Paradise in the sun!
For the ultimate holiday hot-spot that is picture perfect, look no further than the clear waters of Bora Bora, where you will never want to leave your bungalow.
Bora Bora is a dot in a lagoon of blues and greens. It is just 30km in circumference, with lush mountains and a necklace of coral. Flying in is an experience the airstrip was built on a small islet (or motu) by US troops during WWII and passengers travel by boat to the main island.
In 2002, the opening of the Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa raised the bar for luxury in the 118 Tahitian islands.
There are 120 luxury suites on 6.5 hectares of lush, terraced hillside in a protected cove. All suites have ocean views, with décor and design reflecting island culture, luxury and modern technology. Six hundred coconut palms line the walkways and there is a white sandy beach almost a kilometre long.
Polynesian building traditions were followed, using dried pandanus leaves, hand-woven by local artists, to form thatched roofing. Hand-printed tapa cloth made from the breadfruit tree has been used, as well as hand-carved, curly kahia wood. Mahogany canopy beds were imported from Indonesia and French bathroom fixtures are fitted to the Italian marble bathtubs, which have been carved from a solid block.
Overwater bungalows have three in-floor, glass viewing panels. One is by the bathtub, one by the sitting area and one on your private verandah. You can look at colourful clusters of coral and watch schools of tropical fish making their way through the clear water.
Apart from your verandah, there is a lower deck from which you can slide into the water. Fins and masks are provided in your room. At night the lagoon is lit, so is perfect for late night swims under the stars. An outside shower allows you to rinse off. The verandah is also the perfect place for indulging in a private session with the Mandara Spa therapists.
Breakfast can be delivered right to your door by Tahitian canoe. Polynesian picnics and romantic dinners can be ordered or there are other culinary options.
Iri Aitai Panoramic Restaurant features French cuisine with Mediterranean and Polynesian influence. Tamure Grili is casual, friendly and offers indoor/outdoor dining. Décor is accented with smooth and curly kahia wood and the sandy floor encourages barefoot dining. Mel Gibson's canoe from Mutiny on the Bounty is used to hold the cold buffet. There is outdoor beach and poolside dining, a restaurant for breakfast and dinner, three bars and 24-hour room service.
One of Bora Bora's most popular activities is feeding sharks and stingrays. The Windstar catamaran takes guests on a half-day tour which includes a circa-island tour and picnic stop.
Shark feeding is done in 1-1.5-metre water. Feeders are attached to a buoy by rope and those on board can watch. Black tip sharks, which grow to about 1.5 metres, are not aggressive or dangerous. Up to a couple of dozen can appear for the feeding session.
A 45-minute flight from Papeete in Tahiti
Shark Boy of Bora Bora runs half-day shark diving tours starting at around $75 per person.
Qantas flies daily to Auckland, with Air Tahiti Nui connections to Papeete.
Qantas Holidays has a six-night package to Bora Bora, including return economy airfares, four nights twin-share accommodation at Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa, two nights in Papeete and breakfast each day. Prices start at $4246 per person from Sydney. Check with Qantas or your travel agent for prices from other cities.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.
Bora Bora Nui Resort and Spa
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Ph: 689 603 300
Fax: 689 603 email@example.com
Shark Boy of Bora Bora
Box 119 Vaitape
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Ph: 689 676 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ph: (02) 9281 6020; 1300 655 563www.tahiti-tourisme.com.au
Qantas: 13 13 13