More about Moorea
Why go to Moorea?
Spectacular rugged mountains are the island's scenic drawcard
The lagoon is not as invitingly blue as Bora Bora's
Plenty to do on land and sea, but renting a car or scooter will add to the experience
Moorea Cruise Port Facilities?
Merchants set up tables of shell jewelry, key chains, pareos and other wallet-friendly souvenirs at each tender drop-off spot on the island. There are also a few cafes, pizza parlours and shops in Cook's Bay -- but that's about it. Remember, you're in Moorea to get away from it all.
Good to Know?
Chickens cross the road! Moorea is sleepy and safe; apart from sunburn and mosquito bites there's little to fear. Still, practice common sense especially if renting motor scooters.
By Car: Driving around Moorea is easy and a fun way to spend a day in port. The island's coastal road is 40 miles (63 km) long and there are only a few roads that venture into the island's interior -- the main one wanders up to the Belvedere Lookout for amazing views. As in Tahiti, distances are measured by Pointes Kilometre markers, called PK, which begin at 0 at the airport and are numbered both clockwise and anti- or counter-clockwise. For example, the Hilton Resort, located between the two bays on the north coast, is located at PK13 counter-clockwise on maps. You'll get the idea once you start driving. Avis (689-40-56-32-68), Europcar (689-40-56-28-64) and the family-owned Albert Rent-a-Car (689-40-55-21-10) rent cars from around 90 Euro a day at Vaiare and other locations across the island; advance reservations are highly recommended and prices are seasonal. Local car rental agencies gather at the pier, as do renters of bicycles and scooters. There is virtually no public transportation on Moorea, and taxis are expensive. Even hitching a ride is chancy as there is so little traffic, although it is perfectly safe
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
The local currency is the French Pacific franc, which is written as CFP in shops, and on currency exchange websites as XPF. Banque de Polynesie ATM is located in Le Petit Village, the island's main shopping area on the north-west coast of the island.
French and Tahitian are the official languages. Some locals speak English, but don't count on it. Carry an English/French dictionary or phrase book.
Where You're Docked?
Ships anchor off the town of Vaiare on the east coast -- or in Cook's Bay or Opunohu Bay on the northern coast -- and tenders passengers to makeshift villages that spring to life only when ships are in.