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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We hope this page answers questions you may have. If not, please contact us for more information.

Important note for those travelling to French Polynesia in 2014


How do you sign up?

How much does it cost to stay at Fare Hamara?

    Cell Phones

Travel to Moorea
    Arrival in Tahiti
    Changing Money
    Travel to Moorea by Sea 

Arriving in Moorea
    Rental Cars
    Driving to Fare Hamara

About Fare Hamara
    House Rules
    TV/DVD and CD Player
    Sun Umbrella
    Other Amenities

Out and About
    Places of Worship
    Visiting Papeete/Tahiti
    Recommended stops around the island
    Medical/Dental Emergencies
    Fire or Police Emergencies
    Rotary Club

Final Reminders
    Things to bring

Important information for travelers to French Polynesia in 2014

Old-series banknotes
After January 20, 2014, all bureaux de change, cash dispensers and retailers will distribute the new banknotes shown in this document.

You may still receive banknotes from the old series, and they can be used for all payments or purchases during the period of January 20 to September 30, 2014.

You should not accept banknotes from the old series, starting September 30, 2014. Make sure you have used up all old-series banknotes in your possession by September 30, 2014.

Click here for document that explains the currency differences in more detail.


How do you sign up?

  Step 1 Check to see if Fare Hamara is available for rental.
  Step 2 Reserve the dates and make $50 deposit
Deposit is required to hold the dates.
A full refund will be made for any cancellation prior to 60 days of your reservation.
  Step 3 Make final payment no later than 60 days prior to arrival
  Step 4 Relax and enjoy your stay at Fare Hamara!



How much does it cost to stay at Fare Hamara?*

Five Days - $1325 (U.S.)
One Week - $1750 (U.S.)
Each additional day beyond one week - $250 (U.S.)
Additional 10% discount applies to those staying three or more weeks.

3 or 4 night stays are sometimes available at $325/night, however, please contact us to confirm.

Please note these prices include all applicable taxes and fees. There are no hidden charges!

Payment terms are $50 to reserve, final payment due no later than 60 days prior to arrival. If cancelling, please do so no later than 60 days prior to arrival.

*Prices are in U.S. Dollars. Can be paid by personal check, PayPal or credit card.


  • Phone - The house’s phone number in French Polynesia is 56 25 65. From the U.S., the direct dial number with international and country codes is 011 689 56 25 65. Tahiti is the same time zone as Hawaii – 2 hours behind PST or 3 hours behind during daylight savings time. Local calls (within Moorea) are not charged to you. Long distance calls, including calls to the mainland (U.S. or other countries) and other islands, will be billed to you based on actual charges; a copy of the phone bill will be provided. There is no fax machine.
  • Cell Phones - French Polynesia has only ONE cellular network, which is “F Vini.” The standard is GSM, therefore your American cell phone won’t work unless it is a multi-band (“quad”) or an “unlocked” GSM phone. Inquire with your service provider and your cell phone manufacturer about connecting to the “F Vini” network and the related charges. You will find more information at:
  • Internet - Fare Hamara has high-speed, WiFi Internet access. Ask Jacques’ (our caretaker) for help to get set up. Internet access is included at no extra charge.

Travel to Moorea

Arrival in Tahiti

Arrival time at Faaa, Tahiti airport determines if you will need to reserve a hotel room in Papeete or proceed on to Moorea.

Your two choices for going to Moorea are the ferry or Air Tahiti (very limited departures from Tahiti)

There are snacks at the Faaa airport and aboard the ferry. We suggest waiting at the airport as taxi fares will be less at daybreak.

Changing Money

  For information about exchange rates, see currency converter on the right -->

Notes: XPF (Exchange Polynesian Franc), for this purpose, is the same as CFP (Change Franc Pacifique).
Also, the actual amount you may receive will depend on where you exchange currency.

