advertisement

Getting Around

All ferries from Papeete land at Vaiare on Moorea's east coast 5km (3 miles) south of Temae Airport.

By Bus -- The only scheduled buses on Moorea are those that carry passengers from and to the morning and afternoon ferries at Vaiare. Tell the drivers where you're going; they will show you which vehicle is going to your hotel. The trip from Vaiare to the end of the line at the old Club Med site takes about 1 hour. The buses also return from the Petite Village shopping center in Haapiti to Vaiare, leaving the shopping center about 1 hour prior to each ferry departure. They go by the hotels, so ask the front-desk staff when you can expect the next bus to pass. Or you can flag them down along the road elsewhere. The one-way fare is 500CFP (US$6.25/£3.15), regardless of direction or length of ride.

By Taxi -- Unless you catch a ferry bus or rent a vehicle, you're at the expensive mercy of Moorea's taxi owners, who don't run around looking for customers. The only taxi stand is at the airport (tel. 56.10.18). It's staffed daily from 6am to 6pm. Your hotel desk can call one for you, or else phone Pero Taxis (tel. 56.14.93), Albert Tours (tel. 56.13.53), or Justine Taxi (tel. 77.48.26). Make advance reservations for service between 6pm and 6am.

Fares are 800CFP (US$10/£5) during the day, 1,700CFP (US$21/£11) at night, plus 110CFP (US$1.35/70p) per kilometer. They double from 8pm to 6am. Expect to pay about 2,000CFP (US$25/£13) one-way from the ferry or airport to the Cook's Bay area, about 4,000CFP (US$50/£25) one-way from the airport or Cook's Bay to the Haapiti area, less for stops along the way. Be sure that you understand what the fare will be before you get in.

By Rental Car & Scooter -- Avis (tel. 800/331-1212 or 56.32.68; www.avis.com) and Europcar (tel. 800/227-7368 or 56.34.00; www.europcar-tahiti.com) both have booths at the Vaiare ferry wharf and at several hotels. Although I usually rent from Avis, Europcar is the more widespread and slightly less expensive of the two, with unlimited-kilometer rates starting at 9,300CFP (US$116/£59) a day. The local firm Albert Rent-a-Car (tel. 56.19.28) is the least expensive, with unlimited-kilometer rates starting at 8,000CFP (US$100/£50) for a day.

In addition to automobiles, Europcar also rents little "Bugsters" (noisy contraptions with two seats and no top) for about 8,800CFP (US$110/£55) a day. They are fun to drive on sunny days. So are scooters, which Albert rents starting at 5,000CFP (US$63/£32) for 4 hours and 6,000CFP (US$75/£38) for 24 hours, including full insurance, and unlimited kilometers.

Making reservations for cars and scooters is a very good idea, especially on weekends, when many Tahiti residents come to Moorea.

By Bicycle -- The 60km (36-mile) road around Moorea is relatively flat. The two major hills are on the west side of Cook's Bay and just behind the Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort (the latter is worth the climb, as it has a stupendous view of Tahiti). Some resorts have bikes for their guests to use, and Europcar rents mountain bikes for about 1,600CFP (US$20/£10) for 8 hours, 2,000CFP (US$25/£13) all day.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.