The last two stops on our family summer getaway in June 2011 were Tahiti and Moorea.
We left New Zealand on Sunday, June 5th and arrived in Tahiti on Saturday, June 4th.
That isn’t a typo. Since we crossed back over the International Date Line we got to relive Saturday night.
We checked into the Manava Suite Resort and went to their poolside bar for food and drinks.
It was dark when we arrived so we were excited to see everything the next morning.
Before jumping into the water went to Le Marche, a daily market in the heart of Papeete.
John and I went there in 2004 and couldn’t wait to show Michael and Kelly all of the fruits, vegetables, fresh fish, cakes, pies, clothes, jewelry, etc that filled the two-story open market.
But by the time we arrived they were already closing!
We managed to find a vendor to sell us fresh mangos and bananas and then we walked along the water and found a place for breakfast.
We played in the infinity pool for the rest of the afternoon.
Our flight to Moorea was at 5pm and took about 10 minutes.
Moorea is less developed than Tahiti and has a local family feel.
The island vaguely resembles a heart with two nearly symmetrical bays opening to the north side of the island — Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay.
After reading the rave reviews on Trip Advisor we decided to stay at the Moorea Pearl Resort, just east of Cook’s Bay.
Luxury Link was offering an amazing deal on the overwater bungalows – always check there before booking a hotel somewhere.
Michael and Kelly stayed in bungalow 420 and we stayed next door in 419.
One of the forums we read prior to booking recommended these bungalows for the unobstructed view and privacy.
We spent most of the day out on the back balcony snorkeling, watching fish, and relaxing.
The resort had kayaks we could use anytime, too!
We kayaked over to Cook’s Bay one afternoon:
It was absolutely gorgeous.
And so are the sunsets in Moorea:
The next day we went on an ATV Tour.
After a quick lesson we drove along the coast from Cook’s Bay to Opunohu Bay and then headed towards Belvedere Lookout.
We drove narrow and twisty trails through pineapple fields and lush scenery.
Our guide took us to the Agricultural College at Opunohu where we tasted several different jams and ate the best ice cream ever.
Gardenia ice cream.
Yes, it was as amazing as it sounds.
We got back on the ATVs and drove towards Mount Rotui, otherwise known as Magic Mountain.
Magic Mountain offers a stunning 360° view of Moorea.
The ATV Tour was a great recommendation. It’s the perfect way to see the island!
We spent the rest of the day in our bathing suits.
Until dinner . . .
But then the next morning we got back to important things like snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming.
On our last night, we flew back to Tahiti and ate dinner at Le Lotus, an overwater restaurant at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort.
We had about an hour to kill before we needed to leave for the airport so we sat by the hotel’s pool and watched their Polynesian Show.
We left Tahiti at 11pm, flew to Los Angeles and then back home to Florida via Salt Lake City.
The whole trip from New Zealand to Tahiti was an exhilarating journey and an unforgettable 16 days.
There’s nothing quite like unplugging from life for a few days to go and live it.