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Hello All,

Me and the Wife are headed to Moorea in a couple of weeks. Does anybody have any experience with the whale diving operations? Which one would be the best for an experienced freediving photographer? Also where would the best spots for freediving/snorkeling be? We are staying at the Intercontinental. I have stumbled across some older post on the web saying the better diving is at the hilton. We are for sure going to try there. Thanks in advance for any advice!

 

B

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Moorea is a spectacular island.

 

There is excellent snorkeling not far from the Intercontinental. My group took a tour boat that made its first stop for a visit with the reef sharks. I would personally recommend going with a diving operation or hiring your own boat. The big tour boats won't let the snorkelers wear fins even through the area is not within easy reach of the reef below. They expect their guests to hang onto a rope. The second stop was in a shallower area for feeding the stingrays. This is the Polynesian version of Stingray City. There is also a motu, or small island on the north side of Moorea. There were a surprising amount of hard corals but not as many fish.

 

Sorry I can't help you with the whales. Enjoy your trip.

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Probably late, but I stayed at the Hilton (overwater huts) in Moorea in January. Some pics here: http://www.cjcphoto.net/polynesia2015/index.html

 

I arranged some dives with Topdive, and the experience was kind of comical in terms of things going wrong. Van picked us up at the Hilton and took us a short drive to Topdive, which was a located in another resort a few miles from the Hilton. Took a long time getting things organized, and got on the boat. Newish divemaster (6 months there). We then drove the boat past the Hilton to another bay where we tried to pick up a couple of divers from a cruise ship. They wouldn't let us dock at the 'good' pier as the cruise ship commandeered it for tenders. Docked at a different one and picked up the two divers. They wondered 'where's our gear? we're renting everything'. Ok - drive the boat all the way back to the Topdive location to pick up rental gear. Then back (in front of the Hilton!) for a dive, and it's now been 3 hours since leaving the hotel. And ... OOPS, they use DIN connectors, and MY gear does not. And there are no DIN adapters on the boat. However, the divemaster waved over another dive boat and borrowed some so we were good to go. Finally into the (warm, clear) water at about the 3.5 hour mark.

 

Diving was OK, but not spectacular. There are certainly better locations to dive in French Polynesia.

 

I think the Topdive center might have been at the Intercontinental. We ate lunch there, and as anyone can tell you, it's VERY expensive to eat in French Polynesia, especially at the expensive resorts. Hamburger, salad, diet coke and bottle of water: $60.

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Hamburger, salad, diet coke and bottle of water: $60.

Jeez, probably not the best place to bring along my nutritionalist wife...

Edited by tamas970

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