Your Ultimate Mo’orea Travel Guide to Nature

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Head northwest from Tahiti in French Polynesia and you’ll reach Mo’orea, the closest of what is referred to as the Society Islands archipelago. It’s incredibly accessible in thirty minutes  on the Aremiti Ferry from Tahiti’s port in Pape’ete, the capital. 

Mo’orea is known for its jagged volcanic mountains and sandy beaches. In the north, Mount Rotui overlooks the breathtaking Ōpūnohu Bay and the settlements around Cook’s Bay. Inland, you can have picnics in the mountains, take in the beauty of the pineapple plantations or hike along trails that wind through rainforests on Mount Tohivea’s awe-inspiring slopes. Then there’s the ever so stunning Belvedere Lookout, which provides panoramic views of the island’s peaks, Tahiti and beyond. 

Let’s take a look at this Mo’orea Guide to all things nature and for more reading fun, be sure to check out our Mo’orea & Tahiti Travel Guide to Water and the Tahiti Travel Guide to Land.

Taken in the pineapple plantations on the Safari Tour

Mo’orea Safari Tour    

The so called Safari Tour in Mo’orea takes in quite a bit over the course several hours, from the water and ground level to the highest peaks on the island, including a trek up to Magic Mountain, which can only be reached via a 4×4 cruiser.

Mo'orea travel guide

An afternoon with a perfect sky

Pineapple Plantations

Like many islands in the South Pacific, the weather can be dramatically different in the morning than the afternoon. Cloudy one hour and sunny and clear the next.  Over the course of four or so hours, we headed to Opunohu and Cook’s Bay and stopped off at a pineapple plantation that combed a mountain, complete with breathtaking views. Nearby, there’s also a juice factory where you can get some freshly squeezed juice and get a tour.

Mo'orea travel guide

There was more cloud coverage in the morning

They refer to the area where the pineapples grow as the “crater of the island.”

Moorea travel guide

Moorea travel guide

Moorea travel guide

Bananas grow near the pineapple plantation on the Safari tour in Mo’orea

Moorea travel guide

Raw beauty ahead

Mo'orea travel guide

Circling around through the mountains, pineapple plantations and forests of Mo’orea

Moorea travel guide

Moorea travel guide

Mo'orea travel guide

Mo’oreas mountains

Mo'orea travel guide

Pineapple can be found throughout the island, but particularly near the main plantations

Lunch on a Private Beach in Temae

Fresh Fruit and coconut can be found everywhere. Our tour stopped off at a private beach in Temae where we had fresh punch, local beer, water, tropical juices and of course pineapples, pink and yellow grapefruit and passion fruit and of course bananas.  

Moorea travel guide

Fresh bananas, passion fruit, pineapple (they say the sweetest around) and grapefruit on the Safari tour

Moorea travel guide

Private beach

Moorea travel guide

A private pristine beach in Temae

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Beach time in Mo’orea

Moorea travel guide

Pure bliss!!

Moorea travel guide

Fresh fruit on the beach

Moorea travel guide

Rocks and shells of Mo’orea

mo'orea travel guide

Tea anyone, bamboo style?

Mo'orea travel guide

Women weave baskets and trays all the time for use with carrying things and serving food and other items

Mo'orea travel guide

Shell love

Mo'orea travel guide

The views are spectacular in all directions

Mo'orea travel guide

The safari 4 wheel drive truck used during our tour with Enjoy Mo’orea to get up the mountains and onto back dirt roads a car wouldn’t be able to make

Mo'orea travel guide

Lounging on a private pristine rocky beach

The palm tree view as we were leaving one of many pristine off-the-beaten path beaches here.

mo'orea travel guide

Pristine palm trees swaying in the wind

Magic Mountain

Magic Mountain offers one of the best panorama view of the island. The drive to get there of course is equally beautiful as you traverse through plantations, lush forests and rolling green valleys.

Mo'orea travel guide

The mountains change as the clouds change

Mo'orea Travel Guide

Another truck along side the road as we made our way through the plantations

Mo'orea travel guide

In the afternoon, the clouds began to form as we headed towards Magic Mountain, which is a rough climb in a 4×4 jeep. If a jarring journey isn’t your thing, you may want to skip this part, however if you’re the adventurous type, you’ll love it as much as I did.

Mo'orea travel guide

As the sky gets dramatic, so too do the mountains

Mo'orea travel guide

Before a storm in Mo’orea

Mo'orea Travel Guide

Walking up to Magic Mountain right before the rains

Mo'orea travel guide

The view at the top of Magic Mountain on a cloudy day

Moorea travel guide

The travel journalists and photographers in my group on the top of Magic Mountain

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Climbing Magic Mountain in the rain

The Marae

We stopped at the largest “marae” in the area, which is an important part of traditional Polynesian culture. 

“A place of dread and great silence was the marae,” — Teuira Henry from Ancient Tahiti, published in 1928.

If you ask a local Tahitian, they’ll tell you that they heard about the marae from their grandparents, which is essentially a sacred area, often a stone platform, where men of the community met and sourced their inspiration and decisions. It is where Tahitian Gods communicated to locals about things that mattered to them in their work, at home and in the community. Apparently to violate the marae and its ancient wisdom was to “call down the Gods’ wrath.”

