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Bora Bora on a budget

Thursday, October 30, 2008
Bora Bora is an island in the Leeward group of the French Polynesian Society Islands. It is a territory of France and its major settlement, Vaitape, is on the western side of the island. It is surrounded by a lagoon and a barrier reef and in the centre of the island are remnants of an extinct volcano, rising to the peaks of Mt Pahia and Mt Otemanu.

Bora Bora is a romantic island. Its lagoon resembles an artist's palette of blues and greens. Lush slopes and valleys are smothered with hibiscus and white sand beaches lead to waters filled with coloured fish and giant manta rays.

Certainly there are some break-the-bank places to stay, but that doesn't mean everyone can't enjoy the beauty of Bora Bora. For starters, the airport ferry transfer is free, and as the island is so flat, you can get around under your own steam. The paved road follows the shoreline and dips in and out of beautiful bays. It's just 32km and easily done by bicycle, scooter or car in a day.

Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort is a 20-minute pedal from the main town. The 80-room, three-star property has 10 two-storey Polynesian-style buildings set in tropical gardens and children under 16 years stay free! Another fantastic bonus is that you can use the facilities of the five-star Sofitel right next door!

The Novotel's restaurant has two terraces overlooking the lagoon and pool. They provide à la carte and gourmet menus, snacks and buffet breakfast. Delicious local specialties are served.

There are plenty of activities for families to enjoy — kayaking, water and jet skiing, boating excursions and there is a private beach and snorkelling/scuba diving centre. For relaxation, head for the massage solarium or pool.

Vaitape has a helpful visitor information centre and its only street is lined with boutiques, black-pearl shops and women's handicraft centre.


Bora Bora, an hour's flight from Papeete in Tahiti.


Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort rooms start at around $205 a night twin share.

Air Tahiti Nui has flights to Papeete.

Fares from:

  • Sydney $1028
  • Brisbane $1246
  • Melbourne $1247
  • Adelaide $1382
  • Darwin $1667
Valid for sale and travel until November 30, 2008.

Prices correct at October 30, 2008.

For further information

Novotel Bora Bora Beach Resort
BP 174, Bora Bora
98730 Vaitape
Ph: +689 60 59 50
Fax: +689 60 59 51

Air Tahiti Nui
Level 12, 403 George Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9244 2337
Fax: (02) 9244 2321

Tahiti Tourisme
Suite 3, Level 8, 25 Bligh Street
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9233 4920 or (02) 9368 5262
Fax: (02) 9233 4906

Check out our celebrity Getaway blog or our photo gallery for more Getaway adventure pics.

User comments
I can swim at bondi beach for nothing why go all the way to boring bora
when I was there i found that it was just another beautiful tropical paradise that had been ruined by the french - same as mauritius. Ridiculously expensive and now looked on as just another tick in the box.
another overpriced tropical paradise not catering for the average ozzie.... these writers who write these articles should do it on there own credit card and then find out just how much these Olidays cost..... Rather be at rotto anyday......
WA is the biggest state in Australia and we create huge amounts of wealth but time after time we are forgotten about.
I went to Bora Bora for my honeymoon and it is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. It is VERY expensive howevre so I would recommend eating at local restaurants. Most Hotels charge $120-$200 pp for Dinner or Breakfast so I'd suggest making sure you have breakfast included in your rate. If you stay somewhere on the Bora Bora mainland (like the mentioned Novotel) you can go to Local restaurants for dinner where the prices are comparable to Aus. For those with kids though, it is more of an Adults island with not many kids clubs or activities for kids aside from snorkelling. I would definitely recommend going for a honeymoon or well deserved holiday!
Hi Jo, from Perth. I don't think that Perth was ommitted for the usual reason (that we are forgotton over here) rather that Perth does not have a direct flight to Bora Bora. A friend of mine has just got back from there, and they had to fly to Sydney, stay overnight and then fly to Bora Bora from there and then back to Sydney. Just for the record, she did say that although they managed to get accomodation at a reasonable price, every thing else was pretty unaffordable. A massage was $1700, drinks about $30 each, a bottle of J.D in a bottle outlet was $170 (about $50 here). So if you manage to get reasonable priced accomodation, only plan on swimming,walking, and lazing about. Certainly not a family holiday.
There is a very nice town in Australia which even has it's own airport that seems to be left of the fares listing on may of these information sheets - It is called PERTH, we are here and we do like to go on holiday. Please try and remember to include us on the listing !!!!!
I have just returned from a 10 day cruise around the Tahiti islands and four days in Papeete and it was wonderful to watch the segment on Bora Bora. Maybe I will be able to go back again for another holiday in the next few years. Also the people are so friendly it is a lovely place to visit.
I was curious, who is Kelly? and where can i find out info on her?
it is great to find out that my family can go to our dream location without having to get a second mortgage. we will be planning our next holiday soon.

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