• BILLABONG TRAVELS: MOOREA, TAHITI

Known for its lush, rugged landscape, azure lagoons and rich culture, Moorea is a French Polynesian paradise. As we approached the island from Tahiti, emerald cliffs emerged from the ocean and had us rubbing our eyes in disbelief. This was the place we would spend the next few days exploring and shooting our spring campaign – a bikini kinda life…


Hightlights:
• Visit the Tiki Village for a culture experience. The site features a traditional village and pearl farm with demonstrations on weaving, dance, carving and you can feast on a delicious meal from a Tahitian earth oven.
• Swim with and feed sharks and stingrays among a frenzy of colourful tropical fish
• Hire a bike or a scooter and ride around the shoreline, taking in the lush scenery and stopping to enjoy local shops and secluded beaches.
• Hit the beach! Opunohu Bay or Temae Beach 
are surrounded by jagged green mountainside, tall coconut trees and translucent blue waters, relax, swim, soak up the sunshine… you know the drill.
• Moorea is beautiful from any angle, but a hike to Belvedere Lookout through tropical forests, pineapple plantations and past waterfalls will reward you with incredible views of Mount Rotui, Mount Tohivea, Mount Mouaroa, the Caldeira Valley and Cook's and Opunohu Bays. Close to the lookout you’ll find Titiroa Marae (sacred stone structures where Māori people practiced their religion) as well as the larger Afareiato Marae. Once the community's central hub, this is where everything from human sacrifices to cultural festivals took place.

Stay:
Tahiti is the ultimate exotic island getaway, but a stay on Moorea and other French Polynesian Islands doesn't have to break the bank; affordable guesthouses and budget hotels blend well with the opulent resorts. Our pick was the Sofitel Moorea la Ora Beach Resort. Think over water bungalows, incredible snorkeling literally at your doorstep, friendly, helpful staff, hammocks under palm trees on pristine beaches and a beautiful view of Tahiti. Yep, paradise!

Eat:
Our favourites were…
• Poisson Cru - raw fish marinated in citrus juice and coconut milk
• Fresh pineapple and other tropical fruits from roadside stalls
• Mahi Mahi burgers from Snack Rotui on Cooks Bay

Pack:
No doubt you’ll spend most of your time in a bikini, but there’s a few other things you wont want to forget…
• Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat)
• Bug repellent - just in-case
• Phrase book or brush up on some French before you set off (the locals will appreciate your attempt at their native tongue, although most speak English)
• Reusable water bottle, you’ll stay hydrated while adventuring and help the environment at the same time!
• Snorkel and mask – you can hire them but you’ll be glad you packed a good quality set of your own!
• A breezy summer dress
• Comfy shorts
• Easy tees or a singlet
• Sandals & footwear to hike in
• Plus something a bit nicer for a fancy dinner.
• All the usual essentials in travel size: shampoo, conditioner, after-sun lotion and don’t forget your toothbrush.

Getting there:
Moorea is a 10-minute flight or short boat ride from Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui departs from all Australian capital cities daily. Find out more at www.airtahitinui.com


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A big thank you to tahiti-tourisme.com