www.GOmoorea.com - Official web site of Moorea visitor's bureau - Sister Island of Tahiti, South Pacific.  
 
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Go to media library
     • The flora
     • The vanilla
     • Marine life
     • The Tahitian pearl
 
 


A tour around the island
by rented car, scooter or bicycle! If 2 hours are enough to complete the 62-km circle road, it is recommended to take the whole day in order to fully enjoy the many points of touristic interest.

A lagoon ride in a canoe or a boat (in the daytime or at sunset), is a magical experience.

Explore the inside of the island in a 4WD, an ATV, a mountain bike ride, riding, or just hiking to access incredible view points over the spectacular bays and the incredibly lush and tropical flora.

The underwater world
visit is a must wether you snorkel, scuba-dive or helmet dive.

Enjoy a “Ma’a Tahiti” (Tahitian meal cooked in an underground oven): it is served just about everywhere in restaurant & snacks, mostly week-end.

 


Tiki Village Theater in Varari: cultural and folkloric center performing exceptional shows with 60 dancers. Don't miss it! Visit the pearl farm and the traditional village.

The Lagoonarium of Moorea in Afareaitu, where you can swim with rays, baby sharks and all of the lagoon's colorful fish. A transfer boat allows you to reach the "wooden boat" from the shore.

The Agriculture vocational School in Opunohu Bay where you will discover local flowers and plants and taste the wonderful home-made juice,  ice cream and jams. maison.
 

 

The Juice Factory: the excellent quality and the great diversity of our tropical fruit (pineapples, grapefruit, bananas, oranges, lemons, papayas, guavas, mangos etc.) made it possible to open the Rotui Fruit Juice Factory at Pihaena with many various local specialties. Free tasting.

Moorea Green Pearl Golf: the new Golf  of Temae is a 18-holes international golf course, designed by Nicklaus Design.

Moorea, the magic island of sport.
Moorea is a magical island for all types of sports events. Organized in a dreamlike setting, major events such as the Marathon and the Raid Painapo make Moorea a renowned place for international sport events.

Afareaitu Waterfalls
Two trails lead you to each of them. One starts 150 m from3Cbr />

 

The Toatea View Point in Temae, right above Hotel Sofitel Ia Ora, where you can admire the lagoon colors and a breathtaking view of Tahiti island. A must at sunset!

World famous Cook’s Bay, framed by jagged mountains, where large cruise ships and luxurious yachts often anchor.

Opunohu Bay
, a more pristine bay, where Captain Cook actually anchored in 1777.

Temae's public beach, accessible by the Motu Temae's road, near the airport, offering an exceptional swimming area and a large playground in a coconut field.

Opunohu's public beach, by the sailing school, is a perfect place for picnic on table shadowed by the coconut trees and for snorkeling. The bathing is shallow and shadowed. Ideal for kids, ideal to anchor sailsboat and yachts, ideal to admire amazing sunsets.

The Belvedere View Point (790 ft) accessible by two roads, one starting at the end of Cook’s Bay which runs across pineapple fields. The other starts at the end of Opunohu Bay, goes through the Agriculture vocational School and passes near archeological sites (marae) before reaching the spectacular panoramic view point over the 2 bays,Opunohu on the left, Cook on the right, separated by Mt Rotui, the sacred Mountain of Ancient Polynesians.

 

Toatea View Point

Cook's bay
Belvedere

Many hiking paths have been opened in the last few years, from Opunohu’s valley, Paopao, Vaiare, Vaiane,  Haapiti...For the well-trained hikers, the perced Mountain  Mou’a Puta is an unforgettable excursion. It is advices to go with a professionnal guide.

 

© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
Moorea Dolphin Center

 

The Moorea Dolphin Center, inside the  Intercontinental Resort & Spa Moorea, is a unique park where you can see dolphins in action; a unique opportunity to swim with these marine mammals and to learn all about them.

While there, take the opportunity to visit the Sea Turtles’ Centre where the association «Te mana o te moana» takes care of wounded turtles before freeing them again. 

See www.temanaotemoana.org

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The volcanic nature of the land brought its typical vegetation to our island.

Moorea is an ever blooming garden. The most famous flower is the Tiare (Tahitian Gardenia), Tahiti’s symbol, which is used to make monoi. But the hibiscus (aute) shouldn’t be forgotten with its large red flower that ladies like to wear on their ear, neither should the moto’i, a local species of ylang-ylang, and the pitate, a jasmine with captivating fragrance.

The magnificent  crotons and the legendary bougainvillea with countless colors. You will discover red ginger, antherium, golden trumpets, heliconias, wild orchids and plumerias...

Coconut groves are all over. Coconut trees, called «tree of life» by the Polynesians because all parts are used  from the nuts to the wood, thrive here, finding their fresh water supply not too deep into the ground. Inland are pinapple, grapefruit trees, vanilla plants, taro and tiare flowers plantations.  Sign up for a pleasant excursion.

