If you've been dreaming of holiday-brochure turquoise lagoons, white-sand beaches, vertical peaks and lush landscapes, you'd be hard-pressed to find better than this gem of an island. Hovering less than 20km across the 'Sea of the Moon' from its big sister, Tahiti, Mo'orea absorbs its many visitors so gracefully that its feels surprisingly nontouristy.
Mo’orea has a healthy selection of top-end resorts, but it is also host to a good choice of smaller hotels. There are pretty white-sand beaches, but nothing big and sweeping. The drawcard is the limpid, warm water of the vibrant lagoon. If you need some action, learn to kitesurf, take a hike, go on a whale- or dolphin-watching tour, hire a bike or a kayak, or go horse riding. Whatever the experience, there’s only one word to describe Mo’orea: divine!
- Getting lost in Opunohu Valley, with its ancient marae (traditional temples), breathtaking vistas and hidden walking paths.
- Paddling to Motu Tiahura from Hauru Point for lunch at Coco Beach.
- Taking an unforgettable hike to Mt Mouaputa.
- Sampling tropical delights at Moorea Tropical Garden.
- Diving amid a concentration of lemon sharks in Opunohu Bay.
- Savouring fabulous lagoon vistas from the Magical Mountain.
When to Go
- November to April are the wetter months.
- From May to October it’s usually much drier – perfect for outdoor activities, especially hiking.
- July and August are fairly windy and may be chilly when the mara'amu (southeast trade wind) blows.
- Diving and surfing are popular year-round
- The whale-watching season runs from July or August to October.