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From a lookout point, admire spectacular views of Mount Otemanu, Bora Bora's highest peak, then enjoy time at leisure to explore the island.
(B, L, D) Day 9 — Opunohu Bay, Moorea / Papeete, Tahiti Once on the island of Moorea, board a four-wheel-drive vehicle for a ride through Moorea’s deep valleys and mountains.
The devastating ecological consequences of human arrival are well documented on many East Polynesian islands and show striking similarities in terms of deforestation (2) and faunal extinctions or declines (3–11), with one model suggesting dispersal from West Polynesia as early as 200 B. (1, 9, 10) after a pause of ≈500–1,000 years and another suggesting it began ≈800 A. after a delay of several thousand years (8, 12–16).
We illustrate this approach here using New Zealand, the southernmost archipelago of East Polynesia, because it provides an excellent case study where an unresolved polarized debate persists about the time of initial human colonization (18) roost sites (20, 21) and distinctive rat-gnawed woody seed cases bearing the tell-tale incisor marks of seed predation found preserved in sediments (15, 22).
From Taputapuatea, board a Polynesian outrigger motorized canoe, and glide through deep blue waters of the only navigable river in Polynesia, the Faaroa River.
Discover the lush vegetation of a tropical forest with wild hibiscus “purau” trees, bamboo groves and Tahitian chestnut trees.
Visit the beautifully landscaped Spring Garden of Vaipahi, home to 75 different species of plants, including precious mape, or chestnut, tropical flowers, and pine woods.
Embark the Day 4 — Raiatea This morning’s tour will present the legends and folklore of Raiatea, “The Sacred Island”.