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Catriona at Bora Bora
Catriona at Bora Bora
Pearl Beach Resort
on the beach

Bora Bora

Thursday, August 8, 2002
Welcome to absolute paradise where the water is crystal clear and the sun is shining … did we mention it's absolutely romantic too?

French Polynesia is made up of five archipelagoes — Marquesas, Tuamotus, Austral, Gambier and Society. The Society Islands have two parts — Windward, which includes Tahiti and Moorea, and Leeward which includes Raiatea and Bora Bora.

Bora Bora is made up of a 10km long island, some smaller high islands in its lagoon and a long ring of islands on the barrier reef. Around 5000 people live there and the main island is located in the centre of a lagoon surrounded by motu islets and protected by a ring of coral. There is just one navigable pass through the coral. It has a partially paved road which winds 29km around the island, passing through villages, archaeological sites and army sites from WWII when 5000 members of the American armed forces were based there.

While it has the reputation of being one of the most incredibly beautiful islands in the world, it also has the reputation of being expensive beyond most people's pockets. That is close to the truth as pretty much everything, including drinking water, has to be shipped in. Taxes and bureaucracy add to the high costs, but we have checked out three-star and five-star accommodation for you to compare.

The three-star Bora Bora Eden Beach is on a private motu to the south-east of the main island. The resort is environmentally friendly with solar energy, recycling and autonomous water management and the views from the pool and terrace are breathtaking.

There are only 15 bungalows — four beach, four ocean view and seven garden. Each has fans and mini bar and there is a restaurant with a set menu. You can either buy your meals separately or pay half-board or full-board.

There is a pool, kayaks, outrigger canoes and snorkelling gear and you can request a shuttle to the main island at any time.

Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort is rated five-star and the choice there is between 50 over-water bungalows, 10 beach bungalow suites and 20 garden pool suites.

Renowned South Pacific architect Pierre-Jean Picart has captured the charm, colour and beauty of the islands. Those staying in over-water accommodation have breakfast delivered by canoe!

They have an enormous pool at the base of a water cascade, as well as a jacuzzi. There are two boutiques — one selling wonderful local black pearls — a games room, theatre, floodlit tennis court, petanque, badminton, shuffleboard and mini golf.

Tevairoa Restaurant sits six metres above sea level and overlooks the lagoon, across to Mount Otemanu. Its cuisine is a refined blend of French, European, American and Japanese, served on a terrace under the stars.

Wherever you choose to stay a wonderful outing is shark feeding from an outrigger canoe. You go out in a green and yellow motorised outrigger canoe, complete with thatched roof and decorated with sweet smelling flowers.

Once waist-deep water in the lagoon, you can leave the canoe and the rays will come to be fed. Closer to the reef you will be able to feed sharks, before going to a private motu for a traditional picnic. There is a four-posted building with thatched roof covering a ground oven made from stones.

A fire is lit at 4am and by the time you reach there the stones are hot enough to cook a truly memorable meal using banana leaves as the cooking utensils. They serve chicken, suckling pig, breadfruit, plantain banana and raw fish marinated in coconut milk and lime juice.

You can walk off lunch by strolling through the reef from one side of the island to the other, through little pools and colourful coral.

Location

240 kms north-west of Tahiti in French Polynesia.

Cost

Qantas flies twice a week to Papeete on codeshare services operated by Polynesian Airlines and Air Tahiti Nui.
Qantas Holidays has five night packages including one night in Papeete and either four nights at Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort starting at $3327 from Melbourne and $3339 from Brisbane and Sydney, or staying four nights at Bora Bora Eden Beach Hotel starting at $2631 from Melbourne and $2643 from Brisbane and Sydney. Return airfares, twin-share accommodation and transfers to Bora Bora are included. Prices include charges and taxes. Seasonal surcharges and conditions apply.
For the latest packages on Tahiti and her islands, call GIE Tahiti Tourisme.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

Tahiti Tourisme: Ph: (02) 9281 6020, 1300 655 563
www.traveltotahiti.com.au
Bora Bora Eden Beach Resort
Ph: 0011 689 605760
Fax: 0011 689 605222
www.pearlresorts.com
info@spmhotels.pf
Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort
Ph: 0011 689 508462
Fax: 0011 689 429914
www.pearlresorts.com
reception@borapearlbeach.pf
Qantas Holidays: Ph: 13 14 15

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