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Pearls, stingrays, sunburn, heat, and swimming. These are all words that will, for me, always conjure up images of my holiday in French Polynesia with my mother. Today I want to share with you all some of our adventure.
Tahiti was our first stop on our French Polynesia adventure. Here we watched cruise ships come and go, watched the locals who are forever exercising, and explored the capital, Pape’ete. One of the first things we did was attend the markets. At the markets you can find everything from fish to sarongs, coconuts to fridge magnets. Dive on in and see what you find! Another stop for us was the Robert Wan Pearl Museum. Here you will learn all about the birth of pearl and the history of pearls in French Polynesia. You will also get to see some amazing and beautiful looking pearls.
Of course, a Tahitian adventure would not be complete without a visit to the Papeete Roulottes or Night Food Market. There are SO MANY different foods to try. I tried swordfish for the first time ever on this night out (YUM). Asian food, seafood, steak, burgers, desserts, all eaten out in the open at night. Such a great experience.While in Pape’ete I highly recommend making some time to go sit by the wharf and watch the cruise ships because they are HUUUUUUGE. And watching the chaos that is a cruise ship pulling up is pretty entertaining.
Our next stop on our French Polynesia adventure was Moorea! To get here we caught the Aremiti which is used by locals and tourists alike to get between the two islands. It isn’t far, you can see Moorea from Tahiti. While staying in Pape’ete we stayed at a cheaper hotel called Hotel Sarah Nui. The location was good, a short walk into town and close enough to the ferry terminal for dragging luggage. However in Moorea we went a little fancier….
Intercontinental Moorea! Heck yes! We had access to our own wee private beach to go snorkelling with tropical fish (take a water-proof camera) and relax on the loungers on our deck. The snorkelling gear is provided free by the hotel. There is also dolphins and a turtle sanctuary, plus plenty of geckos running free. Oh, and a swim up bar. CANNOT forget the swim up bar. So much fun. While in Moorea we did a day trip with Safari Mario Moorea who is hilarious. The tour included pick up and drop off.
“Within these four hours, you will visit the Bay of Cook and Opunohu Bay, you will go around the pineapple fields, and stop to taste all the products made in the distillery Moorea. You will travel to the islands interior with a stop at the Belvedere viewpoint and the marae that were the original Tahitian temples.”
It was a perfect tour. I also did a helmet dive while in Moorea. Walking along the ocean floor was seriously the most uncoordinated I’ve ever been and was pretty amazing but the amazing sea life and sites made up for the embarrassment.
Bora Bora (the most famous of French Polynesia)
To reach Bora Bora we flew by plane which gave us amazingly gorgeous views of the islands and reefs. While in Bora Bora, we stayed in cheaper accommodation called Sunset Hill Lodge which was average at best but the location made up for it! We had excellent views across the ocean and could watch cruise ships coming and going as well as locals going about their day. Walking into Vaitape we hired a wee electric car which we drove around the island stopping at some pretty amazing beaches for a swim along the way. As well as swimming, we also called in at Bloody Mary’s, famous for the amount of, well, famous visitors the restaurant receives.
During our stay at Bora Bora we also went on a glass bottom boat cruise to see the sea life including Manta Rays, reef sharks, and stingrays. At one point we all jumped in with our clothes still on to swim with the stingrays and sharks! StingRays feel completely different to how I imagined. Velvety and soft, and so very friendly creatures! I really love sting rays because of this trip.
The end of our French Polynesia experience drew to a close. We flew back to Pape’ete and stayed fancy for our final night at the Intercontinental. As our flight was leaving late the next day, we paid extra to have the room for the day. We went swimming in the many pools, had a few drinks at the swim up bar, and just relaxed in general. The perfect end and if this post has not convinced you to get travelling, here are five more reasons!
Have you been to French Polynesia? Is it on your bucket list (it should be)?
Let me know in the comments!