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Cruise Diva Goes Ashore in Tahiti
Sights to see & things to do

Moorea

Moorea's mountains served as the backdrop for the movie "South Pacific" and are far more dramatic up close and personal than they could ever appear on the silver screen. Moorea ranks high among cruisers' choice of "favorite island" and with good cause—it's absolutely stunning and the residents add to the ambiance. Locals are pleased with the upswing in tourism and also their government's responsible position on resort expansion. Only church towers can be taller than coconut trees.

Diversions 

Tendering ashore in Moorea is magical. Native musicians serenade arriving passengers and artisans display their wares along the jetty. Scooter and bicycle rentals are available and you can arrange an automobile rental in advance.

Probably the best way to traverse the Opunohu Valley is by 4X4 tour. Stops along the way to Le Belvedere, an awe-inspiring vantage point with some of Tahiti’s most scenic views, usually include the pineapple processing factory and the painstakingly restored Titiroa Marae.

Now an agricultural research center, Kellum Place was once a private plantation. You can tour the house and lush grounds filled with flowers and herbs. In Papetoai you’ll find the oldest church in Polynesia. The octagonal church was built in 1822 atop a marae.

Moorea’s Tiki Village may (or may not) be a "slice of island life" but it certainly is fun in a camp sort of way. Visitors are shown a miniature pearl farm (reached by canoe) and given the opportunity to purchase black pearl jewelry on the spot. Resident artisans create crafts that are also available to purchase. But the real highlight of the Tiki Village is the show—a pareus demonstration, high-energy dancing, singing, and finally audience participation.

Don’t overlook explorations into the lagoon. Moorea is one of few places in the world where snorkelers can swim with stingrays. This is also a scuba divers heaven and dives can be arranged with local operators.

Shore excursions can include fully narrated bus tours, a dolphin watching expedition, motu beach picnics, a catamaran sail, waverunner rides across the lagoon, and parasailing. A helicopter ride is an exhilarating experience and source of wondrous views of the complete island and lagoon.

Beaches

Hauru Point has one of the best beaches on the island. All beaches are public and the resorts along this strip don’t seem to mind if you cut through their property. Motu Tiahura and Motu Faretone islets are so close to shore that you can snorkel out to them. 

Shopping

Take some time to poke around through the dockside stalls. Without exception, the crafters and artisans in Moorea are friendly as well as extremely talented—this is the island with the nicest pareus, mother of pearl jewelry, and watercolors in Tahiti. There are several fine art galleries in Cook’s Bay. The Moorea Pearls Centre features an experimental pearl farm at the aquarium by Cook’s Bay.


Back to Tahiti Ports of Call

Cruise Diva's  Focus on Tahiti with reviews, cruise line info, tourism links, & more.


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