The idyllic paradise of Tahiti covers more than 2 million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean with over a hundred islands and atolls spread over five archipelagos. With turquoise blue lagoons, palm trees and white sandy beaches, it’s located halfway between California and Australia providing the perfect honeymoon destination.
Although we’re not usually ones for lying on a beach and doing little else, it’s a bit different after a wedding. We’d had a busy lead up to ours so some relaxation was certainly in order for a few days at least. Flying the day after our nuptials wasn’t ideal but we made it to Heathrow, from Suffolk, in time for our Air New Zealand flight. We stayed the night in Tahiti’s capital Papeete (Pape’ete) before taking an Air Tahiti flight to the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort in the Tuamotu Islands.
Situated on an exquisite pink and white sandy beach, our thatched bungalow was a stones throw away from the waters edge with palm trees and a hammock close-by. We were there less than a week but took full advantage of the traditional treatments on offer. We also enjoyed the Poreho restaurant which overlooks the lagoon and offers both European and Polynesian cuisine. In-between that we loafed around, attempted to master the hammock (I failed miserably!) and indulged in a spot of snorkelling.
Our next stop and where we spent the remainder of our honeymoon, was the incredible Moorea Pearl Resort & Spa. Located on the north east coast, our journey to this stunning island was by ferry from Pape’ete. With its small island feel, mountain peaks and translucent lagoon, Moorea (Mo’orea) is a favourite with locals as much as it is tourists. It’s the second most popular honeymoon destination in Tahiti after the just as wonderful Bora Bora.
Having enjoyed the ultimate in relaxation at the Tikehau Pearl Beach Resort, we picked Moorea in The Society Islands as it offered a great combination of relaxation and adventure. Island tours, jeep safaris, dolphin & whale watching and stingray feeding were all on offer plus there was more in the local area.
We decided to leave the resort one night for a restaurant and found numerous holes in the grass by the side of the road. Wondering what they were, we stopped and stood quietly for a moment only to discover they belonged to giant land crabs. They quickly scuttled away when they sensed us coming but it was one of those unforgettable sights!
Our accommodation in Moorea was a magnificent overwater suite with direct access to a lagoon. The staff left bread in a bread bin by the bungalows after breakfast so we used to enjoy feeding the pretty fish in the water. At night we’d watch larger (not as attractive) fish in the water beneath our glass coffee table. It was a nice way to round off the evening having eaten like kings and enjoyed the entertainment which included colourful Tahitian dances.
One of the things we loved about Tahiti was the people. They have a fascinating culture and everyone we met (regardless of where we were) was so friendly. We’d even been greeted at the airport by a local street band and colourful garlands that smelt amazing where placed around our necks. I was also given a flower to wear in my hair. As is custom in Tahiti, you wear it behind your left ear if you’re married, engaged or taken and on the right if you’re single or available. I know that at the time, I do now.