In the heart of Opunohu Valley, they discovered over 550 structures and 100 maraes, the most renowned one at the end of a road leading up to Opunohu Bay. Here we stopped for a bit of history to learn about the largest of the valley’s maraes: Titiroa (or Ti‘i-rua) which is roughly 36 metres in length. I won’t lie to you — I could sense and feel the sacredness of the land as we stood there and marveled at the natural beauty of the trees and stone structures.

mo'orea travel guide

The dense and beautiful vegetation of Mo’orea

The trees are ancient and if you stand there long enough, one of them may just talk to you. You can walk around the marae, which I’d recommend. You’ll find the remains of the altar at one end of the marae and on the other, an area where the chiefs, priests and high beings would sit at the time.

Mo'orea travel guide

Trees in the largest marae in Mo’orea

Mo'orea travel guide

Everything is so vibrant, lush and green

Mo'orea travel guide

The history of the marae speaks to you if you take the time to silent your mind and listen

The View at Belvedere

Any tour you take will bring you to Belvedere, the highest point of view in Mo’orea where you can enjoy a 360 view of the mountains and lush landscape around you.

Mo'orea Travel Guide

Breathtaking 360 views at the Belvedere Look Out Point

Mo'orea travel guide

The views at Belvedere Look Out

Mo'orea travel guide

Cloud formations changing in real time at Belvedere Look Out in Mo’orea

The Tiki Village

There’s a fun and upbeat Tahitian culture center in Mo’orea that offers a buffet dinner and live performances by traditional dancers. During the day however, the Tiki Village offers classes, so you can learn how to make classic Tahitian dishes like Poisson Cru or how to weave a traditional basket.

Mo'orea travel guide

Learning how to prepare delicious Poisson Cru, or E’ia Ota (Tahitian lime-marinated tuna) at the Tiki Village

Tiki Village mo'orea travel guide

The finished product. And, it was so delicious!

At the Tiki Village mo'orea travel guide

At the Tiki Village

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You can eat right on the beach

Lunch at the Tiki Village — they offer plenty of fresh fish options, including one of the most popular dishes in Tahiti and Mo’orea – seared or raw tuna.

Mo'orea travel guide

Seared tuna and sashimi

Seared tuna mo'orea travel guide

More seared tuna with papaya salad and fresh lime

Mo'orea travel guide

The beach front at the Tiki Village

Mo'orea travel guide

Basket weaving class in the outdoor ampitheatre

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Examples of some of the woven platters our group created during the basket weaving class

Mo'orea travel guide

Throughout the Tiki Village, you can see some of the more traditional Tahitian items used in ceremony and in every day life, from head dresses and drums, to guitars, banjos, sarongs, flowers, jewelry and more.

Ziplining Mo’orea Style

With mountains as beautiful as these, you’d hope that there’s a place to go ziplining, right? There is a place to zipline over and through these magical trees but it’s relatively new. As for the views, they are breathtaking in all directions.

mo'orea travel guide

Breathtaking views in all directions

mo'orea travel guide

The clouds, the skies, the trees — all of them are magical when you take the time to listen and feel their energy.

Mo'orea travel guide

Inside the parc

mo'orea travel guide

Regardless of the weather, you’ll feel the natural beauty of Mo’orea and French Polynesia

Called Tiki Parc Mo’orea, this attraction is located in the heart of Opunohu Valley and surrounded by all the peaks of the island. Here, you can swing from tree to tree.

Funnily enough, when you Google them, it says they are located on Unnamed Road in Paopao”, which is kinda how it felt when we arrived. Our car dropped us off on a dirt road and we had to walk around ten minutes on a trail up to the start of the zipline course but that walk is a beautiful one, so no complaints here.

They offer 22 ziplines and the maximum length is 120 meters. There’s also another section that they’re building now for kids to play in and hang out and for family members not doing the zipline course. Luckily for me, the founder gave me a private tour.

Mo'orea travel guide ziplining

French born, I learn about his previous gigs running ziplining parks and centers

He wears a necklace that seemed sacred — it was given to him by his girlfriend’s Tahitian family! No wonder I could feel the energy from several feet away.

mo'orea travel guide

I love how Tahitians are so connected to the Earth and traditional customs

Mo'orea travel guide

More breathtaking views

Mo'orea travel guide

Another course they are in the process of building

Mo'orea travel guide

Course in progress

Mo'orea travel guide

Natural beauty at its best

Mo'orea travel guide

We were untethered during my “private” tour but you’d typically have a rope attached to your waist, similar to what you’d use during ziplining.

The height acrobatic trail is a dedicated entertainment area where you can walk above land – in a more or less acrobatic way – over or between trees and other natural or manufactured landscape. It is spread over a number of courses and each is identified by different colored symbols.

Mo'orea travel guide ziplining

The Mo’orea mountains are always surprising you with their appearances and re-appearances in the background

Mo'orea

Imagine working with a view like this throughout your day? THIS my friends is their office, set among the trees. Amazing, right?

Mo'orea travel guide

The office, set among the trees with breathtaking views

Mo'orea travel guide

The team at Tiki Parc Mo’orea

Renee Blodgett

Founder

Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.

Source: weblogtheworld