Opunohu Bay (Baie d'Opunohu)
Surrounded by lush green and jagged mountains and littered with sailing vessels and tour boats, narrow Opunohu Bay is where the HMS Bounty moored to search for breadfruit, leading to the famous Mutiny on the Bounty. Today, the tranquil bay is a favorite among locals and travelers looking for a less developed stretch of sand.
This westernmost bay on Moorea’s northern coast offers a sense of isolation you won’t find in more developed Cook’s Bay. Many tours around the island stop at the bay, along with other notable attractions, like Cook’s Bay and the Belvedere Lookout. Cruise passengers moored offshore are typically ferried ashore on tenders, as there’s no port in the bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Opunohu Bay is a must-see for history buffs and first time visitors.
- Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat.
- Papetoai is the main jumping off point for exploring the bay.
How to Get There
Opunohu Bay sits along Moorea’s coastal road between markers PK 14 and PK 21. If you’re not visiting as part of a guided island tour, the best way to get there is by rental car or moped.
When to Get There
The best season to enjoy Moorea’s outdoor attractions, including Opunohu Bay is during the dry winter season (May to October). Check the cruise schedule, as big ships often moor offshore.
Mutiny on the Bounty
During this historic event, the crew of the HMS Bounty turned on their commanding officer, Lieutenant William Bligh, setting him afloat on a small boat. Attracted to island lifestyle, the crew stayed in Tahiti and burned the ship to avoid detection; however, Bligh made it back to Britain and reported the mutiny, and some of the crew members were arrested. Many were never found though, and their descendants still live in Tahiti today. There is a movie based on this historical occurrence called The Bounty, which will allow you to learn more about the mutiny as well as see the beauty of the bay.