Where is Moorea?
Moorea is the closest island to Tahiti. We stayed a couple of nights in Papette which is the capital of Tahiti and then we went by boat to Moorea for a week. We stayed on the eastern side at Moorea Lagoon Resort and had the best time!!!
Although now that Sheridan has taken over, the price has hiked and I bet the lovely friendly, personal atmosphere has dissapeared,... shame.
The Lagoonarium is one of the real must-see sights on Moorea. It is also very good value, but with one caveat!
When we asked at our hotel, we were told it would cost at least 7,500 per person to go. A man on a boat would take us from the hotel and bring us back, and we would be there for about an hour, they also said it wasn't open everyday.
HOWEVER, we drove past the Lagoonarium (well we drove past a little kiosk, as the Lagoonarium is actually on a little Motu [small island] out to sea). If you stop at the kiosk, there is a radio in there, and you can call them up, so I tried, and had a conversation in French/English, where it turned out that it cost 2,300 per person to get in (checkout that markup!!!), and that included a man coming over on the island in a boat to pick you up (and later bring you back) - he comes when you radio in. You were free to stay as long as you liked (within reason!).
For the money you can swim with sharks, turtles etc. You can borrow snorkels, flippers and canoes. It is very good value. The reason they can guarantee sharks and turtles etc is because they have an area in the sea that is surrounded with mesh, so keeping the fish in. I think one of the reasons that it is good value is that it seems to be looked after by a bunch of hippies that live on the island and aren't very materially minded. They are all very friendly and decent, and just make enough money to be comfortable on the island. They are therefore divorced to degree from the crazily priced Moorea.
I highly recommend this place, it is not to be missed!
Stunning mountains and coral seas
Skip the "dolphin adventure" and check out the dolphin tour headed by Dr. Michael Poole. Seeing wild dolphins (and if you're lucky, whales) coming to you because *they* choose it (not because you're harassing them), you'll never want to go to Sea World again! I woke nearly every morning by 5am and relaxed on the beach chair to watch the sun break over the mountains, write in my journal and watch the resort's cat hunt crabs in the sand. It was so nice to have that solitude first thing in the morning!
Moorea Shaped "Mile" Markers
Although the French use Km rather than miles, Kilometer Markers do not roll off your tongue as easily to me. These mile markers are quite unique as they are shaped like the island of Moorea! They will also be of great benefit to you if you decide to take a stroll around the island, or if you are looking at your handy guide to Moorea! All the restaurants also advertise which mile marker they are closest to, in case you want to know how far you will be driving to get your next meal!
In general, these come about every 3-6 km, so watch out for one... it will help you decide where on this beautiful island you are!
Everyone wears flowers
Tahiti has gorgeous flowers. I loved wearing a flower behind my ear every day. A tip - when you pick a hibiscus you do not have to put it in water. Just pop it in a small vase and it'll stay open until night when it closes. Sometimes a good one will stay open for two days. I always have one on my kitchen sink window at home. Here is a pic of my favourite flower.