Nono or Noni is the yellowish fruit of a small tree. It looks like a swollen potato. Once processed however, its juice has medicinal and revitalizing properties.      

 

Tiare
© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
P. Bacchet

Opuhi
© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
T. McKenna

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Polynesian vanilla grows on a vine. Its flowers must be fecundated (in Polynesia, following the ”marriage” method of artificial fecundation) to produce a fruit, the vanilla bean.

The local variety is renown all over the world for its powerful fragrance and its strong taste. Very rich in oil, its beans are shinier and more scented than other species. The first vanilla plants were introduced from the Philippines to Polynesia in 1848 by Admiral Hamelin. Rapidly, a local variety, obtained by breeding Mexican and Antilles vanilla plants, was born. Beans of this Vanilla Taitensis, with their irresistible fragrance, are much appreciated.
You can buy them a little everywhere in Tahiti, especially in Papeete’s Central Market. From over 200 tons per year early in the 20th century, exports of this local “black gold” fell to less than 3 tons in the 70’s and 80’s. In the past few years, aides given to producers in the islands made it possible for Polynesian vanilla production to develop under the label of exceptional quality and to regain a level worthy of its quality.     

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The waters of Polynesia are ideal to discover an extraordinary marine fauna. The water temperature is very pleasant, its crystal-clear quality and its colors make it a treasure for lovers of undersea life. Whether a beginner or an experienced diver, you will take an immense pleasure when swimming around freely and safely in these turquoise waters. (In some areas, you should however seek the advice of professionals).

Boat or canoe rides on the lagoon allow you to meet dolphins, humpback whales (between June and October), black tip sharks…

Snorkeling is perfect to encounter the very gentle stingrays, clown fishes and sea anemones living in symbiosis.
Scuba diving is a must for black tip sharks, grey sharks and lemon sharks (the 3 main species observed),  scaled turtles and the green turtles (both protected by the Washington Convention),  spotted rays, morray eels, jackfishes (uruati)and many other species of deep-sea and lagoon fish.

 

Whale
© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
L. Ballesta

Coral
© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
R. Holler

If you have the opportunity to dive between June and October, you may encounter humpback whales giving birth.


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© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
A. Nyssen


© GIE Tahiti Tourisme -
A. Nyssen

 


Tahiti Cultured Pearls are commonly known around the world as « Black Pearls ». They come from French Polynesia’s remote lagoons.

Polynesian Legend has it that Oro, the God of peace and fertility, would use his rainbows to visit the earth. He offered to the oysters’ mother of pearl its iridescence and thus, gave Tahitian pearls their amazing spectrum of colours.

The Pinctada Margaritifera cumingi is commonly known as the black lipped oyster. In the 19th century, its shell was in great demand by the European button industry. In these days of shell harvesting, one would have to open more than 15,000 oysters before finding a natural pearl. These rare gems would then be seen only in the realms of Pashas and Royalties. Soon the Pearl of Tahiti became known as “Pearl of Queens” and “Queen of Pearls”.
The first trials of Tahitian Pearls culturing began in 1961 in the lagoon of Bora Bora, when the Japanese grafting techniques were applied to the Pinctada Maragaritifera oyster. The first successful harvest of 1963 proved that a pearl culturing industry was possible in the region. Consequently several pearl farms were set up on the remote islands of Manihi, Marutea and Mangareva in the Tuamotu-Gambier archipelago. The process of raising a Pinctada Maragaritifera oyster is long and requires considerable care and attention, due its frailty.
In 1976 the Gemological Institute of America issued the official recognition of the “Pearl of Tahiti” natural colour authenticity.

Furthermore the adoption of the commercial designation “Tahiti Cultured Pearl”, by the International Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), allowed this jewel to definitely establish its international reputation. The Tahiti Cultured Pearls are best known for their diversity of size, shape, surface quality and endless shades of natural colours, ranging from pale grey to anthracite black.
The Tahiti Cultured Pearls are made of thousands thin layers of nacre containing organic substances and calcium carbonate (aragonite). The trade designation “Tahiti Cultured Pearl” is exclusively used for cultured pearls produced by the Pinctada Margaritifera oyster, found in French Polynesia. According to the government regulation, the pearls must display a continuous pearly layer covering at least 80 % of the surface and cannot reveal the underlying nucleus. Pearls not meeting these criteria will be considered as rejects and cannot be sold. When harvesting pearls, the pearl farmer performs an initial sort of his crop, discarding all the rejects. He will then proceed to a more detailed separation, sorting out pearls by size, shape and surface quality.
Source : « GIE Perles de Tahiti ». See  www.perlesdetahiti.net

 

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