BORA BORA (Society Islands)
If you have ever dreamt up your ideal island holiday, we suspect it goes something like this: Soapy blue seas? Check. Sparkling white beaches? Check. Thatched wooden huts, gently sloping palm trees and kaleidoscopic marine life? Check, check and check. And yet, even by ticking every box, first time viewing of Bora Bora still beggars belief.
This tropical hideaway less than 12 m2 in the heart of the South Pacific has been toping travel wish lists for years. Long considered the realm of honeymooners – spectacularly romantic sunsets are a speciality – Bora Bora is not just for wandering with your love. If the prismatic shades of blue of the world’s most beautiful lagoon do not fill you up, then perhaps underwater scooters and aqua Safaris will charge your batteries. If exploring Bora Bora’s lush hinterland is more your glass of tequila sunrise, then trips around the island (often stopping off at the celebrity haunt Bloody Mary Restaurant & Bar) are a must.
Bora Bora’s peaceful ambience has not always been the case. The island was a US supply base, known as “Operation Bobcat” during WWII. During this time, Bora Bora was home to nine ships, 20,000 tons of equipment and nearly 7,000 men. Eight massive 7-inch naval cannons were installed around the island, all but one of which is still in place. Although little is known of the history of the island, it is known that Bora Bora was called Vava’u in ancient times. This supports belief that the island was colonised by Tongans prior to French annex in 1888.