Cycling in Teavaro and Snorkelling in Moorea, French Polynesia.


During our time on Moorea, French Polynesia, we spent some time doing some great out door activities on this terrific Polynesian island. In this wonderful island climate, we were able to explore the Air Moorea viewpoint and monument, take in a little stand up paddle board, experience snorkelling on an excellent mature house reef, and get in some flat road cycling to the market.

This post is one chapter on our trip to Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia. This trip was redeemed through Alaska Mileage Plan and AAdvantage frequent flier programs and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Cycling in Teavaro and Snorkelling in Moorea, French Polynesia.

Our visit to French Polynesia took us to the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. Our time on the picturesque holiday island of Moorea had us staying at the well located Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort.

After a few days of sun tanning at the resort, we ended up enjoying some of the other activities in Moorea

Walking to the Air Moorea Monument:

While MrsWT73 was sun tanning, I took a walk up to the look out over the bay just above the hotel. First, it was a a nice walk through the hotel grounds to get to the resort gates. They are super lush and pleasant. Perfect for relaxing in privacy… …not a soul around.

I headed out of the resort gates, and slowly started to climb the hill. It was a pretty easy walk on paved roads. It was a quick right out the front gate of the Sofitel and a slight climb up the hill (at least by Canadian standards) on foot to the top, after about 10 minutes.

There were stunning post card perfect views over the Sofitel Resort towards Tahiti Nui. The view point offered some inspiring views from Moorea over the lagoon that surrounded eastern Moorea.

While the color of the water is the most beautiful blue, you can really tell that the area is not super rich in coral life, from these high elevation photographs overlooking the Sofitel resort..

There was also a memorial plaque for an Air Moorea flight 1201, a Twin Otter that crashed on August 9, 2007. It was on its way from Papeete to Moorea where all 20 souls on board perished as a result of a cable failure.


Getting in a Stand Up Paddle Board:

I went back to the resort and had some more afternoon sun. Later in the afternoon, we used the free one hour activity per day and did a paddle board. It was the first time paddle boarding. The beach host recommended to us a route that had us paddling down the beach towards the north due to the corals. The visibility into the water was great and you could easily see beautiful fish in the waters from on top of the paddle board.

After the paddle board and an apperativo at the room, we had dinner at the hotel’s Vue Bar. I had a cobb salad which was just okay. Back at the room, the sunset tonight had lighter pink skies, including some friends that came out to visit as the sun went down.

Cycling in Teavaro, Moorea:

On our third day, we started to run out of snacking supplies. We decided to rent some bikes from the resort and ride to the local supermarché. It was 900 CFP ($9 USD) and about 25 minutes of bike ride from the property at a brisk pace towards the local market by the ferry terminal.

Departing from the property on the bicycle, we rode down to the market just past the port of Moorea. It was a fully flat ride with beautiful views. Again, it was totally bizarre to see French / European highway signs in the middle of an island in the Pacific.

The mountains here on Moorea are absolutely lush and full of trees and greenery on all surfaces. It was very unusual to have the towering mountains of Moorea all around you in this eastern corner of the island. It looked spectacular when the sun hits it and is highly unusual.

After the pedalling, we arrive to the Champion “medium box” market. Surprisingly, the market had lots of items; more department store than grocery store. It had the largest avocados I’d seen in a while, French baguettes for 50 cents ($USD) and lots of French cheeses (comté) at very reasonable prices

MrsWT73 headed to the wine rack with the hardest decision of the day. Again, it was awesome to have this kind of wine selection at a beach resort and was one of the more unusual features of visiting French Polynesia.

Although apparently in French Polynesia, alcohol and elections don’t mix.

Tahiti Wine? The sheer concept of wines in an atoll on an island in the Pacific with soils mostly populated from corals is totally bizarre. I think we will pass for now.

We loaded up our panniers and headed back to the resort property. It was a spirited bike ride but we stopped a few times for photographs and we were able to make the distance within the 1 hour time allotted.

After the bike ride, we sacked out for the last sun of the day that disappeared at 4 PM again. As the sun slipped away from the day, we had the opportunity to try some Tahiti Delight courtesy of our villa neighbours from Los Angeles. Eight % alcohol and a sharp tropical citrus taste much like a fresher version of Hawaiian Punch fruit juicy red. Dinner was again at the resort pub and was a Wagwu burger with pommes frites. Was actually okay but getting a little tired of pub food for dinner.


Snorkelling the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea House Reef:

On several days of our stay, I went and enjoyed the Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort’s House reef.

I started off with a snorkel on the south side of the over water villas. There was not a lot of room between the corals and the surface. I had to navigate between the corals like a labyrinth. On south side of the over water villas, low tide caused some pathways to be un-passable. Some of the fish were quite large and took a run at me.

While there weren’t a lot of fish or much schooling, the corals were in reasonable shape (not broken or stepped on). Unfortunately, while there was a moderate variety of fish, the snorkeling was no where near as interesting or diverse as our experiences in the Maldives. The Maldives house reef’s gets the blue ribbon here versus where we went from shore in Moorea.

I slept in a little on our next day. We had a great breakfast followed by some morning sun. The next day, we went out for another snorkel, this time between the two over water pontoons. There were lots of fish with some better visibility and interesting corals.

We also managed to spot some wonderful manta rays from the resort marina pontoon. It was amazing to watch these sea features float around through the shallow waters across the sea shores of the beaches of the resort.

The Bottom Line:

The Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort offered heaps of activities on and around the resort. The island of Moorea is a really pleasant place to be at the best of times. The ability to snorkel on an excellent house reef with developed corals, stand up paddle board on clear blue water, and biking on some flat terrain with spectacular mountain scenery. As a result, it’s easy for me to recommend visiting this corner of Moorea, French Polynesia.

If you visited Moorea, French Polynesia, what was your favourite activity on the island?

2 Comments on “Cycling in Teavaro and Snorkelling in Moorea, French Polynesia.

  1. Hi! Thanks for the nice trip report. Did you swim out to the barrier reef for snorkeling, or stay near the shore? We were on a cruise that had a one-day stop at Moorea, rented a car and drove to the public beach just north of the Sofitel. Once you swim across the mostly bare sand of the lagoon, the corals at the barrier reef were quite nice. They do get all the way up to the surface, so just like you said, I had to navigate the passages between the corals and be mindful of the tides to avoid getting stuck.


    • Thanks for reading SBS.

      We did our snorkelling immediately from shore with the house reef at the Sofitel Moorea Beach Resort. There’s nothing like the convenience of being able to do it from shore. It’s also great to be able to time it for when the oceans are less rough; although this is not usually a factor in French Polynesia thanks to the configuration of the motu’s and reefs.

      I have been fortunate enough to snorkel in both the Maldives and Mauritius and I did find that the reefs in those ares were much more developed and alive than our experiences in Moorea.

      Happy travels.


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