Tahiti is the bonus of our South East Asia and Oceania trip. It just happens to be on the way from New Zealand to California. So, a stopover costs a fraction of a ticket from Europe. Nice bonus: 117 islands, green hills, palmtrees, wonderful calm lagoons. We decided to stay on the island of Moorea, just a 30 minute boat ride from Papeete on Tahiti «mainland».
Moorea turned out to be a very good choice. Most part of the island profits from a wide lagoon. The big waves stop at the reefs a few hundred meters out and the lagoons are calm, shallow and full of corals and fish!
So, snorkelling is activity number 1 for ES. DHH needs to see some big fish, also called sharks, so he has to go out of the lagoon, diving. That is, why he gets his separate Tahiti blog post.
There are people who think snorkelling here is the best worldwide. Others say it is best after the Maldives. It is in any case, the best ES has ever done. The variety and number of fish is amazing. The third day, going a little bit further out, ES saw at least 12 new species of fish. Apart from the Picasso fish, who lives in the very shallow and likes to pinch your heal if you come to close to where she has left her eggs, they are nameless to us. Their beauty however, does not need names. But see for yourself, we have put out a 2-minute video.
The in place to stay on these islands are the overwater bungalows, with a glass floor, where you can see the reef sharks passing. Must be great – but so is the price level. We found a nice, and new, apartment hotel on the Northwest coast of Moorea. Our apartment on the second floor is 50 meters from the beach. From the big terrace we get a partial view of the sea. From our door we have a very short way to the swimming and snorkelling areas.
For the first time since early January, we do some cooking. This is a) nice and b) the only way to stay in the budget. We are Outre-mer, (French for «overseas») but we are technically in France and the prices are European standard.
Shopping. We started with too much luggage, so souvenirs must be small and light. No problem here: the famous black pearls from Tahiti do not take much space. By the way, they are not black, but have all shades from light grey to blue and green ’til dark grey, but never black. The pearl farms are an important economic factor. And if your pearl does not have to be round and without any “imperfection”, you can actually buy a weightless beauty on the souvenir budget.
To us, so far Tahiti is all about water or rather underwater. If we want to see the land we need to come back, maybe a bonus of another trip? Who knows.
Hotel tip: Moorea Sunset Beach, apart hotel. For weekly rates: mooreasunsetbeach.com