Travel Diaries - Moorea
by photographer Tia Duck. www.TDKCreative.com.au
It was three o’clock. I knew this because I had been watching that old white office clock tick away since two. Was that right? Had I seriously been staring at this wall for an hour? Was I expecting the clock to tick faster?
I’ll stop there because this conversation went on inside my head for a lot longer than I’m proud of! Time is strange like that..it flies when we’re desperate for it to move slowly and adopts a snail’s pace when all we want to do is escape the office and find some sun, someplace to sigh in.
I’ll be the first to admit at this point in time I was feeling a bit sorry for myself. Being spring on the Australian East Coast there really wasn’t anything substantial to complain about, however I always seemed to embrace a challenge. The swell had been flat for days, ocean temperatures were arctic and I could have sworn it was months since id had a good avocado. First world problems? Definitely. Was I letting my mood affect me? Absolutely. Were my friends sick of it? Well, my walking group took up jogging..so..it was time for a holiday.
Desperate for warmers waters and to break out of these post winter blues, I wrangled Josie Prendergast, Felicity Palmateer and Billabong to help me get a trip organised! Our holiday necessities were unanimously sun, surf, nature and coconuts and it didn’t take long before we had decided on French Polynesia. With an array of islands and atolls to choose from, it became very confusing very quickly, so we enlisted the help of Tahiti Tourism..an encyclopaedia of knowledge on this area and your go to team for any trip to French Polynesia!
It wasn’t long before the island of Moorea became our final destination and suddenly time began to pick up pace. Before we knew it, Air Tahiti Nui were prepping us for landing and the team from South Pacific Transport were placing fragrant frangipani leis about our necks.
Our time on the mainland of Tahiti was brief. An overnight stay at the Pearl Beach Resort and some sneaky room service cured any remnants of jetlag and come morning we were on a ferry to Moorea.
Stepping foot on Moorea is like stepping out of a shell. The sound of turquoise waters lapping against a coral filled shoreline, slowly removes any trace of stress you may be bringing to the island. Worries are not welcome here and the ferry seems to tug them away as it pulls out of dock back to the mainland. Magic? Maybe…whether it be the beat of a Tahitian drum or the smile a Tahitian man, it works!
Our first glimpses of Moorea in full were from our accommodation at The Legends Residence. The view from their villas is nothing short of spectacular and the comfort of waking to tropical birds serenading you from sleep is surely the best alarm clock I’ve ever experienced!
Fearing I could easily write a book on the beauty of Moorea, it’s probably best we break it down for you a little bit
Seriously? Why not seems like a more appropriate question! This island is incredible! Encompassing holiday options for any breed of traveller out there, Moorea accommodates those who want to relax and unwind, explore and find adventure, reconnect with a partner or even just themselves. The local guides, residents and workers on Moorea ensure your tropical experience is one to remember.
Where to eat?
If you love to cook, we can recommend exploring the island of an afternoon. Whether by moped, rental car or push bike, you can make your way around the island in an afternoon and as you do, discover the abundance of local fruit and vegetables stalls, along with fresh fish caught that very morning. If you prefer eating out, try the MahiMahi at Coco Beach Restaurant or the Poison cru at the Sofitel Resort. The Holy Cow restaurant has some great vegetarian options also.
What to do?
Wanting to experience all Moorea has to offer? There are three local tours you simply cannot miss. Yvette from Moorea VIP Tours is absolutely incredible. She is unsurpassable as a tour guide and enriched with years of local knowledge on the islands within French Polynesia. We recommend tailoring a tour with Yvette and making sure you pay the pineapple plantation and local agricultural school a visit. If you think you’ve had fresh fruit or coconut water, this place will blow your mind. To truly experience the exterior of Moorea, Arnaud from Voila Moorea is your go to guide. His catamaran, ‘Taboo’ is very comfortable and proved to be the perfect vessel to visit enormous Stingrays, swim in crystal clear lagoons and explore ancient Tahitian artefacts below the surface.
Last but so far from least, Jerome from Moorea Deep Blue Whale tours. This once in a lifetime opportunity is a tour not to be missed. Please listen carefully to your guides and enjoy these incredible animals from the appropriate distance.
What to Pack?
Billabong has your wardrobe covered, from the beach to the bar there is everything to keep you comfortable in style. A good pair of reef shoes never goes astray, especially if you are the curious type and love to explore. Arrow Divine provided the perfect jewels to compliment day and night attire and with an amazing range of gemstones and silver to choose from, we quickly fell head over heels for their summer 2016 range.
If you struggle to sleep on planes, don’t forget an intriguing read – books have been proven to assist in regular sleep patterns and increase healthy brain activity. Our choice for this trip was Surf Sisters by Laurine Croasdale.
And finally skin care, an absolute necessity for any tropical climate. SPF, Alovera and Aeroguard are a must, along with a rich moisturiser. Try Buddy and Me’s coconut body butter to keep your skin smooth form tip to toe.
LOVE THE OUTFIT?
So when do we leave?
Most flights from Australia stopover in Auckland NZ briefly before continuing on to Papeete, Tahiti. We recommend tailoring your journey with Tahiti Tourism, flying with Tahiti Air Nui and renting a car on Moorea with Avis Car Rentals. This will give you the freedom to explore Moorea at your leisure and scope the perfect wave.
The P earl Beach Resort on Tahiti’s mainland is a wonderful hotel to spend time in before and after your island adventure. On Moorea we stayed with The Legends Residence , who provide fully equipped villas , incredible views and have a wonderful restaurant situated right at their front gates.
How to describe Moorea... conveying the authentic beauty of this island in words doesn't seem possible. Every sentence i write doesn't quite do justice to just how white the coral beaches are, or how clear the ocean is at noon when the warmth of a tropical sun kisses it's surface. Closing my eyes i can still feel Moorea's afternoon breeze.. It playfully dances through the palm trees as they sway to the beat of an afternoon ukulele and lingers by the lagoon of Cook's Bay as laughter echo's from the gathered friends and families. By day you will see giants embrace Moorea's waters, animals you were convinced only existed in dreams or books or paintings. By night you will forget why anything you ever let worry you did just that - unwind to the beat of the Tahitian music, fall in love with a smile, dance until your feet ache and then fall to sleep having lived to an extent you didn't realise you could.
My passport pages call for the stamp of Tahiti and i know Moorea is the underlying reason. Salt water fills these veins, and i will always love a Bikinikindalife - stay tropical, stay warm, stay smiling, visit Moorea xx
LOVE THE OUTFIT?
We would like to thank the sponsors involved in making this trip a reality.
Billabong Womens Australia
Tahiti Tourism http://tahiti-tourisme.com
Air Tahiti Nui http://airtahitinui.com
The Legends Residence Moorea http://www.tahiti.com/hotels/legends-resort-moorea-2973
The Pearl Beach Resort, Tahiti http://www.tahitipearlbeach.pf/en
Friends and fellow contributors include..
Arrow Divine http://www.arrowdivine.com
Moorea VIP Tours http://mooreaviptours.com/
Sailing with Arnaud on ‘Taboo’ http://www.voilamoorea.com/
Deep Blue Moorea http://www.moorea-deepblue.com
Laurine Croasdale http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781742625034
Buddy and Me https://buddyandme.com.au