If you are looking for adventure, you’ll find dozens of things to do in Moorea, the French Polynesian island paradise located in the South Pacific. Located to the northwest of Tahiti, this majestic location rises up out of the ocean in lush jungle-covered mountain spires surrounded by pristine beaches and luxury hotels, fit for any beach-goers ideal vacation dream come true.
Whether you’re seeking a relaxing time spent lounging in the sun on the pristine beaches or you desire something a little more adventurous or action packed, you will find so many unique and exciting things to do in Moorea!
Things to do in Moorea on your trip!
1. Climb Mount Magic for 360 degree views of Moorea
By far one of the most popular things to do in Moorea is to climb to the top of Magic Mountain for breathtaking views of the island.
Filled with lush jungles and surrounded by the picturesque blue waters of the South Pacific Ocean, the island is an exotic paradise filled with majestic scenery. Hiking through the lush green of the jungle, you’ll encounter so many unique and exotic flora and fauna and the views from the top make the effort well worth it!
If you aren’t feeling particularly athletic, another option is to join a tour group! There are tour vans, buses and by far the most exciting, ATV tours! There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as zipping through the remote jungle paths on an all terrain vehicle, and the majestic views at the end are a bonus that will leave you breathless!
2. Swim alongside sharks and stingrays
Just a few minutes off the shore of the island is a smaller islet that proves to be one of the most exciting things to do in Moorea. Without a doubt, the opportunity to swim with sharks and stingrays is one of the most unique things available and is considered a top attraction for the area.
The Lagoonarium is rife with marine wildlife and the structured feeding times bring in all sorts of exciting creatures for an up close and personal encounter. Be sure to bring a snorkel and dive mask so that you can get even closer to the action as the guides and staff put food in the ocean waters to attract these surprisingly gentle creatures to come even closer in hordes.
Even if this is an experience you would not usually seek out, it is one of the most popular things to do in Moorea, and even those who claim they would never do this later claim it was one of the highlights of the trip and recommend it to everyone who is traveling to this area of the French Polynesian islands.
3. Dive deep along the coral reefs
This island paradise is surrounded on almost all sides by vivid and stunning coral reefs, so one of the musts on any list of things to do in Moorea is to experience this in person, up close. Whether you have experience diving or not, you will find a number of groups and companies offering lessons, equipment and guides to help you explore the reefs surrounding the island.
Because of the warm waters and vibrant coral reefs, the amount of marine life that you can see on these adventures is absolutely stunning. Reports of sea turtles, six foot black tipped sharks, manta rays and stingrays and hundreds of varieties of tropical fish can be seen, as well as the many different varieties of coral reefs that these creatures call home.
If diving is too extreme for you, another of the most popular things to do in Moorea is to snorkel in the shallower waters just off the beach. Marvel at such exotic fish types as clownfish, angelfish and parrot fish just steps off the shore!
4. Road trip around Moorea
The main highway of the island goes around the entire circumference and the drive can be done in just under an hour and a half. For this reason, road tripping is another one of the amazing things to do in Moorea!
Being able to drive the entire way around the island gives you access to incredible views from all sides, including the jagged jungle covered peaks of the dormant volcanic mountain that created Moorea in the first place!
There are a number of grocery stores to grab things for a picnic, or if you’d rather, there are numerous roadside stops and restaurants to choose from along the jaunt. Because it takes so little time to make the entire trip, you will have ample time to stop as often as possible to admire the ever-changing views and breathtaking scenery that covers this majestic island paradise.
5. Embrace the local culture of Moorea
The Polynesian culture of the area is one of the most unique and intriguing aspects of the island and embracing and experiencing this culture is one of the top things to do in Moorea.
Almost every major resort on the island hosts evening dinner experiences with live entertainment of the mesmerizing dance, music and song of the Polynesian people who originally settled the area thousands of years ago.
You will also be able to sample the rich and delicious cuisine native to the Polynesians, which of course highlights the plentiful bounty of the sea that surrounds the island. In addition, fruits and vegetables prepared as an homage to the rich culture of the native islanders can be found on almost every single menu on the island.
From flower headdresses to delicious cuisine, thrilling dances and heart-racing music, the culture of Moorea is a unique and exciting aspect of the area that you simply can’t miss while spending time there.
6. Hike to Belvedere Lookout
Another way to get up close and personal with the unique and breathtaking scenery of the island is to adventure to Belvedere Lookout.
An added benefit is that you can reach this area by car, making it simultaneously one of the easiest and most stunning of things to do in Moorea. From this lookout point, you can see for miles over the thick jungle canopy at the distant mountains, or for a more in-depth view of the lush vegetation, you can take one of the many walking and hiking paths that can be found starting from this point.
These paths travel deeper into the forest and bring you to such sights as giant old growth jungle trees, rivers, and scenic vistas of the lush, exotic jungles of the island. Being able to walk deep into these tropical forests is one of the best things to do in Moorea to truly embrace this exotic paradise of the French Polynesian islands.
7. Swim with the dolphins in the ocean waters
Located within the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea is the Dolphin Center and Turtle Care Center where you can observe and interact with sea life!
The Dolphin Center is a large, well-maintained lagoon where visitors are treated to a traditional dolphin encounter experience and can interact with the dolphins as they perform tricks with the staff. The Turtle Care Center is home to many sea turtles that have been brought in by locals due to injury or illness.
Here, the turtles receive treatment, and a safe environment to live in as they recover. The Center also offers 20 minute tours that offer information on the life cycle and habitat of sea turtles. If you are looking for a fun, interactive experience, a visit to the Intercontinental Resort and Spa Moorea is one of the most rewarding things to do in Moorea.
