Opunohu Bay is located at the very heart of the island of Mo’orea. The highest summits of the Opunohu valley lay around the collapsed caldera which gave rise to the island. Mount Rotui (899m) and Mount Tohivea (1207m) being the two tallest peaks. Rich soils, gentle slopes, and crisscrossed rivers, make it suited to agricultural activities.
Pineapple plantations, citrus plantations, vegetable gardens, pastures, pine and mahogany patches are all developed to feed the local market covering over 300 hectares. An additional 100 hectares are rented to local farmers and 35 hectares are dedicated to agricultural establishment dedicated to teaching programs (vocational education and training in the farming sector).
Matt and I needed to stretch our legs. We decided a walk about was in order. Our original goal was just to explore the Opunohu Bay. However, we ended up circumnavigating Mount Rotui which was a surprise to both of us.
Orbiting Mount Rotui
We started out near Ta’ahiamanu (say that three times fast) and walked past Vaihere. At Aaraeo we turned left (by the blue arrow) and walked through the pineapple plantations and gardens. Continued on to Pao Pao (Cooks bay) then back on the road, past Urufara, and back to Ta’ahiamanu. Ended up being 21,456 steps, 9.6 miles! Follow the map starting at orange line, to white line, back to orange line. Who knew Mount Rotui took 4 hours to circumnavigate!
At the start, we walked along the and pass a beautiful public park with lush green grass and towering palm trees that line the beach. Can you see Sugar Shack way, way back?
We came across a man playing Amazing Grace on the bag pipes. He was just pacing back and forth along the shore playing his music. It was lovely.
A local fisherman had his trophies displayed outside his house. He clearly catches a lot of marlin! Look at all the tails and beaks. Holy moly.
There are two monuments celebrating “Captain Cook” in Opunohu Bay. You’d think they would be in Cooks Bay, but no. The funny thing is the bottom pedestal on one of them is upside down (lower right photo)! I am pointing to where we are in the world (sort of).
Just before reaching Aaraeo we stumbled on a new museum being built. Really interesting shape – sort of like a clam with arched steel covered with solar panels.
Across the road is a beautiful look out. It had several legends outlined on the plaque which are pretty darn cool.
Entering the heart of the valley
In order to complete our loop around Mount Rotui, we had to cut across the valley through the pineapple plantations.
The plantations and gardens popped up, once we made the left turn toward the center of the valley. Lots and lots of pineapple fields – it is the pineapple island after all.
Lots of animals along the way, cows, horses, goats.
Beautiful pastures and sweeping views of towering mountains.
We crossed several creeks and rivers. Most were flowing because we had heavy rains for a few days.
There are lots of trails around these mountains. We did not hike up any of the mountains (this time) as our track would be close to 10 miles when we are done. The different colors show the different trails on just Mt. Rotui.
When all was said and done, we were exhausted, hot, and hungry. We made it back to the boat, and took a dip in the water to cool off. We relaxed the rest of the day!
Events from this blog occurred on 8 November, 2020. Our blog posts run 8 weeks behind our adventures.