information for travelers to French Polynesia in 2014
After January 20, 2014, all bureaux de change, cash dispensers
and retailers will distribute the new banknotes shown in
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,
here for document that explains the currency differences in more
How do you sign up?
How much does it cost to stay at Fare
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
3 or 4 night stays are sometimes available at
$325/night, however, please contact us
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
- 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
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.
||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
Travel to Moorea by Sea -
Aremiti (high-speed passenger ferry, called
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
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
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
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
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
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.
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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’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.
A “Hinano” sun umbrella is at your disposal for the deck.
All linens are provided. Please leave them on the beds at
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.
Board games and cards are on the corner shelf unit in the main
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
- 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
- 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)
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.
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
Recommended stops around the island
- Home of James Norman Hall (www.jamesnormanhallhome.pf)
– American author of “Mutiny on the Bounty” who lived in
- 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
- 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
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
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.
Moorea now has its own Rotary Club and you are welcome to attend
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
Please see their
website for further details.
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
- Sunscreen/Sunburn relief product (if desired)
- Insect repellent
- 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
- 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.