After landing in Papeete and clearing Customs, change some dollars into Pacific Francs (CFP). Use the ATM’s at the airport to have some Pacific Francs (XFP) for taxi fare and catamaran to Moorea.

There is an ATM that will give you Pacific Francs charged to a debit card or major credit card. The ATM is on the right side of the terminal as you exit Customs.

We suggest you contact Wells Fargo bank and order some Pacific Francs as they have good rates of exchange. 

In Moorea, ATMs located in the Maharepa and Petit Village shopping centers will issue Pacific Francs and charge them to your credit card.

NOTES:  Be sure to notify your credit card company before you depart that you will be in Tahiti for “X” amount of days so your credit card will not be blocked. If you do not get the chance to change money, U.S. dollars are often accepted.

Travel to Moorea by Sea - Aremiti (high-speed passenger ferry, called Catamaran)
We strongly suggest taking the catamaran to Moorea for the breathtaking beauty of the arrival in the early morning. 

Take the Aremiti 5 to the dock at Vaiare, in Moorea, where there is a rental car booth. The fares range from about 1,000 - 1400 CFP, depending on the vessel. (Go to currency conversion chart above and click on "convert" to get latest currency rates.) Both catamarans are air-conditioned; drinks and snacks are available for purchase and the trip lasts around 30 minutes.

In Papeete, take a taxi from the airport to the Moorea ferry terminal in downtown Papeete. Your cab driver should direct you to where to buy your ticket or present your voucher. Ferry reservations are not required; passengers are taken on a first-come basis.

There is no need to tip your driver as tipping is not customary in French Polynesia, though most drivers will accept a tip, if offered. 



Arriving in Moorea

Rental Cars
Upon arrival, you can pick up a rental car at either the ferry dock or the airport. Be sure to reserve a car in advance. We have made arrangements for a 15%- 20% discount from Avis for our renters.

Company Contact Name E-mail Discount Code
Avis Sandrine Special Offer for Fare Hamara guests

If you plan to rent from Avis, take the local insurance. Your credit card international insurance may not completely cover you. If your credit card insurance limits are not high enough they may ask you to put up a cash bond.

Many companies also rent bikes and motorized scooters. We DO NOT recommend them for safety reasons.

NOTES: Rates are based on the exchange rate and are subject to change. Most rental cars are manual transmission. Avis Tahiti does not send confirmation notices like Avis U.S. Ask for an e-mail confirmation.

If arriving by ferry: The Avis booth is directly across the street from the terminal building. After obtaining your car, turn LEFT out of the Avis parking lot. The water should be on your right side.  If in doubt, ask for directions to Opunohu Bay. A map of the island can be found here if you wish to print it before you depart.

Driving to Fare Hamara - These directions assume you are going counter-clockwise (go to the right) from the airport or ferry terminal. Once you turn, water should be on your right.

PK Marker 15. Last on on the left before you see Fare Hamara Sign

Fare Hamara Sign
  • Try to spot the kilometer markers every few Km on the mountain-side (left side)of the road. They are shaped like the island of Moorea and painted white.
  • The airport is at Km 0; the ferry dock is at Km 4 (clockwise from Km 0).
    Fare Hamara is at Km 16.4, about 10 miles away from the airport.
  • You will drive around Cook’s Bay between kilometers 6 through 12. Then you’ll pass the Moorea Hilton, only about 2.5 Km from Fare Hamara.  (This is the east side of Opunohu Bay.)
  • Next, you’ll pass a public beach, with a sailing school, on the right. Marker 15 is directly across the road. (See picture to the left.) This is the last marker you will see before you get to Fare Hamara.
  • Start looking for the “Fare Hamara” white-on-green reflective sign on the inland/mountain-side (left side) of the road.
  • Turn left and proceed up the hill to the house, about 200 yards up.
  • Maintain a steady speed in first gear on the steep slope.
  • Park your car on the parking pad in front of the double doors on the building to the left of the main house.


