Things to Do in Moorea
Magic Mountain is on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia. Though the mountains on Moorea are not extremely high, they are particularly rugged. Magic Mountain is one of the highest points on the island. It is located along the exterior part of the island, and it offers spectacular 360-degree views of the island and the surrounding clear blue waters of the lagoon and the ocean. On the way up the mountain, visitors will pass villages, scenic valleys, fruit trees, and pineapple plantations. Magic Mountain lets visitors experience the breathtaking scenery an ancient volcanic island.
The mountain is not accessible by regular cars and can only be reached by 4WD or ATV. For this reason, the best way to experience Magic Mountain and its views is by taking a tour of the island that includes a trip up the mountain. Most tours also include Belvedere Lookout, which is located toward the center of the island and offers gorgeous views of both Cook's Bay and Opunohu Bay, ancient Polynesian sites, and the agricultural school. It is a great way to take in the wonderful sights and culture that Moorea has to offer.
Belvedere Lookout is a scenic viewpoint awarding views of Cook's Bay, Opunohu Bay, Mt. Rotui and the fertile Opunohu Valley with its many pineapple plants, craggy peaks and gentle slopes. It’s a great place to visit simply to take in the views or to get a bit of outdoor exercise in.
Lycée Agricole d'Opunohu, or Agriculture School, is French Polynesia's only agricultural school, located on the island of Moorea. At the agricultural school, visitors can see pineapples, lemons, grapefruits, bananas, vanilla beans and many other fruits being grown and learn about the cultivation process. The school also makes fresh fruit juices, jams and sorbets, which are available for purchase. They also offer tastings of the fruit products they make. Visitors can hike on educational trails in the school's plantations in order to learn more about the school and its work and to enjoy the scenery. At the agricultural school, you can also learn about the different tropical plants, flowers, and fruits that are native to French Polynesia.
A visit to Lycée Agricole is often included on tours around the island. Other highlights of these tours include the lookout points at Magical Mountain and Belvedere Lookout, which offer different vantage points for viewing the island, the volcanic landscape, and the surrounding water. In addition, these tours often include ancient Polynesian sites, hiking, swimming, and taking in the gorgeous island scenery.
For a crash course in Polynesian culture, Tiki Village Theatre is the place to go. In a stunning lagoon-side location on the island of Moorea you’ll experience traditional weaving with natural fibers, the art of flower garlands, and intricate woodcarving. The village also celebrates two very different forms of adornment: tattoos, which came to the West via Polynesia, and a model pearl farm which produces rare black pearls.
Music and dance are also of course integral to Polynesian culture. Grass-skirted performers enliven a lunchtime presentation, while the evening spectacular offers fire dancers to the sound of ukuleles and drums. Both shows are served up with authentic Tahitian cuisine.
Surrounded by rugged mountain landscape that seems to reach up from the water, Cook's Bay is one of the main tourist areas in Moorea (it's here that cruise ships come to moor their boats). The area is home to restaurants, shops, and hotels, but it’s still relatively sleepy and laid-back—this is Moorea, after all!
Surrounded by lush green and jagged mountains and littered with sailing vessels and tour boats, narrow Opunohu Bay is where the HMS Bounty moored to search for breadfruit, leading to the famous Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, the tranquil bay is a favorite among locals and travelers looking for a less developed stretch of sand.
Opened in 1981 under the Rotui Brand in response to a pineapple surplus, Fruit Juices of Moorea has expanded to sell a variety of juices. Here you can take your pick of grapefruit, lemon, mango, noni, papaw and guava juice. The company also makes liquors, brandies, jams, fruit candy, and chocolates.
This pair of waterfalls near the village of Afareaitu are each fed by a different stream, the Putoa Stream and the Vaioro Stream. The larger of the two falls plummets more than 100 feet (30 meters) into a rock pool perfect for swimming.
Located on the western side of Opunohu Bay, Papetoai (Papeto'ai) is frequented by visitors who want to explore the village's art and shopping center, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and art galleries along with historic attractions. The beaches here are also worth checking out, with calm, crystal clear waters, ideal for snorkeling.
Separating the beautiful Cook’s and Opunohu Bays, Mt. Rotui is the peak of Mt. Rotui. In a dramatic fashion, jagged sides lush with green meet at the top in an almost perfect pyramid, its rocky spur reaching 2,951 feet (900m). When clouds are behind the mountain, it almost appears as if it is a smoking volcano.