapple plantations farmed into the mountainous land. Seeing the famously sweet fruits growing upwards against the backdrop of the stunning mountains is quite a novelty and it can easily be done whilst discovering the island on your quad bike.
There are also walking tours that teach you more specifically about the pineapple farming industry and it’s vital importance for the islands of Tahiti. They involve a jam tasting too!
Order Sunset Room Service
In our short three days spent on Moorea island we were lucky enough to view some truly gorgeous sunsets and with all of the activities of the island being strongly lead by early mornings we opted to order room service each night and simply enjoy the sound of the waves from our window whilst polishing off our meals. The airport of Papeete (Tahiti’s international airport) sells an amazing range of wines and champagnes so we stocked up on arrival and made our way through a bottle a night………luckily I took pictures of the sunset so I can assure you, it wasn’t the champers creating an illusion of colourful skies 😉