French Polynesia: Touring Mo’orea

We arrived in Mo’orea with the last ferry of the day, a half hour trip from Papeete. We hopped in the bus, and were at our accomodation quite quickly.

The next morning, Jenk went for a canoe ride from our accomodation’s beach to the island across from us. This is where the Lagoonarium is located, which has the best reef of Mo’orea.

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The explorer
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The relaxer

In the afternoon, we rented a scooter to tour around the island. First stop: Temea beach!

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Nice palms at Temea beach

The beach at Temea is the best of the island (in our opinion). Plus you can snorkel here.

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Blue blue blue

We then drove on to Cook’s bay, before heading inland to see the many pineapple plantations.

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Pao Pao viewpoint at Cook’s bay
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Breath-taking views from the pineapple fields

As we drove up the hill towards Belvedere viewpoint, we passed several ancient temples.

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Marae Titiroa

The views from Belvedere were stunning! The number of mosquitos as well unfortunately…

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Great views over Cook bay (right) and Opunohu bay (left)
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Mountains with Opunohu bay
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Coming down from Belvedere, we saw this impressive view from the grassland below

We went on to Sunset beach for a short swim, but weren’t too impressed. So we drove on to the Cultural Village, and stopped there to see the sunset. The calm sea and the views were amazing.

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As we rented the scooter for 24 hours, we drove back to Temea beach the next morning. Some sun and salt in our hair were called for. We even got a curious visitor!

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Stingray saying hello

The afternoon was spent snorkeling in front of our accomodation (saw 3 turtles!), and with laundry duty.

Our last day in Mo’orea arrived, and we decided to go next door to the Lagoonarium. It’s quite pricey as you pay around 40 dollars to be able to snorkel Mo’orea’s best reef.

But once we were there, we realized why. There are lots of fish, rays and sharks, attracted by the strong currents bringing in nutrients from the ocean. We played with stingrays, saw black-tip sharks up close, and lots of other interesting stuff.

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Touching a stingray!
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Curious stingray coming to investigate us

The Lagoonarium feeds the animals twice daily, and when this happens, a feeding frenzy follows.

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Very, very close to sharks and feeding rays
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Jenk is not food
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Colourful fish aplenty
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Shark!

After the first feeding was over, we went to discover the reef.

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Black clownfish with blue stripes! We’ve never seen them outside Mo’orea
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Interesting bright red fish hiding with his green mate in the coral
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A feeding coral crab
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There are lots of these giant shells here!

Soon, it was time for the second feeding. There were many more sharks this time. We counted a total of 16 at one time.

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Jenk with a school of feeding sharks
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The snorkel died, but that doesn’t stop us

Just as we got out of the water exhausted, they threw the remaining food in the shallows with us. The sharks and rays went nuts.

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Shark on the right caught the fish!

One shark was so hungry, he thought our GoPro was food, and decided to test it. Fortunately, the GoPro survived without a scratch.

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The shark about to try out our GoPro. There’s teeth!

On that high note, we left the Lagoonarium behind. We took the ferry back to Papeete to catch the flight to our next destination: New Zealand!

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