Islands of the Pacific
November 2003

Los Angeles - Tahiti - Cook Islands - New Zealand - Fiji - London


After another lengthy flight, we arrive at French Polynesia, its main island Tahiti. A change of climate is evident the same moment you step out of the plane. As the hour is late already, we just clear the customs and go straight to our hotel, Sofitel Maeva Beach.

A view from the hotel
room in the morning
Maeva Beach by the hotel After breakfast, a bus is waiting to take us around the Tahiti island.
We get to know the landscape and culture through the driver
who also serves as a local guide.

Point Venus Lighthouse, Tahiti
This is where Captain Cook first made landfall in Tahiti,
and is the Northern-most point on the island of Tahiti
A nearby bay A breadplant

We were fascinated with all the flowers in the graveyard Tahiti beach, with a famous blowhole nearby

An interesting place
for a tree to grow
The next stop was a botanical garden... Where were those French nuclear
tests being done again?

These don't grow
as big back home
Turtles We visited the Paul Gauguin
Museum, and had a lunch before
turning back to Papettee
Tahiti has a nice
waterfall, too

The rest of the afternoon and evening was free for swimming and sunbathing.
The next day was reserved for a trip to Moorea, an island that is an hour away from Tahiti with a ferry.

A ferry leaving Papettee
port for Moorea
Clouds in the mountains
over Papettee city
Arriving to Moorea.
That was one windy trip,
hang on to your hair...
First glimpses of
Moorea beaches
There are some very nice
resorts on Moorea, coral
reef visible at the back

Moorea Sofitel Ia Ora For the rest of the day on Moorea, we
went on a boat trip around Moorea island
First stop - shark feeding!
Get your snorkeling gear and in
the water, behind the rope line.

Black-tip reef sharks
are coming for lunch.
Next stop,
stingray feeding
These graceful, gentle creatures love to play and cuddle

Stingray hoping for a treat. We
have stopped on an island for a
lunch picnic ourselves, and learned
how to peel and break a coconut.
Sheraton Moorea Lagoon
Resort, on a way back.
Before returning to Tahiti island, there was
a short trip to the inland, showing landscape
and annanas plantations.

We returned to Tahiti late in the afternoon, and went for a dinner to the Papettee city center to conclude the day. Tomorrow, we are going to see Bora Bora.

On Tahiti Airport once
again, boarding a local
flight to Bora Bora
Arriving to Bora Bora,
this was our guide, and
we had yet another boat trip.
Big cruisers are coming
to Bora Bora
Bora Bora landscape from a passing boat

Bora Bora has nice resorts, too. Following the boat More landscape, crystal
blue-green waters...
On-boat entertainment

The rest of the Bora Bora trip consisted of a visit to the lagoonarium,
more swimming with the fishes, sharks included, and a lunch. The
roundtrip concluded back at the airport in the afternoon.
Leaving Bora Bora on a plane back to Papettee,
I made some snapshots from the air

Entry to the Bora Bora port High above the clouds... A Tahiti sunset

A goodbye dinner and a show in a neighboring resort.

The plane for Rarotonga was leaving at 3 am in the morning, and we were homeless already, so most of us spent the last night on Tahiti drowsing in comfy chairs in the hotel lobby.

Next page: Cook Islands

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