Oh Mo’orea, how you completely blew us away. What with your mountainous peaks of epic proportions, your marine diversity & your wonderful people doing wonderful things to preserve your magic. This is a place of pure & raw beauty, a place where locals have cook ups on the beach. dads walk their kids to school & flower crowns are a way of life. I’ll never forget you & hope one day we might meet again.
The island is 45 minutes from Tahiti & you can access it quite simply by Ferry from the main land. The island is known for its jagged rock formations, epic look out points, sandy beaches & of course its unparalleled underwater world.
We absolutely loved our time here, spending majorly most of it in the water, but also venturing up the lush mountains on quad bikes to get a peak of some of the most stunning valleys, waterfalls & lookouts in the world. It is a place to pursue any adventure of your choosing, because it has it all.
OUR REEF EXPERIENCE
Of all the moments we shared in French Polynesia, our time in the ocean was the most precious.
We were incredibly fortunate to witness first hand just how beautiful the island & it’s natural aquarium is after spending the day with The Coral Gardeners, a group of young people who are fighting to save their reef, which has been heavily impacted by humans. The group is made up of fisherman, free divers & surfers & they work day & night, relentlessly, to educate & raise awareness locally (at schools & universities) & Internationally (via forums) about how we can all help to save the reef. In addition to this, they are regenerating coral through their unique coral beds (which act as a home for damaged coral while they grow strong enough to be replanted), as well as carefully replanting broken coral back into healthy reef, damaged by anything from divers, to boat anchors & of course global warming.
This was one of the best days of our trip in French Polynesia, as we felt we were really doing something hands on to help such an important cause close to our hearts. We were welcomed to the project with such a sense of community & friendship by Titouan (CEO & Founder) & his small team of scientists & ocean lovers before being briefed on the project, their work & what the day would have install for us. We couldn’t wait to get in the water!
The day was nothing short of spectacular, we visited tiny islands laced with palm trees, were greeted by giant sting rays & swam with sharks before planting our own precious piece of coral. The day gave us such a sense of purpose, as well as a serious sense of urgency around the current situation in our oceans. I hope that you can read this (no matter where you are in the world or how much time you spend in the ocean) & know that what you do in your daily life, can & will make a difference to our oceans world wide.
Why is what The Coral Gardeners do so significant? 20% of the worlds coral reefs are already dead, 30% are condemned & the rest of the worlds reefs are threatened! To put it into perspective, if we don’t do something as a global community, it is predicted there will be no coral reefs by the year 2050. Something that I learned that has seriously changed how I look at coral reefs is knowing that WE CAN REVERSE THE DAMAGE. I felt such a huge relief to find out that the algae that actually gives the coral its colour (the algae that can & does return to the physical body of the coral, does so when the coral has regained its marine health.
We learnt that coral reefs are the oceans lungs, so no matter where you live, we should all care about the state of the reef & our oceans. Reefs are home to more than a quarter of the worlds marine life & are the largest & most complex ecosystems on the planet. Above all, they are beautiful, majestic & our collective responsibility. They have been here for much longer than us & it is my hope, that they will be here long after we are gone.
You can support the Coral Gardeners & restoration of the reef by adopting your own coral here. They will plant it for you & everything – so amazing!!
I am so fond of this project & I want to share some more info with you! If you are keen to learn more, you can click here to find out (in detail) how & why coral reefs are so important to humans.
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed at the beautiful Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort.
The property is settled on the edge of a magnificent lagoon, with views over to the island of Tahiti as you look out across the sea. The resort features 112 luxurious bungalows built over the water, on the beachfront or surrounded by lush gardens. I won’t forget waking up here, literally rolling out of bed & jumping into its crystal clear lagoon.
I would absolutely recommend this accomodation – it is located on one of the most beautiful & pristine beaches of the island & provides the perfect launch pad to head off on your island or ocean adventures (or out to dinner, as there are a few really cute restaurants nearby).
The property includes water spots (like kayaking) free of charge & you can snorkel right out the front. Grab a kayak like we did & head out into the lagoon for a swim too, this is not to be missed – we felt like we were on a deserted island & had the place to ourselves, so special!
There is a concierge available to support all your adventures too – I would highly recommend an ATV / quad bike tour for a change of scenery. It’s really such a stunning island & you haven’t seen it all until you venture deep into the mountains.