Cook's Bay / Opunohu Bay, Moorea
If you are a movie fan or a history buff, you will definitely want to go to Opunohu Bay, which carries significant history. It is where the HMS Bounty landed to search for breadfruit causing what is known today as the Mutiny on the Bounty. I would highly recommend taking a look at this movie prior to coming to Moorea, as you will see many beautiful shots (all be it in black and white) of Moorea, and it will really give you a taste of how beautiful it is! In one particular scene in the movie, all of the vahines of the town spread out across this bay, and act as a human fishnet to capture fish that the men drum into the bay. Quite a beautiful part of the movie, but when you go picnic here you will really appreciate that part of the movie even more!
Bring some fresh pineapple and a small picnic blanket, and just enjoy the view!
Cook's Bay is a popular bay surrounded by very jagged mountains. In this bay large cruise ships come to moor and here you'll find the village of Pao Pao and some small hotels and pensions, and several restaurants. A good place to stay.
This bay is the more unspoiled bay of the two bays. It is here where Captain Cook actually achored in 1769 and where the movie "The Bounty" was filmed.
It is the Polynesians' favorite bay because it is less populated, and has small secluded beaches.
Here's a closer look of Moua Puta. I've turned the picture 90° to the left, because in this way you can see that the top of the mountain resembles a lady's face. The hole is the white spot under her nose.
Moua Puta, which means split rock, is a 830 meter- (2739 feet) high mountain with a hole in its top. The hole is said to have been made by a spear of Pai, a favourite son of the gods of old Polynesia, who was warned that Hiro, god of thieves, wanted to steal the sacred Rotui mountain and take it home to Raiatea. The warrior Pai threw a spear from Tahiti that pierced the top of Moua Puta and the noise woke up all the roosters on Moorea, who crowed so loudly that the thieves were forced to flee.
What makes Moorea so special are its two breathtaking bays: Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay. The views here, especially of the mountains, are wonderful. The peaks that you can see from the bay are the basaltic remains of a crater's interior wall.
Cook's Bay is a beautiful setting located on the northern side of Moorea. There are two main tourist areas on the island, and this is 1 of them. You'll find besides the spectacular scenery some hotels, shops, restaurants, etc. There is also an aquarium, a Black Pearl Farm, an art gallery, and the market in the little village called Paopao. It's also here in Cook' Bay where you can start the drive up to the Belvedere Lookout, which I definitely would recommend!