Shopping In Papeete

It was mostly “window shopping” as souvenirs in Tahiti are not cheap!  We had a few XPF to spend before going home so we ended up with a couple pareos.  The jewelry is amazing but costs a fortune!

Leaving the ferry terminal

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Cool artwork on a cafeIMG_1687

Pirates greet you at this cafeIMG_1688

These stunning necklaces were out of reach for meIMG_1689 IMG_1690 IMG_1691 IMG_1692

But these pareos were around $10 each!IMG_1693 IMG_1694

Farewell Moorea, Ferry Back To Papeete

I really wish we could have stayed in Moorea 2 nights (especially since we got upgraded at the Intercontinental) but the flight home departed at 07:30 so there was no way we could leave Moorea on time to make that flight.  I do want to point out that we have been to Moorea before we got into the miles and points game and already done the touristy things like a snorkel trip and the Tiki Village which is lots of fun!  So the main purpose was really to check out the IC Moorea.

This time we had reception book us a shuttle back to the ferry terminal at 1250 XPF each so we could just relax and enjoy the scenery.

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Hitting rush hour trafficIMG_1655

in more ways than one!IMG_1657

Back to the ferry terminalIMG_1670 IMG_1671 IMG_1672 IMG_1673

Terevau arrives on time.IMG_1675 IMG_1676 IMG_1677 IMG_1678 IMG_1679 IMG_1680 IMG_1681 IMG_1682

Arriving in Papeete ferry terminalIMG_1683 IMG_1684

Do You Know What Countries You Need A Visa For?

It’s so much easier to visit countries when you either don’t need a visa or you can get one on arrival.  Since I have a lot of trips coming up, I was checking around for Australian citizens and found that Wikipedia has some excellent maps.  The less grey you see, the better!

Find out where YOU can go without a visa!

Australians

Americans

New Zealanders

Canadians

Other countries

Where Australians can go without a visa

Hotel Review: Intercontinental Moorea Resort & Spa

Since we had two days to kill before our flight home, I really wanted to check out the Intercontinental Moorea Resort & Spa.  I had enough points to get us a freebie and booked the usual room offered for awards, a lanai room.

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I was very pleased to see that my platinum status (courtesy of the Chase Mastercard) got us upgraded to a Garden Pool room!  I’d say this was an excellent use of points!

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Very quiet at reception when we checked in.IMG_1557 IMG_1558 IMG_1559

Boutique in the lobbyIMG_1560 IMG_1561

We were driven to our bungalow in a little buggy.IMG_1562 IMG_1563

Our garden bungalow with private poolIMG_1564 IMG_1565 IMG_1566 IMG_1567 IMG_1568 IMG_1569

And there it is, our own pool!IMG_1570 IMG_1571 IMG_1572

We had a few visitors, they were mostly interested in the leis we had on the chairs.IMG_1576

We took a stroll around the grounds to the main swimming pool to watch the sunset.IMG_1577 IMG_1579 IMG_1580 IMG_1581 IMG_1582 IMG_1583 IMG_1584 IMG_1585 IMG_1586 IMG_1587

This is the main building where most award stays would be booked into.IMG_1588 IMG_1589 IMG_1590 IMG_1594

The sunset did not disappoint!IMG_1596 IMG_1597 IMG_1600 IMG_1603 IMG_1608 IMG_1611 IMG_1613 IMG_1615

Time for happy hour!IMG_1616 IMG_1617 IMG_1618 IMG_1619 IMG_1620 IMG_1621

The next morning our feathered friends were back after the leis!IMG_1623 IMG_1625 IMG_1629 IMG_1633

“Can I share your pool?”  Of course!IMG_1635 IMG_1637 IMG_1643 IMG_1644 IMG_1647

Intro to scuba classIMG_1652 IMG_1653

Around Moorea – Enroute To The Intercontinental

After disembarking from the Terevau, we discovered that the local bus doesn’t meet this ferry (2pm sailing) as it is transporting kids home from school.  We saw a couple buses go past but none would stop so apparently they aren’t allowed to mix tourists with kids.  Taxis were taking full advantage and trying to charge around $50 for the 18 km ride.  I hate being taken advantage of so stubbornly rebuffed the taxis and stayed on the road waiting for the bus.

A local couple spotted us as they drove past and offered us a lift as they were headed in the same direction.  We chatted to them while admiring the beautiful scenery of Moorea, my husband speaking Tahitian and me getting by in French.

The lesson learned here is to make sure what land transport is available for your sailing!  Another option would have been to get the Intercontinental to arrange a shuttle.  We did this for the return trip back to the terminal and it was 1250 XPF per person.

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Overnight In Moorea Via Ferry

Even if your main interest in a visit to French Polynesia is birding the remote islands, there is nothing wrong with being a bit touristy.  The way the airline schedules are set up and the availability of award tickets (or lack thereof) to Papeete can leave you with a few days to kill in Papeete.  I highly recommend hopping over to Moorea which is a lot more scenic and relaxing than Papeete.

You can fly to Moorea from Papeete if you wish but I thought the flights were a bit pricy for us.  Since we only had small backpacks for the trip, it was easy to catch a bus downtown, grab lunch at the Grande Marche and hop the next ferry.  There are 2 ferry companies on this route – Aremiti and Terevau.

Fares on Aremiti 5 from Papeete to Moorea

Terevau doesn’t have a website but their one-way fares are 1160 XPF.  Since they accepted credit cards, I bought round-trip tickets for us.  The tickets are valid 6 months.

There really isn’t much to choose between the two ferries, just take whichever one is leaving next.  You don’t need reservation unless you are bringing a car.

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The ferry awaits.IMG_1524 IMG_1525 IMG_1528

Seating is comfortable enough for the 20 minute trip across to Moorea.  You can see how I was “drowning in flowers” still from Rimatara!IMG_1531

The ferry has a small snack bar, prices aren’t bad but not a very good selection.  We were glad we ate at the market.IMG_1532 IMG_1533 We were in Moorea pretty quickly, barely enough time to admire the topography from the sea! IMG_1535 IMG_1538 IMG_1539 IMG_1540

Disembarking at Moorea.IMG_1541 IMG_1542

Moorea ferry terminal.IMG_1543 IMG_1544

Turnaround was pretty quick, we watched the Terevau take off back to Papeete while looking for the bus.IMG_1545 IMG_1546