Next stop, Bora Bora, French Polynesia – the second stretch of our honeymoon. SQUEEEEE! Due to connecting flights, we flew to Sydney from the Gold Coast and stayed overnight at the Stamford Plaza Sydney Airport Hotel. At the crack of dawn we flew to Auckland for a 3 hour stopover. We were oh so close! After a 5 hour flight, we reached our stopover destination, Papeete. As we arrived in the evening, we headed straight to our resort and to bed. Our accommodation was a Lagoon Suite at the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti.
Our suite was so modern and spacious with a private terrace overlooking the lagoon. The view was amazing, the perfect teaser, we couldn’t wait to reach Bora Bora!
On our return to Australia we had another stopover in Papeete with more time to explore our surroundings. We decided to travel by foot, but to be honest, there wasn’t much to see or do within walking distance of the resort. We strolled up and down the highway sticking out like sore thumbs! It was a great opportunity to see the local homes and people. If you’re interested in viewing more of the city, it would be best to travel by taxi (although expensive). The local food trucks known as “Les Roulottes” on the main wharf are supposedly popular with tourists.
The following morning we departed for our most anticipated destination, Bora Bora. Trip Advisor was a great research tool during our planning and thanks to recommendations from the website, we sat on the left hand side of the plane (when facing the cockpit) to maximise our view of the islands. We all rushed to the front of the line, teeth gritted and elbows out, and charged onto the plane to ensure we secured the best seats. I’m surprised the plane didn’t tilt to one side!
The glorious views of Tahiti and Her Islands.
We touched down 45 minutes later and were welcomed by a resort representative and decorated with leis. Bora Bora Airport is located on its own motu (islet) and each resort has a boat to transfer guests.
The weather was a tad gloomy upon arrival, however nothing could diminish the brilliance of the azure water!
Our home for 5 blissful days – Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa. The only resort on motu Tevairoa giving us a sense of total seclusion. The majority of resorts were on the main island.
We checked into our Overwater Bungalow (#22), settled and then explored the rest of the resort. Bora Bora was everything we had imagined and more. It was truly breathtaking. It was such a surreal feeling, we had to pinch ourselves.
The view from within our Overwater Bungalow.
Glass featured throughout the room – the vanity, the bath tub, the bedside tables and the coffee table. The tables had tops that slid open to feed the fish below, this was such a novelty! We spent hours gazing at the marine life, I’m sure we had a resident fish who visited us daily for a snack.
Our terrace equipped with lounge chairs and a lower sun deck with a ladder plunging directly into the lagoon. O…M…G! Most evenings we would sit on the lower sun deck and feed hundreds of fish by hand. The little suckers tickled our fingers with their hungry mouths!
My honeymoon gift, an authentic Tahitian black pearl.
Taurearea Bar, where we sipped $25 cocktails/mocktails!
Tevairoa Restaurant overlooking Bora Bora lagoon and Mount Otemanu. Our honeymoon package included morning and evening meals and we gorged ourselves on sumptuous buffet breakfasts and French influenced cuisine for dinner. If you’re staying at this resort, I would recommend a meal package as there are no self-catering facilities in the bungalows and food and beverage are astronomically priced. You’ll find most things are quite expensive throughout French Polynesia. If you’d like to spoil yourself, there is a popular restaurant on the main island called Bloody Mary’s.
Every Friday evening a Polynesian Show is held in the restaurant, a beautiful display of culture and dance. Guests were pulled up on stage, myself included. I shook my booty as best as I could!
The weather was typical for the tropics, some days were stunning and other days it would rain for hours and then clear. This didn’t deter us from partaking in some adventures!
As Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa was on its own motu, a regular boat and bus shuttle service was made available to guests wishing to travel to the main island. We decided to visit Vaitape for a wander and a spot of grocery shopping. It was such an interesting day! The local shopping centre consisted of 7 shops and at the local supermarket, we purchased a loaf of bread for $10 and a 1 litre bottle of soft drink for $7! I wasn’t kidding when I said everything in French Polynesia is expensive!
The first tour we booked was a full day that involved shark watching, visiting a Lagoonarium and a picnic. We snorkelled with reef sharks and stingrays as our guides fed them. While it was nerve-wracking, it was incredible being so up close and personal.
The Lagoonarium, an outdoor aquarium, was my favourite stop of the day. We were able to feed fish, pet stingrays, watch sea turtles and swim in the coral garden amongst more reef sharks and stingrays. The surrounding views were spectacular! The picnic was delicious, we enjoyed a variety of Polynesian dishes and beverages and learnt the technique of tying a pareo (sarong) in different styles.
Our second tour was a half day 4 x 4 safari adventure that took us to several viewpoints around the island, World War II cannons and a pearl farm. Unfortunately the weather was quite dismal on this day, so the panoramic views went to waste. It was a real shame as the photo opportunities would have been superb. We still had a fantastic time nevertheless, decked out in our sexy ponchos, holding onto the jeep for dear life as we drove up and down bumpy terrain.
We booked a third tour, Sailing Sunset Cruise, however this was cancelled due to the wet weather. Although I’m an absolute control freak and prefer to have every minor detail sorted, I would recommend booking tours once you’re on the island. That way you can book according to your mood and the weather. Our resort had a Tour Desk and staff readily available to assist.
All was not lost, I made use of the night in and indulged in a traditional Polynesian massage at Manea Spa. It was worth all 195 dollars! I love a good massage, especially when the therapist walks on your back. Crack those vertebrae, yeah! I felt like jelly afterwards. Bliss!
When we weren’t on tour, soaking up the sun, sipping cocktails/mocktails or lazing about, we were canoeing in the lagoon …
Snorkelling in the resort’s coral nursery that was purposely installed to maintain coral and marine life …
Lunching at Miki Miki Restaurant & Bar …
And finally … playing mini golf (I kicked Matt’s butt big time!).
All photos by Katrina and Matthew
Ms Gingham says: Do you ever have the feeling when you’re on holidays, that things just aren’t real? Almost as if you’ve stepped into a postcard and everything around you has been staged like a performance for your benefit? I think that’s how I’d feel in Bora Bora.
Katrina describes herself as: Recent bride turned wifey turned wedding tragic. Two years on & I am still obsessed with all things wedding! I plan on annual vow renewals, but shhh, hubby has no idea. Hehehe! 😉
Check out Part 1 of this honeymoon here.