About Fare Hamara

House Rules
No smoking in Fare Hamara.  You may, however, smoke outside on the deck.
Please follow the Tahitian custom of not wearing shoes inside the house.

The house’s electrical current is 110 volts 60Hz as in the U.S.  Outlets are standard U.S. outlets; a converter is NOT needed. There are also 220 volt outlets in the house that are much bigger than the standard U.S. outlets. The bathhouse has only a 110 volt outlet, which means you do not need to take a converter for personal appliances.

TV/DVD and CD Player
The TV receives only the 2 free local French-language channels via a “rabbit ears” antenna. Both the TV and DVD player are multi-system and can play either U.S. DVDs or French ones.
The CD player is in the cabinet facing the dining room table.

Sun Umbrella
A “Hinano” sun umbrella is at your disposal for the deck.

All linens are provided.  Please leave them on the beds at departure time.
Blankets are on a shelf in each closet.  For trundle bed, use the fleece throws. Often a top sheet is all that is needed. To air out pillows, put them outside in the warm sun.

Other Amenities
Board games and cards are on the corner shelf unit in the main living area.
A CD player and radio is in the cupboard by the dining table.  We do not provide CDs as music tastes vary and prolonged exposure to humidity can damage them.   There is also a DVD player for our guest’s use. The instruction manuals are in the drawer above the CD player.

There is a gas grill on the deck.

If you prefer a charcoal grill, it is attached to the deck (near the kitchen door). The grate is in the box outside the kitchen window. The tools for the grill are in the cupboard next to the refrigerator. Buy charcoal and lighter fluid at the grocery store.

Beach wraps, pareos, are provided in the central hall closet. We find that it is much easier to flip sand off of the pareos; they are lighter and dry much more quickly than towels.

There is a floor safe in the closet of the master bedroom.  The “hex” key for the safe is on the same key ring with the house key. We suggest using the safe for your cash, passports, return tickets and other valuables.


Out and About


  • FOOD: There are many grocery stores on the island. We suggest Are [Aray] in PaoPao (Cook’s Bay) and Champion, which is located about 1 Km beyond the ferry dock as you drive clockwise from the house. Are closes between 12 noon and 2 p.m. and after 6 p.m. Champion, a full-size supermarket, is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; 8 a.m. to 12 noon on Sunday. If you don’t see what you want, ask. Sometimes one store will have what another doesn’t. Part of the fun of island life is shopping in more than one store. These supermarkets do not supply free grocery bags. They sell large environmentally-friendly reusable bags for 100 CFP. You will find a few at Fare Hamara, near the kitchen door and icebox. When a bag breaks, bring it to the store; they will give you a new one for free. We also recommend that you bring the icebox and blue ice pack to keep frozen or fresh food cold during the trip back home.
  • ALCOHOL: Alcohol is not sold in stores on Sundays, local holidays, election days or after 6 p.m. It is, however, served in hotel bars.
  • BLACK PEARLS: If you plan to buy black pearls, we suggest these pearl dealers; all are our personal friends:
    • EVA’S PERLES (Our personal favorite) - Eva Frachon -- Maharepa, next to Banque de Tahiti
    • ISLAND FASHIONS -Ron Hall -- Cook’s Bay

Fare Hamara is about 1.5 Km from a public beach. Turn right on the main road from our house. It’s on the left side of the road.  Park along the fence and access the beach from one of the openings in the fence. The public beach in Temae near Sofitel is one of the best on the island. Ask Jacques for directions. Both public beaches are lovely. Most hotel beaches are open to the public. We suggest the beach at the Les Tipaniers Hotel featuring a nautical activity center and a shuttle to/from the motu (islet). It’s also close (about 8 Km), shallow, great for children, wonderful for snorkeling and right next to their beachside restaurant, which is open for breakfast and lunch. Do not feel obligated to purchase anything. All beaches are public if accessed from the water.  You are not allowed to access any beach from private property. Watch for “Tabu” (Off Limits) signs.

