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where to go in polynesia?

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Brantford, Canada
posts: 5
where to go in polynesia?

My husband & I are looking to go to South Pacific. This is our first trip there and confused about all the different areas, Fiji, Tahaiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Cook Islands, WOW!!!! We would like moderate to nice accomodations, do a little diving, beach walking and R & R. I noticed some reviews do 5 days & 5 days, is this the best way to go, or stay in one place and take tours to other places. We have looked at so many and getting a headache. It all looks so beautiful. We even considered renting a place?

Any recommendations? Looking to go in either late February or March 2013.

United Kingdom
posts: 264
reviews: 137
1. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Welcome to TripAdvisor, Sandetc. Take a look at a big map of the Pacific and everything falls into place - Fiji is an independent nation; the Cook Islands are a dependency of New Zealand; French Polynesia (that is Tahiti, Moorea, Bora Bora) is a department of France. They are separated by thousands of miles of ocean. So choose which place you fancy visiting and I'd recommend you stick to that one country. You won't find many 'moderate' places to stay in French Polynesia, especially not in Bora Bora, which is one of the most highly developed and expensive beach destinations in the world. Fiji has a lot more options and a multitude of islands while Aitutaki in the Cooks is a stunning place and less developed than Bora Bora which it resembles in some ways. For people who ask for moderate hotels, great beaches and diving I always recommend the same place - the Sandy Beach Resort in the Ha'apai group as well as Vavau. Both of these are part of the nation state of Tonga.

Edited: 10:19 am, November 22, 2012
Brantford, Canada
posts: 5
2. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Thank you, yes I think we are looking into fiji. Will look into this place! Will let you know!

Brantford, Canada
posts: 5
3. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Actually I think we are looking for something a little more than this. But thank you anyways. Will keep looking into Fiji and the islands.

Brantford, Canada
posts: 5
4. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Any tips to stay on Moorea?

Houston, TX
posts: 156
reviews: 26
5. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Moorea is very close to Tahiti, and cheaper than Bora Bora. So people often combine it with a trip to Bora Bora. We just got back from BB, and I'm glad we went but I don't think we'll be going back. Too many people, and way overpriced IMO. We also went to Huahine, which I would def look into. It was just a beautiful, lush island. We plan on going back to FP at least 2 more times. I'd like to do a Raiatea+Maupiti trip and then a trip to the atolls.

One tip about FP, is the there certain are airpasses that you can purchase for island hopping. Check these out on Air Tahiti domestic site. http://www.airtahiti.aero/articles.php?id=69

I would then focus on one group of islands. And pick 2. Someday I'd also like to go to the Marquesas. And of course the Cook Islands. I don't really desire to go to Fiji because it is farther, and doesn't really have the amazing lagoons of FP and the Cook islands. Not trying to steer you away from if your heart is set. I just think FP is more romantic and beautifiul.

Another thing to consider is staying on island for 3-4 nights and then sailing on a catamarran for a couple of nights, and getting dropped off on another for another 3-4 nights. A friend of mine sailed around Raiatea/Tahaa and just loved that. Good luck, and happy planning!

Edited: 9:27 am, November 30, 2012
Brantford, Canada
posts: 5
6. Re: where to go in polynesia?

Thank you so much for that information. We have been looking into Huahine as with the videos it looks amazing. I heard BB is beautiful but overpriced and some of the outer islands are better. Looking to do a little diving, many beach walks, relax and take in the culture. I am going to look into the catamaran for sure and we thought of just staying on one island but like you said maybe 3-4 days and go from there. We ae planning on about 10 night stay. We are flying from Toronto and I think I have that ok, it's just getting from airport in Tahiti to either Huahine or stay a night and then go? Is Moorea an island you have any info on? Once again, Thank you!

Houston, TX
posts: 156
reviews: 26
7. Re: where to go in polynesia?

I would check the Moorea forum. One traveller just posted a Novel about it :) so you should find helpful info there. It depends on what time your flight comes in to Tahiti as to whether or not you can fly out. If it's an overnight flight and you get in the early AM, you can easily catch a flight out 2hrs or so later. If you get to PPT in evening, you might have to stay overnight in Tahiti. I would work with a travel agent, it really makes things easier. They send you a packet with vouchers and you just have to show up. Also, some of them get free upgrades :) Our TA booked us a regular OWB and we got upgraded for free to premium OWB, so that helped save a bit. I'm not a diver (yet) so I can't really say. But I've read good things about Raiatea and diving.

My advice is to take your time planning and don't rush. Do lots of research. And have fun!

Denver, Colorado
Destination Expert
for Tuamotu Archipelago
posts: 464
reviews: 4
8. Re: where to go in polynesia?

If you are looking to dive also I would consider one of the atolls, Tikehau or Rangiroa probably. The diving is incredible, we are going back to TIkehau in March and will visit Rangiroa for the first time then as well. We loved Huahine last time, and we also liked Bora Bora if only just to see the lagoon our first visit there. WIth 10 days I'd definitely split it between two islands. If you fly in on a red eye then you can go directly to your destination, if not, then you spend the night in Papeete and depart in the morning.

We are also planning to visit Fiji in a couple of years, to go diving, and also Thailand.

However, I don't htink you will be disappointed at all if you choose FP. We love it tremendously and were disappointed we chose somewhere else last year instead of returning, so we are returning this March.

We did both trips with a TA and were so happy that we did, she was amazing!!

March 2013 is when we will be there as well. THis time we are going to Tahaa, Tikehau and Rangiroa and last time it was Huahine, Bora Bora and TIkehau.

The night sky on Tikehau was like nothing we could have ever imagined, and it was so quiet and peaceful there. Just beautiful. This time we are staying at Ninamu on TIkehau, last time was the Pearl. I think if you search under wallbanger you will find our trip reports, that's my husband.

Edited: 7:40 pm, November 30, 2012
9. Re: where to go in polynesia?

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