Tahiti is a dream destination, perfect for those wanting to escape big city nonsense and enjoy some of the best diving and snorkelling in the world. Here are Megan Singleton's picks for what to do on this little island 30 minutes by ferry from Papeete.
Book this lunch trip which also includes snorkelling to watch your guides feed stingrays and reef sharks. You'll land on a little motu (tiny sand island) where a picnic table is set up and a barbecue is sizzling. But the highlight is the fresh poisson cru (raw fish with coconut milk and lemon juice) made for you by a shirtless Tahitian bloke.
If you don't SCUBA dive then helmet diving could be for you. No experience required to don these Russian dive helmets and glide to the ocean floor just off a motu not far from the Intercontinental Hotel. You'll walk like an astronaut across the white sand as colourful fish swim around you - and if you're lucky you'll get to pat some stingrays.
Rent a car
Moorea is only about 60km in circumference. We rented a car for a week and each day called at the le marche (supermarket) for fresh pain au chocolat, a baguette and a huge wedge of gooey French cheese - all for under $5. Visit little beaches, drive to the lookout of Belvedere, play a round of golf or just go back to your overwater bungalow for a private picnic.
Lunch at Snack Mahana
This nondescript seaside restaurant looks more like a tuck shop, but the meals they whip up are outstanding. Try the export quality New Zealand beef - better than we get at home - and the breaded mahi mahi caught locally and drizzled with coconut milk with a glass of local Hinano beer in the sun.
Get an authentic tattoo
James Samuela is one of the only traditional tattooists in Tahiti and he lives on Moorea with his American wife Laurel. They also run a pension (self contained accommodation). But if a Polynesian tat is on your wishlist, James is your man. He also makes the tools he uses on you which you get to keep.
- nzherald.co.nzBy Megan Singleton