Yikes, as I write this we have just packed as tonight we fly to Rapa Nui (Easter Island) which has been on my Bucket list since I can remember.
For our last day in Mo’orea we decided to be sneaky and chance our arm at getting across from the public beach into the Sofitel’s private beach which is dramatically nicer. Again, we held hands, walked confidently and with the aroma of honeymoon all over us…WE GOT IN. Located in the North East of the Island, it’s home to jaw-dropping overwater bungalows, beautiful reefs abundant with wildlife and tall palms scattered over the beach to find the perfect shady spot to park ourselves for the afternoon.
The snorkel here is second to none, just a few meters from the shore you will surrounded with all different kinds of tropical fish. It was our best snorkeling experience so far on the island, we even brought a loaf of bread to feed them and don’t be alarmed if rays and black tipped sharks join you – they are just hungry.
I don’t think I even need to explain more as the photos below will show exactly what I mean when I confidently say Mo’orea is paradise as it’s finest. If you are planning on coming here, we asked many locals and it is the best island by far. Bora Bora is most famous but even more expensive and the reefs/lagoons are both very similar in comparison.
As our 6 days/ 5 nights comes to a close, we have to say Moorea stole our hearts. From the warm, friendly welcoming Tahitian people to the crystal clear water surrounding the island teaming with an abundance of amazing marine life– it is truly paradise here.
I have attached a rough budget of out costs once we got here as we did prepay for flights and this was a stopover as well as 3 x nights accommodation beforehand.
Accommodation: $45NZD per night, we extended and stayed 2 extra nights.
Internet : $15NZD for the week – Our Air B n B host charged for WIFI as it is very scarce on the island.
Ferry to and from Moorea : Aremeti ferry - $45NZD return per person. Takes 30 minutes and runs throughout the day. You can buy tickets at the terminal unless taking a car then it’s recommended to book online.
Lagoonarium : $60NZD pp – we walked there and hitch-hiked back.
Food costs for 6 days / 5 nights : Around $300NZD and we ate out twice for dinner. Once in the Sofitel so we could watch the Tahitian show and once in Vai’are pizzeria for the open mic night. For a pizza, side salad and 3 local beers expect to pay around $65-70NZD.
Hire of the Scooter : $100NZD - $90NZD + $10NZD on gas.
That’s pretty much it. It cost us $715NZD for 6days/5nights in Moorea for 2 people. If you were to come here on your honeymoon or just for a holiday then it can cost a lot more, depending on the accommodation you stay, food you eat and activities that you want to do. With that said, we also could have saved probably $100NZD on food if we hadn’t eaten out twice, but we are on holiday so that’s what our savings are for.
Some of the main things we loved in Moorea:
Things we didn’t like and to watch out for when you arrive:
We absolutely loved our stay here, we didn’t come here for a 5* holiday or excellent service, we came to explore paradise and for that, we 100% accomplished what we came here for. Feel free to message either of us for more info if you are planning a trip here as we would be more than happy to help!
Iaorana! – Or Good morning in Tahitian! After being on the small island for a few days now you learn to say good morning to everyone so it’s becoming a lovely habit.
After enjoying yesterdays hike so much we decided to do the Belvedere lookout today which if you have seen photos of Moorea before, it’s the big peak in between the 2 Bays in the North of the Island. It actually rained very heavily during the night , just after I had mentioned not to look at the forecast but as soon as we woke up – blue skies and scorching sunshine. WINNING!!
As we can’t afford to rent a scooter again, we thought about the public bus which runs adjacent to the ferry schedule. It’s 300francs pp each way so we walked to the terminal but then put on our biggest smiles, positive attitudes and put our thumbs out to hitch-hike. Straight away a beautiful couple picked us up and drove us across the island to the starting point of the hike.
Surrounded with lush forest and the sounds of tropical birds we began our accent. It’s only about 7km from the main road but in 30 degree heat and uphill the full way, it becomes difficult and exhausting pretty quickly.
On the way up, we passed pineapple plantations, gorgeous crops of flowers, banana and papaya trees, oh and a few kittens (the island is full of dogs and cats)
I had a dreadful sleep last night. It was far too hot even with the fan, my mind wouldn’t shut off from planning mode and I guess I am still very anxious and a little on edge – but it’s only day three. However, it was a bright and early wake up this morning for us as after hiring the scooter last night we wanted to do the whole island in a day to really soak up what Moorea has to offer. The morning started on a high as we had the gas bottle replaced so Leo could make his eggs with no risk of salmonella after yesterday’s debacle.
About 30 minutes from our Air B n B is the small township of Afareaitu, home to one of the best waterfalls on the island, so naturally we had to go. The track is not well signposted/ not signposted at all so you just have to ask the friendly locals and they will point you in the right direction. We met another couple where we left our scooter, walked for about 30 minutes in the blistering heat only to realize it was the wrong way.
Firstly, I need to start off with, WE GOT A FAN! Our host must have read my blog!
She definitely didn’t but she must have guessed as I look like a melted candle every time she has seen me the past few days. Next, I have to mention that today was incredible! From start to finish it really encapsulated why we decided to do this trip and if every day was like today then we will a couple of happy pandas.
We started off with breakfast which was actually a disaster as our host ran out of gas so we had to boil our eggs this morning just from kettle water (didn’t think possible) and no with toaster we ended up with semi cooked eggs with fridge bread. YUMMMMY! #budgetholiday
Next, we headed to the infamous Lagoonarium of Moorea, which had come highly recommended and is probably the most popular thing to do on the island. Essentially, it’s a lagoon but with thousands of beautiful fish, sting rays, sharks and you can swim with all of them. I wasn’t so sure to begin with but after being in the water for about 30 seconds, I was convinced that it was truly special. It costs 3900francs which is just shy of $60NZD and to be honest is totally worth it as once you are on the island that the magic takes place you can stay the entire day. There is also free coffee/hot choco and tea and if you go in low season then you are given a little tiki hut to store your stuff and chill for the day.
And just like that – it began! We had booked Air Tahiti Nui to fly Auckland to Papeete as part of our connection into Easter Island and then from there to Santiago, and from the second we got on the flight…no complaints. They give you a flower on arrival into the plane, a REAL.LIFE.FLOWER - it was lovely and I even managed to bring back some of my high school French to thank them (appreciation post to Mrs Wylie)
Movie wise they have 23 to choose from and meals were fairly standard but alcohol was free and Leo managed 3 mini’s of champagne so overall it was a winner. The flight was also empty, I reckon only half full so we had the option of spreading out and moving if we wanted to – but as it was our first day traveling we stayed sat together – start as you mean to go on right? 4 hours and 50 minutes later we arrived into the hot, sticky climate of Tahiti.
Greeted with a truly authentic Tahitian welcome, the full plane was serenaded by 3 colorfully dressed locals singing and dancing as we entered the Airport. Even at 11.10pm at night they welcome was awesome. From here, we were picked up by our Air B n B hosts and taken to our house for the evening. PLEASE NOTE** - we are trying to do Tahiti on the cheap as every single person I have spoken to explains how expensive it is…I am trying to change that.