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Moorea is one of the gems of French Polynesia. It is located just northwest of Tahiti and is part of the Society Islands, which in turn are part of the Windward Islands of French Polynesia. Just a short hop by ferry or plane, this island is smaller and more quiet compared to Tahiti. It's also more budget friendly and has fantastic diving and other activities to offer.
Moorea is located just under 20 kilometres from Tahiti and is an island of volcanic origin. The island is very rugged with jagged peaks that give the island a very characteristic view. On a clear day, arriving by plane, you can have a great overview of the island, but usually there is at least some overcast, especially near the peaks. On the north side you will find two bays, Opunohu Bay and world famous Cook's Bay. Mount Tohivea and Mount Rotui are the highest mountains at around 1200 meter above sea level.
Moorea has no cities, but several villages are scattered around the island.
© All Rights Reserved MrJfromFla
The climate of Moorea is tropical. The average temperatures are around 28 °C to 32 °C during the day and still well above 20 °C at night. The hotter months are between November and April and this is also the wet season (peaking in January) with much more rain compared to June to September. Also, occasional tropical storms hit some of the islands during this time, though certainly not every year.
There are ferries and catamarans travelling between Tahiti and Moorea several times daily. It takes between half an hour and an hour to travel between Tahiti and Moorea, depending on which company you go with. The car ferries, such as those run by Mo'orea Ferry, are slower than the high-speed ferries, which take only passengers, motorcycles and bicycles. The Ono-Ono has at least four crossings daily. The Aremiti 5 and the Moorea Express travel between Tahiti and Moorea six or more times daily between 6:00am and 4:30pm and this takes only 30 minutes.
You can find more about these ferries on the Tahiti Tourisme website.
A rental car gives you maximum freedom and a regular 2wd car is enough to travel around the islands. Fares are pretty steep so it is best to share with several persons. It's a little cheaper to reserve your car rental through the internet. Companies that have cars on Moorea include Hertz, Avis and Budget. Most of the offices can be found at the ferry terminal and the airport, although some upmarket hotels have services as well.
The total distance around the islands is roughly 65 kilometres. Given the maximum speed of 60km/hour, it takes at least around 75 minutes to circumvent the islands. Roads are generally in good condition and sealed all the way.
Several buses travel around the ringroad on Moorea. Services are reliable, relatively comfortable (no airco though) and cheap, but they are not as frequent as you wish and don't stop everywhere.
Getting around by boat will usually mean that you have to have either your own boat or do an organised trip. Activities include diving, fishing and snorkelling.
Moorea has dozens of places to spend the night, from luxurious bungalows on the water to camping places. Some of the places are surprsingly good value, especially compared to many other islands like Bora Bora.
For a complete overview of places to stay, from budget to luxurious, you can visit the Moorea Island website.
|Pension Motu Iti||Pihanea Moorea||Guesthouse||39|
|Legends Resort Private Villas||BP 4546 Papeete Tahiti, Haapiti||Hotel||-|
as well as Lavafalls (7%)
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