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 Mount Pahia and Mount 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 32 kilometres and easily done and done by bicycle, scooter or car in a day.
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach and Private Island encompasses both an exclusive private island and stunning white sand beach. It's a 20 minute pedal from the main town.
Luxurious and expansive, it features 95 bungalows in a variety of styles, including overwater and hillside, restaurant, bar, a cigar cave, wine cellar, day spa, infinity pool and recreational facilities.
Latitude 16°'s terrace overlooking the terrace is where diners enjoy local specialties, international cuisine and they have theme nights.
Manu Tuki also has breathtaking views and they serve a la carte dinner, barbecue, snacks and French and Polynesian cuisine.
Hurricane and Mako are the two bars. Apart from great cocktails, they make up picnic boxes, snacks, ice cream and other snacks. Hurricane has nightly entertainment.
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.
The Sofitel Nautical Team will provide you with an absolute holiday treat. On one of their Eco Tours will have you feeding sharks and rays as you enjoy an island tour, picnic and Polynesian entertainment.
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.
Bora Bora Beach Resort rooms start at $130 a night.
Sofitel Nautical Team half-day Eco Tours are around $100 for adults and $50 for children. The price includes island tour, snorkelling equipment, shark and ray feeding, picnic and entertainment. They operate every day except Sunday.
Prices correct at July 29, 2010.
For further information
Sofitel Bora Bora Marara Beach
BP 6 Bora Bora
98730 Nunue Vaitape
Ph: 0011 689 605500
Fax: 0011 689 677403
Suite 3, Level 8, 25 Bligh Street
Ph: (02) 9233 4920, (02) 9368 5262
Visas: Australians may stay in French Polynesia for up to three months without a visa.
Electricity: Electricity is 110 or 220AC/60Hz, depending on the island. 220 is the most common. Plugs are circular with two female and one male point, the same as France.
Time zone: GMT -10 hours.
Currency: Pacific franc.
Telephone code: +689.
Travellers should be 'in date' for the standard Australia/New Zealand immunisation schedules and should consider routine traveller vaccines against food/water-borne illnesses. Other health precautions may be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor six weeks before travel. For further information visit www.smartraveller.gov.au