Welcome to Moorea

Shaped like a raised baseball glove, Mo’orea is the Society Island’s pineapple growing center.  It’s the major industry here with tourism #2.  In some ways Mo’orea is French Polynesia’s most beautiful island and, some say, the inspiration for the song “Bali Hai” is here.   Mount Roa, 2,499 feet tall, is often called Bali Hai.  Mel Gibson spent 6 months here when he starred as Fletcher Christian in The Bounty.   Mo’orea looks more prosperous than the other islands, and I mentioned in a previous blog that the only real factory I saw was on it.  It also has lots of protected land and the only agricultural school in French Polynesia, the Lycée Agricole.  This school has 300 agricultural students and interns.

Different in many ways, Mo’orea has shrimp farms, stands of bamboo, and many tattoo artists.  It’s the only island we visited that has a drivable interior road, the Opunohu Valley paved two-lane highway that takes many visitors to a sensational viewpoint near its end called the Belvedere Lookout.  Travelers on this road get to see the agriculture school and an ancient marae with resident chickens on their way to the top.  A marae is an old native gathering spot often used for religious festivities.  Many are now archaeological sites.  There’s a popular walking trail through the estate at the school.  A childless couple donated their land to the University of California’s Berkeley campus, so there are marine biology students around too.   Mo’orea’s sights include a ring road, waterfalls, tropical gardens, lots of fine resorts and guest houses, and numerous, breathtaking beaches.

 

Often called Tahiti’s little sister, Mo’orea can be seen from several vantage points on Tahiti Nui’s ring road.  Those who drive its northwest section, get to enjoy this view.  Lots of tourists take the daily catamaran from Pape’ete’s harbor over to visit. It sails 3 to 5 times each day and takes about 45 minutes.  Mo’orea’s circle road is 39 miles long and a big biker lure.  Some hotels provide bikes for guests.  This island’s drier stretch of time is May to October.

Mo’orea is an ancient term meaning “yellow lizard”.  I saw many colorful chickens here, but not a single yellow lizard.

Hank

 

About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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