The animated Disney film, Moana, called Vaiana in the French version, was inspired by The Islands of Tahiti. Disney’s creative team visited the islands of Moorea, Tahiti and Huahine, which was the inspiration for the character Te Fiti. Follow our visitor’s guide in the footsteps of Moana.

The romantic, animated Disney film, Moana, has its origins in the beautiful scenery of The Islands of Tahiti. The culture, legends and local population inspired the creative process of the hit movie, the lush green mountains and white sandy beaches of the ficticious island of Motonui are a combination of Moorea and Huahine, and Polynesian legends are the basis of the screenplay. If you want to follow in the footsteps of Moana when she sang the hit song “How Far I’ll Go” looking out over the beautiful blue Pacific Ocean, then we’ve prepared a visitor’s guide for you.

Activities in the film Moana

In the beginning of the film, Moana dances with her friends and you too can learn traditional Polynesian dancing, called ‘ori tahiti, with dance schools such as Tamariki Poerani, Hei tahiti or Tahiti Ora. In the heart of Moana’s island the inhabitants live a traditional Polynesian lifestyle. Take part in craft workshops and other cultural activities such as making tapa, basket weaving, and music with the tour operator Arioi Experience, and immerse yourself in the traditions of Polynesian culture.

To learn how to sail across the ocean like Moana and Maui, take a lesson on a Va’a Taie. Tahitians used these outrigger sailing canoes to travel between the islands, for fishing, and for sport. Learn the ancient methods of navigation using the stars with Moana Explorer de Teiva Véronique. The school has four initiation centers: Motu Arue (Tahiti), Marina Opuhonu (Moorea); Parea (Huahine) and Tipu (Taha’a).

Tahitian culture in Moana

Another main character in the film is Maui. This powerful semi-god has many tattoos that describe his own personal history. This is part of a tradition that still thrives in The Islands of Tahiti and many tourists visit our islands simply to get an authentic Tahitian tattoo.

Another way to appreciate the culture and traditions that featured in Moana is to visit the Musée de Tahiti et des Îles. The exhibits from all over Oceania give an insight into the Polynesian interpretation of the creation of the world, which inspired the legend of Te Fiti in Moana.

And if you want to dance with manta rays like Moana, then make a visit to the beautiful lagoon in the island of Maupiti.

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