8. Zoom high through the jungle canopy
For more action and adventure on you island paradise vacation, venture to Tiki Park to experience the adrenaline rush inducing experience of zipline tours through the jungles, one of the most exciting things to do in Moorea.
This family friendly attraction gives you the opportunity to experience the canopy from a new perspective as you zip, climb and zoom through the lush greenery. Nearby, the surrounding fields of exotic pineapples provide ample area to walk or bike through the forest and learn about pineapple farming and agriculture on the island.
Another must on the list of things to do in Moorea is stop at a distillery or gift shop located not far from this pineapple lush valley for a sample of the delicious pineapple liquor made from these exotic fruits!
9. Stay in an overwater bungalow!
While Bora Bora is more well known for this type of lodging, Moorea has several options at a smaller cost for those seeking this type of stay.
The Hilton Moorea is a stunning property that offers overwater bungalows and you can snorkel right off your deck into the ocean where there is a plethora of coral. You can get a similar experience to Bora Bora in Moorea if you are after those beautifully thatched overwater bungalows for your stay.
Read more: Best time to visit Bora Bora
How to get to Moorea
When planning your trip to Tahiti, figuring out how to get to Moorea will be easy! Probably the easiest part of the entire trip.
Moorea is very close to the main island of Tahiti and so close, you can actually see it from Papeete!
First you need to get to Tahiti before you can get to Moorea. Because Moorea is so small, it can not accommodate large international airliners. When you land in Tahiti, you can either catch a 10 minute flight to Moorea with Air Tahiti or you can take a ferry.
If you opt to take a ferry, make sure you have plenty of local currency to take a taxi, which is about $25-30USD each way OR rent a car that you can drive right onto the ferry.
Ferry to Moorea: Ferry from Papeete to Moorea
The easiest way to get to the island from Tahiti is to take the ferry to Moorea. Alternatively you could fly, but it is only like a 10 minute flight. Taking the ferry from Papeete to Moorea is going to be your easiest bet.
There are a couple ferries running between Tahiti and Moorea on various dates and times, so you will want to check ahead of time to make sure you can get one.
The two primary ferry companies are Aermiti and Terevau. You can catch either ferry from Papeete to Moorea one way or round trip, depending on how you set up your trip (some people fly out of Moorea to other islands).
The Moorea ferry is really easy to take. You show up witth your luggage, pay for a ticket, and then get on the ferry. There is plenty of seats, you can drive your car on to take to Moorea and there is a section of the ferry that looks like a lounge where you can get food and beverages.
Total time on the ferry is about 30-60 minutes and ticket prices about $26USD round trip (more if you need to take a car across).
Moorea, the lush jungle paradise located in the French Polynesian islands, is a vacation destination earning a top spot among those seeking a luxury beach vacation.
Filled with numerous attractions, pristine beaches and exciting adventures, you will find so many things to do in Moorea, no matter what your tastes or desires may be. Whether you seek athletic adventures like hiking or ziplining or if lounging in the sun is more your speed, you will be guaranteed to find something to do that will last a lifetime of memories.
Because of its unique geography, climate and location, this small but majestic island is a bucket list must! Be sure to research ahead of time so you don’t miss out on the dozens of exciting things to do in Moorea!
Tips for visiting Moorea:
Do not forget travel insurance! Planning a trip to Moorea can be very costly and you never know what may arise before or during your trip – protect your investment.
Getting to Moorea: If you are flying into French Polynesia you will land in Papeete, Tahiti first before you go on to Moorea. You can either fly with Air Tahiti for the 15 minute flight or take the 45 minute ferry. Depending on how many people are in your party, it may be easier to just fly.
If taking the ferry from Tahiti to Moorea, you will need to pay about $25-30 USD for a taxi each way from the airport to the boat deck plus $26 round trip per ticket for the ferry.
If you want to fly, when you land in Tahiti (and the airport is very small) you can collect your luggage and easily re-check in for your flight with Air Tahiti. Tickets are trypically around $150 USD round trip.
You will have to make the decision on whether or not you want to wait in the airport (which has wifi) for your flight or take a taxi and a 45 minute ferry to Moorea. It ultimately comes down to money and time.
Currency: the official currency in French Polynesia throughout the islands is Pacific Franc. You will need cash outside of the resort areas for taxis and purchasing items or food.
There is no Uber or Lyft – plan to use a taxi or rent a car. You could rent a car at the airport in Tahiti and then drive it onto the ferry to Moorea and drive it while you are there (highly recommend a 4×4 if you want to get to some of the lookout points).
Best time to visit: some would argue the shoulder months of April and November because they are between the seasons with good weather and low visiting, which equals lower prices. However, May-October sees the least amount of rainfall and the most amount of tourists and December-March sees more rain and humidity but with lower prices. But everyday here is paradise!
Pack medications you know and love – you never know when you will get sick and being prepared will soothe whatever it is that you get. If your stomach easily gets upset with new food, pack Imodium.
Every resort and restaurant only gives bottled water (the restaurants charge for it).
Things to pack for Moorea:
Reef safe sunscreen – I swear by this stuff and there is a lot of coral in Moorea. Please wear reef safe sunscreen when you are in the ocean to protect it.
Waterproof Camera – if you are spending time in the water, grab this camera to take epic shots of the underworld.
Motion Sickness Medication – if you are going to take the ferry, go sailing or be out on the water at all, do not forget to pack this. I rarely get motion sickness but got it a few times while visiting the islands.
Water shoes – I swear by these! Super cheap and have a sole on them. There is a lot of coral and sand on the island and this is a great way to protect your feet. Additionally, you can wear them and not burn your feet walking from your room to the beach or around the resort.
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