"MOOREA MAP, borrowed from The Tahiti Traveller website.
I love Moorea, one of the Society Islands, a bit more than 130 square kilometres and 17 km far from Tahiti, to the north-west! After Bora Bora and its lagoon, it's my favourite Tahiti island; and in some aspects (less touristy, calmer and quiter) is even better than Bora. Seen from the sky, its shape looks like a fork or a trident, with its two almost symmetrical bays on the north side: Opunohu Bay and Cook's (or Paopao) Bay. The island is of volcanic origin, and it is said that both bays were formerly river basins that filled during the searise. Some, however, would claim that the bays are the result of the work of the tail of a giant yellow lizard, the meaning of moorea in Tahitian language..."
"GETTING CLOSER - Early morning, after capturing the rising sun, we were sailing towards Moorea"
"ENTERING Opunohu Bay"
"ANCHORED - The Tahitian Princess dropped anchor at Opunohu Bay - the same that was actually used by James Cook from September 30th to October 11th, 1777 - and from where Mount Tohiea (1,207 m) could be seen"
"OPUNOHU BAY - As soon as the tender brought us inland, we rented a car and headed to the Belvedere viewpoint, from where we had a beautiful view of the bays, and enough time to enjoy, before the bus tours with all other cruise companions from the Tahitian Princess (that can be seen in the middle picture) crowded the site"
"COOK'S or PAOPAO BAY - The other bay is also beautiful, and its shoreline is even nicer than Opunohu!"
"FLOWERS - Moorea is sometimes also called «the Garden Island», since it is covered with trees and wonderful flowers, and many residents maintain beautiful gardens"
"DESERT BEACH - Amazingly, though there were many tourists in the island, some spots were desert, except for the ladies with the cameras. This beautiful white sand beach was on the north side, near the airport"
"YACHT - Many people anchor their yachts in the lagoon"
"WINDY SEA, QUIET LAGOON. It is said that Charles Darwin was inspired for his theory regarding the formation of coral atolls when looking towards Moorea from a high peak on Tahiti. He described it as a picture in a frame"
"BLUE COLOUR SHOW - The lagoon colours are always beautiful, and the fare from the Ia Ora Sofitel Hotel helped dreams come true"
"FERRY - The reef in Moorea has twelve different passes, including the one seen in the pictures near Vaiare, a village that stands at the foot of the mount Mouaputa, also called «the Sacred Mountain». Several ferries, including a fast catamaran (35 minutes) come to the Vaiare wharf daily from Papeete. Actually, because of its stunning scenery and accessibility, Moorea is visited by many tourists as well as, in weekends, by many residents in Papeete, who come here for the nice white sand beaches. It's also popular as a honeymoon destination, for those interested!
The 1980s film The Bounty (starring Mel Gibson, Anthony Hopkins, and Daniel Day Lewis, among others) was mostly filmed on and around the island, despite the fact that the Bounty was actually in Matavai Bay, Tahiti, and never visited Moorea..."
"SOFITEL HOTEL - First stop for a swim. It seems that the hotel is no longer called Sofitel Ia Ora Moorea. It has been completely renovated and was renamed to Sofitel Moorea Beach Resort! It reopened on November 1, 2006. Anyhow, in 2004, it was not that bad for a short morning break, with a visit to the bar and a swim in the lagoon waters..."