Planning your visit to Moorea and wondering how you’ll get around? Keep reading for your expert guide to exploring with and without a car.
Moorea is a tropical paradise in French Polynesia; the perfect place for a relaxing getaway, unforgettable honeymoon, or trip of a lifetime.
You might say we’re fans of French Polynesia; Mike and I have spent several months exploring the islands. From staying in an overwater bungalow to befriending local taxi drivers, there’s very little on the island of Moorea that we haven’t tried.
As travel bloggers and people who LOVE Moorea, we wanted to share our inside tips for visiting this incredible island in French Polynesia.
How To Get Around Moorea
To make the most of your time in Moorea you’ll want to get off the resort and explore this beautiful island. Luckily, you have some great options to choose from, including electric vehicles, campervans, e-bikes, scooters, and more.
Travelers who don’t mind driving and are old enough to rent a car should strongly consider renting an Electric Vehicle (EV). An EV can go approximately 300km/186 miles on a full charge, and it’s an ecofriendly option for getting around the island.
We loved and highly recommend Coco Riders, a local company that is run by a very friendly and accommodating team, offering EVs and motorbikes.
When we visited Moorea, Mike and I rented an EV for $1,900 a month. This might seem pricey but Coco Riders offer the best deals on the island and when you factor in the savings on gas, it’s actually pretty good!
💡Pro Tip: An EV will mean big savings due to the super high cost of gas in French Polynesia.
Coco Riders offered us a free upgrade to an SUV, which was an appreciated luxury during our stay. The EV was a newer model, complete with lots of features like a backup camera, sun roof and air conditioning, but we recommend saving your battery and rolling down the windows.
Before booking your EV, there are a couple of things to consider:
On our most recent trip to Moorea, Mike and I were able to charge our EV every night at our Airbnb. For a quick top up during the day we headed to Cook’s Bay Hotel to plug in. Then we grabbed a smoothie at Ia Orana Smoothies (seriously delicious!), and went for a swim near the docks next to Cook’s Bay Hotel
If smoothies aren’t your thing you can eat at the hotel itself, or take a stroll to Allo Pizza, one of our favorite spots to grab a bite.
If the idea of driving a large vehicle around Moorea doesn’t sound like you, why not consider two wheels, instead of four?
eBikes are a smaller, more nimble form of personal transportation, and are more affordable in both rental cost and fuel to get around the island.
If you’ve never ridden an eBike, you’re in for a treat because they’re really fun!
Ebikes power themselves after a pedal or two, ideal if you aren’t a strong cyclist or want to cover some serious ground on the island. Although they’re more powerful than a standard bicycle, you’ll still travel a lot more slowly than you would in an EV.
💡Pro Tip: Beware of the dogs! Some of the dogs on the island are aggressive and may try to chase you. This doesn’t happen often but you should be aware of the risk.
But these are perfectly suited for exploring Cook’s Bay and Opunohu Bay on a leisurely, warm, clear day.
The only real downside to renting an eBike is that it rains a lot on Moorea. We recommend eBiking around Moorea for a day or two, and using an option like an EV for the wider island exploration.
If two wheels sounds like your thing, Scooters and motorbikes offer many of the same benefits of eBikes, but they’re a whole lot faster, at speeds of up to 30mph/50km per hour.
When it comes to scooter rentals in Moorea, we recommend Hello Scoot!
The scooters from Hello Scoot! are solar-powered and have room for up to two travelers, so it’s an efficient and eco-friendly option for couples and friends.
Our friends actually rented scooters for several days in November 2023 and absolutely loved cruising around the island in style.
We love Hello Scoot because they’re really accommodating to guests and there are several stations for these around the island including at Cook’s Bay Hotel.
They’re also affordable, with scooter rentals averaging about $50-60/day, depending on seasonality and availability.
While we normally like to keep things positive around here, unfortunately Mike and I previously had a poor experience renting a motorbike from Rent a Bike Moorea and we don’t want anyone else to make the same mistake.
While the bikes and reservation process were fine, the customer service was really subpar and I’d hate for any fellow travelers to find themselves on the owner’s bad side.
After our experience renting here in 2020, Mike and I stopped by again recently to ask for directions to an EV charging station. For whatever reason, the map showed his location had a charging station, he was incredibly rude and critical of our rental EV. 🙁
We went back through our emails from 2020, and realized not much has changed in the last three years when it comes to how they treat people.
Put simply, we don’t want other people to have this poor experience also! Moorea is all about relaxing in paradise and amazing people, and we don’t want to sour the mood with poor customer experience.
Mini Jeep Roadster
For a unique and stylish way to get around Moorea, consider a mini Jeep Roadster. These functional vehicles are super popular with visitors to the island and have excellent reviews, making they’re a great overall choice!
💡Pro Tip: You’ll be able to tackle Pineapple Road in one of these mini Jeep Roadsters which is inaccessible for most EVs and rental cars!
The Jeeps are only rented for up to 24 hours, so most travelers will need alternate forms of transportation while they’re on Moorea.
