Flight times can make travel days awkward. Having a flight that leaves late in the evening and a hotel check-out around lunch time is a situation that is bound to cause problems.
On our last day in French Polynesia we had an 8 hour gap between our hotel check-out and when our Delta flight took off to Los Angeles. Wanting to explore as many of the islands as possible and with Moorea only a short ferry ride away, we decided to spend the day exploring before our evening departure.
This article is part of my Trip Report: Winter Holidays in French Polynesia that includes:
After a quick breakfast at the Hilton Tahiti resort, we packed up our bags and headed down to the lobby. Giving the front desk our luggage, we got into a taxi and went to the ferry terminal in downtown Papeete.
It was a quick ferry ride over, about 30 minutes, before we docked and got off. Our original plan was to rent electric bikes, but when we found mopeds right next to the terminal, we went for it.
We set off down the road that loops around the island, stopping at a few gorgeous viewpoints. Eventually we made it to a small shopping center where we got an acai bowl and smoothie, as well as water, as it was quite hot.
Our next stop was a hike. The small issue was that we only knew the general area where the hike was located and not the specific trail head nor the name of the hike that was suggested to us by the moped shop operator.
After asking around, and putting my intro-level French skills to the test, we made it to the hike. Luckily, it was well marked and we made it up to the gorgeous viewpoint that showed the two bays of Moorea.
We decided to hike a little further to the next view point. Although breathtaking for different reasons, most notably the towering face of the mountain above, at this particular stop I hoisted my brother up on my shoulders to get a coconut down from the tree. We cracked the coconut and were able to drink some of its water ,which surprisingly rejuvenated us for the way back down. Quite delicious and not like anything I had tasted before.
We got back on the scooters and went to the Hilton Moorea Resort. I had wanted to stay at this resort, but when award availability popped up at the Conrad in Bora Bora, I couldn’t pass on the opportunity.
I walked around and took some pictures before quickly having lunch, which turned out to be surprisingly good, and hopping on our final ride on the scooters. Having made it back to the ferry terminal with about 20 minutes until the next departure, we quickly filled up on gas at the neighboring Shell and dropped off our scooters.
After getting back on the boat, we reflected on the amazing final day we had on Moorea, which left us wanting to further explore the island. I guess we are going to have to plan another trip back to French Polynesia!
We got back to the hotel, got our stuff, took a swim in the pool and showered at the gym before getting into a taxi for the airport. It was an action-packed last day.
We booked the ferry upon arrival at the terminal for the round trip voyage. Looking back, I don’t remember the exact prices, but I believe it was ~$11 per person per direction. We took the high speed ferry and for a day trip, $22 per person is not too bad.
Additionally, I believe the mopeds were about $45 for the day per moped plus gas, which was less than $10. We opted for two (there were four of us) so the overall cost came to about $100 for the day.
The Last Point
Overall, I had a great time exploring Moorea, which to me felt a lot like Kauai in Hawaii. I definitely appreciated that we tired ourselves out with the hike and running around before boarding a redeye flight back to the states.
I wish that we would have had more time to explore or could have taken our time with lunch, but the truth is that it was an amazing last day on a fantastic trip. If you ever have a late departure out of Papeete (PPT), I would highly recommend spending your last day on Moorea.