Victoria, our lovely bride from yesterday's real wedding also shared her Bora Bora honeymoon experience with us! Here's how the trip panned out...
Your honeymoon is by far the most romantic holiday you'll ever go on and French Polynesia, Bora Bora in particular, remains the dream destination. The good news is at the moment with the Aussie dollar powering along it's no longer ridiculously expensive. Don't get me wrong, you can still dump thousands of dollars a night on a room, but the general price is much more reasonable compared to ten years ago. Whether you're an outdoor active couple or one that prefers to read books by the water, FP is hands down the most stunning place in the world you could choose. Unlike most holidays when you arrive you won't pull the postcard down to see dull colours and rubbish in the sand. The view will blow you away.
There are a million ways to do French Polynesia. Bora Bora remains the most luxurious Island and it's definitely where you want to be, however with 130 islands all within a quick flight, I would strongly suggest dropping into a few different ones while you're there. Below is a quick rundown of how we did it. We have several contacts in Tahiti who helped shape our trip, which ensured we cut straight to the very best of everything from five star restaurants to local secrets that shouldn't be missed.
Unfortunately direct flights from Sydney to Papeete (Tahiti) have stopped so you'll have to fly through Auckland. It's a quick stopover and you won't mind anyway because you're finally free of the relatives! Flights leave twice a week; Sunday and Wednesday morning. They land in Tahiti in the evening so you'll have to stay in Papeete overnight before heading out to the islands. We stayed at the Intercontinental, which is just two minutes from the airport. The next day you can fly straight to Bora Bora if you wish, but we were told by locals that a slight deviation was a must. After breakfast we jumped a late morning ferry across to Moorea. It's only 40 minutes and the scenery is breathtaking. Here we stayed at the Sofitel which is the closest hotel to the ferry and just happens to be situated on the best lagoon in FP. An overwater bungalow here for two nights will quickly set the scene for an amazing trip. It's literally like living on top of a massive aquarium. The lagoon is huge and you can snorkel for hours. The first night we just relaxed after a big afternoon exploring and grabbed some cocktails with room service. The second night we dined at the Sofitel's K restaurant. WOW. A culinary experience that will knock your socks off.... literally, it's on the sand. I'm a vegetarian and generally quite hard to please, but the risotto had me sending compliments to the chef. My husband was also blown away - a gourmet snail sausage his highlight.
Day three we boarded a small plane to Bora Bora (around 30 minutes including one stop). Once on the ground you'll then enjoy probably the best transfer you'll ever have. You're hotel concierge will pick you up in a boat and the cruise back to your room doubles as a stunning tour of the island. We stuck with the Sofitel to check out the exclusive Private Island Resort. It's off the main Island, but it's only a short 3 minute boat ride across which is at your disposal day and night. There are only 20 bungalows here so the two private beaches will almost always be your own. Every second night tables are put out on the sand for an extremely romantic candle lit dinner - highly recommended.
If you're into relaxing, reading, and getting pampered then you'll never leave. However, if you're up for some action there's plenty. Around the Island there are heaps of tours and experiences from jet skiing to quad biking. You can learn to dive, kite surf, stand-up paddleboard, or grab some electric bikes and ride around the island. These go early so it's best grab one in the morning. The same goes for mopeds, it's not like Bali there's only a few available. If you only do one activity while on Bora I would strongly suggest the string ray and shark feeding. This is such an amazing experience. It only takes three hours and you actually swim with wild stingrays and sharks. They're only reef sharks, which sounds fine, but when you're sitting on the edge of a boat a kilometre out to sea about to jump in with them.... it's a much different story. I skipped that part!
All the big hotel chains are on Bora so if you're staying for an extended period you won't run out of places to dine. Bloody Mary's is a famous spot. It used to swing in the 80's, but now it's more of a tourist spot. The food is average at best, but it's a novelty and well worth a look. If you want to get involved in some local food La bounty is a must. The owner grows her own herbs and veggies and it's one of the best meals you'll have on Bora. The menu changes daily depending on what has ripened in the garden overnight - fabulous French home cooking at its best.
When your holiday comes to an end (boo!!!) you'll jump back on the boat up to the airport to head back to Papeete. Flights back to Sydney leave early in the morning so you must stay another night in Papeete - good, because a dining experience awaits you! Once we checked back into the Intercontinental we headed straight to Le Cocos. Our mate had been raving about this place since the moment he knew we were coming to Tahiti so we were super excited. The experience exceeded our highest expectations. It truly is a world class restaurant, the perfect way to end the perfect honeymoon. As soon as we boarded our flight back to Sydney we both agreed to return. If you choose to honeymoon in French Polynesia, I'm positive you'll love every second.
Papeete; Le Coco's Tahiti