French Polynesia and Bora Bora
My cruise to French Polynesia; departing Sydney Australia and following 10 days at sea while crossing the international dateline whereby I gained one day in my life I finally made it to French Polynesia.
Stop 1- Papette; the capitol of french Polynesia, located on the island of Tahiti is a crowded bustling town with a lot of traffic and tended to be a little on the seedy side. The majority of activity seemed to be around the port/ferry area ,so for an authentic island experience my small group decided to explore the interior of the island, visiting and driving through the extinct volcano, swimming in a lake and admiring a waterfalls and jungle vegetation. Overall, a rough ride in a 4×4, poor weather and lot of time driving. Following the trip I wandered the Mapuru a Paraita market which featured the standard tourist items..do not put this place on your bucket list.
Stop 2- Moorea, a lovely island with jagged volcanic mountains and black sandy beaches. For this stop we jumped on a ATV for an island tour. Riding up to Mount Rotui which overlooks the picturesque Ōpūnohu Bay was pretty awesome, we drove through a number of pineapple plantations and through a rain forest. This is a lovely island with numerous high end resorts but plenty of road debris throughout which distracted from the amazing scenery.
Stop 3- Bora Bora; the crown jewel and my anticipation was off the charts. The turquoise waters surrounding the island are lovely but the incredible picture perfect scenery around the Majestic Mount Otemanu take the crown. This mountain is simply magical and can be seen from every part of the island “it calls out to you”. I was highly disappointed in my excursion(I will not get into it but read my trip adviser review), but swimming with the sharks and snorkeling in the coral gardens was fun. We traveled the entire lagoon, admired the high end resorts which rested on stilts over the water and had a BBQ lunch on a deserted small island where you could almost walk out to were the ocean meets the reef. Be aware that the town itself is very run down and dirty.