Forming part of the Society Islands and located just 17 kilometres from the main island of Tahiti, Moorea is an easily accessible escape from the hustle and bustle of modern-day living.
Volcanic peaks, shrouded in thick rainforest and pineapple plantations, tower over protected bays, white-sand beaches, Motu and a lagoon which eventually gives way to the deep blue open ocean. Measuring 16km from east to west, this tiny island is a joy to explore – continually surprising you with hidden gems, magnificent views and a rich history and culture.
The biggest draw cards for ocean enthusiasts are the humpback whale migration that takes place every year, the sharks, and the dolphins. In 2002, French Polynesia named itself a Marine Mammal Sanctuary offering protection to the whales and dolphins that frequent these waters. Other marine creatures that call the waters of Moorea home include Nurse sharks, Lemon sharks, Stingrays, Turtles, and a plethora of reef fish, to name a few.
When you’re not diving with some of the world’s most awesome ocean dwellers, put on your explorer hat and discover the natural wonders that keep visitors coming back for more. Go hiking on mountain trails, visit cascading waterfalls, take an ATV or 4WD tour around the island, visit beautiful lookouts boasting spectacular views, take a tour of the pineapple plantations and visit the local distillery, immerse yourself in the culture and history of the island, pack a picnic and laze on a Motu all day, or cruise across the lagoon at sunset for something more romantic.
Ideal for divers and non-divers, you certainly won’t be short of activities to keep the whole family entertained.
The climate in Moorea is tropical, and influenced by the south-east trade winds, with hot and humid conditions in the wet season, and cooler conditions in the dry season.
Wet Season: November – April
Expect high rainfall in the form of short, sharp showers throughout the day. Temperatures sit at 31°C during the day and drop to 24°C overnight. December to April poses the highest risk for tropical cyclones.
Dry Season: May – October
Rainfall and humidity drop off during this period, but you can still expect showers in the mornings, late afternoons and evenings. Temperatures remain warm, with an average of 29°C during the day and 23.5°C overnight.
The island of Moorea has two almost identical bays – Opunohu Bay and Cook’s Bay. Most of the diving in the area is done around Opunohu Bay, both in the lagoon and further out into the ocean.
Dive sites furthest to the west of the bay have some good lookouts for viewing whales, during the migration season, and dolphins. All dive sites around Moorea offer you the opportunity to interact with sharks, sharks, sharks! Lemon’s, black tips, white tips, grey reef, and nurse sharks are prolific in this area. Turtles, various types of rays, moray eels, and a plethora of fish life can also be seen.
There are dive sites that are suitable for beginners and a few that require more advanced qualifications.
26-29°C – 3mm wetsuit, 3mm shortie or rashie
Diving can be done throughout the year. To observe humpback whales during mating and nursing season, visit between July and November.
The western-most dive site at Moorea, located in the deep blue ocean and famous for its crystal clear visibility and shark population. This is the perfect place to spot humpback whales during the migration season, dolphins, sharks, and is a marine photographer’s dream. Max Depth: 23m
A beautiful drift dive that starts in the lagoon. Allow the current to take you out past the reef, as you sit back, relax and enjoy the passing sights, including eagle rays, humphead wrasse, and nurse and white tip sharks. At the point where the lagoon and ocean converge, the water explodes in light and colour as marine life of all shapes and sizes meet. Max Depth: 18m
The Rays Corridor
An ideal lagoon dive for beginners and refresher courses. This area is carpeted in beautiful coral teeming with life. You can look forward to rubbing shoulders with white tip sharks and a massive group of eagle rays (sometimes up to 40 strong!) Max Depth: 18m
The Garden of Roses
Spectacular rose corals carpet this dive site and teem with life, including huge sharks. To dive this site, you must be a qualified rescue diver due to the necessary deco stops along the way. Access to this site is subject to divemaster approval. Max Depth: 37m
Opunohu Coral Wall
The enormous coral walls and canyons characterise this ocean dive. Three dives can be done in this area - one goes down to the impressive rose coral garden, another is along a large wall, and the last one finishes at the Shark’s Dining Room. On all three dives, you can look forward to seeing turtles, sharks, tropical fish, and moray eels, as well as a multitude of other exotic marine life. Max Depth: 27m
An ATV or 4WD tour is the best way to see the island and visit all of the best scenic lookouts for photo opportunities. Hiking through the forests on the mountains is a very popular activity and an enjoyable way to immerse yourself in the natural wilderness that this island has to offer - the views at the top of the mountains are breathtaking and well worth the trek. Visit the pineapple plantations that form the livelihood for the majority of the island inhabitants, and pay a visit to the local factory distillery where you can sample some of the delicious local produce. Visit the turtle sanctuary or the dolphin sanctuary to see how injured, and orphaned marine animals are being rehabilitated to be released back into their natural habitat.
Visit Tiki Village to immerse yourself in the local culture. The centre offers a buffet dinner and live performances, including traditional dances
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*Time period is a guide only, subject to change according to your specific booking.