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Insider's Guide to Moorea

Major attractions, tips and our top things to see and do.

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Moorea ATTRACTIONS See all

Opunohu Bay (Baie d'Opunohu)

Located 20 miles west of Papeete and dominated by Mount Tohiea, Opunohu Bay is a beautiful narrow bay surrounded by lush green and jagged mountains and littered with sailing vessels and tour boats. The bay is also historical, as it where the HMS Bounty moored to search for breadfruit, leading to the famous Mutiny on the Bounty where the crew turned on their commanding officer, Lieutenant William Bligh, setting him afloat on a small boat. Attracted to island lifestyle, the crew stayed in Tahiti and burned the ship to avoid detection; however, Bligh made it back to Britain and reported the mutiny, and some of the crew members were arrested. Many were never found though, and their descendants still live in Tahiti today. There is a movie based on this historical occurrence called "The Bounty," which will allow you to learn more about the mutiny as well as see the beauty of the bay.

Despite popular belief, Captain Cook, one of the first explorers to realize that a large community existed in the South Pacific, did not anchor at Cook's Bay in 1777 but at Opunohu Bay. Less crowded than Cook's Bay, Opunohu Bay is a local favorite because it is quieter and more secluded. Many people enjoy having a picnic on one of the bay's small beaches, shopping in nearby Papetoai or having an underwater adventure through snorkeling or diving.

Additionally, from here you can begin the drive to the island's best aerial viewpoint, Belvedere Lookout.

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