Upon arrival to Moorea lsland, we were awestruck
by its natural beauty. Its jagged peaks,
cloaked by lush greenery and encircled by
the deep blue of the ocean and sky are everyone's
dream of Polynesia. Located across the 12
mile Sea of the Moon from Tahiti the 20 sq
mile is a blend of mountain, jungle, lagoon
and sea in a dreamlike landscape.
After a 10 minute boat ride we arrived off
the coast of Motu Fareone. We were kitted
with a large helmet and descended down the
boat ladder to commence our underwater walk
with the stringrays. Our guide fed them so
we had a closeup view and were able to touch
Early Polynesians named this island Tahiti-Iti,
meaning the little fish of Tahiti. It has
also been known as Almeo and Fe’e.
It’s only in recent times that the
island was named Moorea.
Moorea is a rugged mountainous island roughly
triangular in shape, measuring approximately
10 miles (16 km) on each side. The lush tropical
vegetation, white sandy beaches and small
villages spread along the coast make the
37 mile (60 km) drive along the island's
coastal road most pleasurable.
The coral reef surrounding the island is
approximately half to three quarters of a
mile from shore and has many areas to pass,
unlike some of the other Society lslands.
Geologically the island is an ancient Volcano
whose northern side has been down faulted
by the sea. Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay
on the North coast are old craters taken
by the sea. Both Bays have been used by many
film makers as backdrops for their productions.
Over millions of years the island has eroded
into cliffs and jagged peaks. Perhaps the
most famous peak to be seen on the island
is that of Mouaroa, better known to many
as Mitchener's ‘Bali Hai’.
Belvedere vista point offers spectacular
views of the magnificent Bays, Peaks and
Valleys of the North side.
After Tahiti and Bora Bora, Moorea receives
the greatest number of visitors, not only
tourists but also inhabitants of Tahiti who
enjoy spending their weekends and vacations
on its white sand beaches.