Still, they’re perfect for a day of off-roading and visiting landmarks like Belvedere Lookout, Opunohu Bay, and the island’s archaeological sites.
I’ll let you in on an inside tip I wish I’d known before I visited French Polynesia on a budget: rent a campervan.
We were seriously jealous when we started traveling around Moorea and realized that other travelers had campervans that they could roll right up to the beach.
Budget travelers won’t do much better than combining their accommodation and transportation costs, and campervans let you do just that.
For context, it typically costs at least $150 per night for accommodation in Moorea and $60 or more per day for transportation but a campervan from Van-Away starts at just $65 a day!
Although campervans are budget-friendly, you’ll have to do without a private bathroom or shower and after a day in the salty water, you might might be craving a hot shower as you wind down for the evening.
But if you don’t mind skipping a few home comforts a campervan is an excellent way to get around Moorea.
How To Get Around Moorea Without A Car
Not all travelers have drivers licenses or feel comfortable navigating the roads in a foreign country. Or, maybe you’re just under the 25 year old age requirement for car rentals.
Whatever the case, you can absolutely get around Moorea without a car.
Public transportation in Moorea does exist, but it’s lacking, to say the least. There is a public bus that roams the island, but there is no real schedule so it’s not a reliable form of transit.
We don’t recommend that you rely on public transit unless you’re really in a bind. Instead, we recommend using one of the other options such as taxis or guided tours.
Guided tours are both a great way to get around Moorea and an opportunity to try new activities. Truthfully, there are SO MANY fabulous tours in Moorea, it’ll probably be hard to choose just one.
Here are a few of our favorite tour ideas for your next trip, almost all of which will pick you up from your hotel or a nearby central location.
Snorkeling tours are perfect for beginners, who might not be comfortable entering the water on their own or even for experienced snorkelers who like to have a local guide.
Typically, these tours will take you out on a boat so that you can snorkel in areas that are inaccessible from land.
The rugged terrain in Moorea is perfect for taking an ATV tour. The tours will include stops at some of the most incredible lookout spots on the island, like Magic Mountain and Belvedere Lookout.
Finally, you might enjoy swimming with sharks and rays, one of the top things to do in Moorea. Don’t worry, the sharks aren’t dangerous; they’re black tipped reef sharks, a species known for being shy and reclusive.
Taxis & Uber
Unfortunately, there is no Uber on Moorea. You can, however, safely and easily take taxis around the island.
If you’re staying at a hotel, you can always ask the concierge to call a taxi for you and they’ll choose a reliable company.
It’s worth noting that taxis are not an affordable or budget-friendly option in Moorea. Travelers who know they’ll be relying on taxis might consider renting an alternate form of transport, whether it be an EV or an eBike.
Having your own transport is more convenient and cost-effective.
👉 If you arrive on the island either by ferry or plane, we recommend booking your transfer with Tahiti Nui Travel.
👉 When departing Moorea, book your transfer with the same company.
Where To Stay In Moorea
Moorea has wonderful accommodation options, from the budget-friendly to the luxurious, to suit everyone’s taste. Here are a few of our favorites.
📍Best Budget Spot Residence Vainau Moorea costs only $60 per night on average for two guests. These rentals are only 30 meters away from the beach, and each comes with access to a fully equipped kitchen, foosball table, and a bar.
📍Best Mid-Range Spot Manava Beach Resort & Spa features overwater bungalows at $600-1200 per night – nearly half the price of the 5-star resorts on Moorea! As a bonus, this resort is set in the Maharepa neighborhood, which is ideal for local shopping and dining.
📍Best Luxury Spot Hilton Moorea is one of two 5-star resorts on the island, and we couldn’t recommend it highly enough. We were blown away by this resort and the overwater bungalows which are the best on the island. A night in an overwater bungalow at the Hilton Moorea is about $1,000 – $1,800 a night.
Planning your visit to Moorea and still have unanswered questions? Keep reading for additional information about getting around Moorea.
Are there Ubers in Moorea?
No, you won’t find any Ubers in Moorea (or anywhere else in French Polynesia, for that matter) in 2023. Instead, most travelers depend on taxis, rental vehicles, or guided tours to make their way around the island.
How long does it take to ride around Moorea?
It won’t take you like to drive the ring road, which stretches all the way around Moorea. You can do the drive in about 90 minutes without stopping.
If you’re planning a drive around the ring road as a day’s activity, we recommend budgeting at least 4 hours.
Are taxis available in Moorea?
Yes, there are taxis in Moorea, and they’re a reliable way to get around safely, regardless of the weather. Unfortunately, taxis are not an affordable way to get around the island, so we recommend that you plan to rent a car, scooter, or eBike.
Moorea is truly one of the most beautiful islands in the world, and we feel beyond lucky to have gotten to spend so much time in this tropical paradise.
Although it does take some planning to know how you’ll get around the island, it’s easily doable. What’s more, you can sometimes score a great deal if you book in advance.
Whether you’re exploring Moorea from the comfort of your luxurious overwater bungalow, hiking some of the island’s incredible trails, swimming with whales, or relaxing on the beautiful beaches, there’s basically no chance you’ll be bored!