You know that question that you always get asked? Where is the one place on Earth you have to go to before you die? My answer for many years now has been a tiny little volcanic island in French Polynesia that very few ordinary, non-travel obsessed people have ever heard of. Abundant in rainforest, over-water bungalows, turquoise shallows with fine white sand, vibrant coral reefs, coconut groves and baby Blacktip reef sharks, the South Pacific island of Mo’orea looks and sounds like Eden.
A trip to Mo’orea will see you landing first in Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport, from which Mo’orea is just a 30-minute boat ride, costing only $15. It sounds like the perfect day trip, but a day isn’t enough. Mo’orea has some of the most breathtaking luxury accommodation, and though staying for a night or two in a paradisiacal island resort can easily range anywhere from $500+ per night, visitors guarantee that there are very few places that measure up. The Hilton Mo’orea Lagoon Resort, for example, boasts its own private private lagoon, and you can rent a bike to explore the tropical paradise.
There are numerous things to do in Mo’orea. Rent a kayak and float over to Coco Beach, stopping to eat at the beach front restaurant, where coconut milk is used in almost every dish. Watch traditional Polynesian dancers at the Tiki Village Cultural Center, visit a turtle sanctuary, and of course, swim with the gentle sharks and stingrays that circle the island. When you’re not wading through the turquoise waters looking for colourful corals, the Gili Artisanal Mules are the ideal island exploring shoe.