and the Getaway
crew travelled to the exotic French Polynesian island of Bora Bora
. It is one of the Leeward Group of the Society Islands, a collectivity of France in the Pacific Ocean. It's better known as Tahiti
Bora Bora is famous for its luxury resorts, divine climate, its surrounding lagoon and reef and the grand volcanic peaks of Mt Otemanu and Mt Pahia rising from the centre of the island.
Le Méridien Bora Bora has 99 themed bungalows, either perched over the lagoon or on the ivory sands.
Art deco-style beachfront bungalows each enjoy a private beach with chairs and hammocks. Overwater bungalows have glass flooring giving endless fascination for guests. Pool beach suites have a large terrace and pool.
Le Tipanie features changing à la carte and buffet cuisine. Le Te Ava is poolside and you can dine with your feet in the sand. It's reminiscent of a traditional Tahitian village. Fare Tupa serves snacks all day and Le Tiare overlooks the lagoon and serves delicious dinners. Miki Miki bar was designed as a prow of a ship, pointing towards Mt Otemanu. Delicious cocktails and light fare are served in casual surroundings.
The Kaïnalu Canoe Club at Le Méridien has reintroduced the traditional French Polynesian boat. Guests enjoy excursions on traditional sailing canoes to one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world.
Another memorable experience is the turtle sanctuary. There is a huge effort happening there to save the magnificent but endangered hawksbills and green sea turtles.
The conservation program is run by French marine biologist Sebastien Goutenegre in partnership with the Tahitian government. Adult turtles are rescued along with any eggs which are hatched. In the 10 years it has been running, more than 500 turtles have been released into their natural environment.
Visitors can enjoy swimming with the turtles in the lagoon. They are inquisitive and seem to be attracted to bright colours. Visitors are invited to adopt one of their own. Contributions sponsor the upkeep of the beautiful creatures on their way to enjoy a successful future.
Bloody Mary's is a legendary bar and restaurant located 15 minutes by shuttle from Le Méridien. It's a favourite with passing boaties and you will see many names of the rich and famous who have been there.
The daily catch is displayed on ice and you place your order with the chef. A vast selection of seafood is there to tempt, as well as steak, chicken and vegetarian choices. At lunch time they serve burgers, sandwiches and local specialties.
Bora Bora, an hour's flight from Papeete in Tahiti.
Le Meridien Bora Bora has a seven night package that includes return economy airfares and taxes with Air Tahiti Nui, domestic flights and transfers, two nights accommodation at Le Meridien Tahiti and five nights accommodation at Le Meridien Bora Bora with breakfast and dinner daily from $4395 per person, twin share. Call Tahiti Travel Connection on 1300 858 305 or visit youdeservetahiti.com.au
For guests not staying at the resort, the cost of entry to the Turtle Sanctuary is around $23 per person. That includes attending the turtle feeding and swimming with them.
Air Tahiti Nui has flights to Papeete from:
- Sydney $1132
- Melbourne $1185
- Brisbane $1356
- Adelaide $1616
- Perth $1773
Prices correct at February 24, 2011.
For further information
Air Tahiti Nui
1300 732 415
Level 8, 25 Bligh Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
Ph: (02) 9233 4920 or 1300 655 563
Fax: (02) 9233 4906
Le Méridien Bora Bora
Ph: +689 605 151
Fax: +689 605 152
Tahiti Travel Connection
601/83 Mount Street
North Sydney, NSW 2060
Ph: 1300 858 305
Fax: (02) 9966 1455
Visas: Australians may stay in French Polynesia for up to three months without a visa.
Electricity: 110V or 220V at 60Hz, depending on the island, but 220V is the most common. Plugs are circular with two female and one male point, the same as France.
Time zone: GMT -10.
Currency: Pacific franc.
International dialling code: +689.
It is recommended travellers to French Polynesia see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information, visit www.smartraveller.gov.au and www.welltogo.com.au.