Places of Worship
There are several places of worship in Moorea. The music is inspiring. Visitors are welcome. Most times, services are in French or Tahitian.

Visiting Papeete/Tahiti
Take the ferry. There is enough to see and do within walking distance of the Papeete ferry dock if you choose to go on foot. NOTE: Although cars are transported via ferry, you are not allowed to take your Moorea rental car on the ferry.

Call and make arrangements with Avis and they will pick you up at the Papeete ferry dock or airport and transport you to their rental office. After you return the car, Avis will take you back to the ferry or the airport. A tour of the main island of Tahiti takes at least a full day. 

If you choose to do it on your own, do not miss the last boat! Bring a map and a guidebook and plan your stops the day before. The red and white kilometer markers indicate how far you are from Papeete.

On weekdays, allow time for late afternoon rush hour traffic and rental car return. Starting your tour clockwise in the morning will keep you in a “cross-commute” direction, away from heavy traffic.


Recommended stops around the island (clockwise):

  • Home of James Norman Hall ( – American author of “Mutiny on the Bounty” who lived in Tahiti.
  • Blowhole – park in the parking area and walk back to the blowhole on the cliff side of the road.
    Three Waterfalls – About ¼ mile from the blowhole parking lot, find the dirt road heading inland. It’s a mile or two to a parking lot. Trails to the waterfall are clearly marked and easy to walk. The closest waterfall is less than 10 minutes away.
  • Gauguin Museum – About the life of the famous painter.
  • Botanical Garden – Next to the Gauguin Museum.
  • Musée des Iles – Well-appointed museum depicting the history of the islands.
  • If you have time, you may also want to check out one of the Carrefours or “Hyper-U” stores (combination of grocery store and department store) and bring back items or specials you couldn’t find in Moorea. Jacques can help with reservations and driving directions if you decide to take a trip to Tahiti/Papeete. Commercial day tours are also available.

Medical/Dental Emergencies (English-speaking doctors)
For major medical problems, contact Pacific Help in Papeete at 50 22 33.
Doctor – Frank Gaudard (above the Tran Pharmacy in Maharepa) at 56 44 63.
Dentist – Peter Cowan (on Tahiti in the village of Faaa) at 82 49 25.
NOTE: If you have a dental emergency, you’ll have to you’ll have to go to Tahiti and take a taxi to his office.

There is a pharmacy in Maharepa. Even non-prescription, over-the-counter drugs are sold only in pharmacies in French Polynesia.

Fire or Police Emergencies
Fire Department and Paramedics – Dial 18.
Police/Gendarmerie – Dial 17.

Rotary Club
Moorea now has its own Rotary Club and you are welcome to attend their meetings.

Meetings are currently held in the Poema Room at the Moorea Pearl Resort.
-On the 1st, 2nd, 4th Mondays, drinks are 6:30 - 8pm

-On the 3rd Monday, conference is 7pm - 8:30pm, Dinner at 8:30pm.
Please see their website for further details.



Final Reminders

We highly recommend the book, Tahiti & French Polynesia Guide, by Jan Prince (Open Road Publishing).  It is available through

Things to bring:

  • Credit card/money (don’t forget to notify your credit card company)
  • Sunscreen/Sunburn relief product (if desired)
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Swimsuits (more than one per person as they don’t always dry out completely)
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • One set of warmer clothes (long-sleeved layer and lightweight long pants)
  • Windbreaker-type jacket
  • Non-prescription drugs for headaches, allergies, stomach aches, etc. and simple first aid supplies
  • Extra eyeglasses or lenses and prescriptions
  • Plenty of memory and/or tape for photos and videos and extra batteries
  • Favorite CDs and DVDs
  • Favorite reading material (there are several books at the house)
  • An open mind and an adventurous spirit

NOTE: If desired, you may bring your own alcohol (less expensive option) and packaged specialty food items from home.