What to do in Tahiti?
Ia orana and maeva !
Welcome to TAHITI
Tahiti is the most populated and well-known island in French Polynesia. Its capital named Pape’ete is home to a number of well-known hotels, restaurants, local markets and museums. Formed from volcanic activities, Tahiti is full of surprising landscapes from its mountainous interiors to its surrounding coral reefs. The majority of the population lives not far from the shore while only a few live in the mountain area around Pape’ete which leaves its mountainous interiors preserved and appealing.
The majority of the population in French Polynesia lives and works in Tahiti. However many of the tourists do not spend a lot of time in Tahiti because they schedule their time for outer islands like Moorea or Bora Bora as they might prefer quieter and less busy places for their holidays. Nevertheless, there are plenty of activities in Tahiti that everyone can experience but of course it all depends highly on the type of activities you are interested in. So if you wonder what to do in Tahiti in your next holiday, we will present you some examples of activities everyone can do in Tahiti with their friends, family or alone. So, let’s get started!^_^
How can we get there?
All international flights need to stop at Faa’a airport in Tahiti in order to transfer to other islands like Bora Bora or atolls like Fakarava, Tikehau, etc. Faa’a airport is located around 5 kilometers from the city center of Pape’ete.
Air Tahiti Nui airplane
Faa’a airport (Tahiti)
What can we do in Tahiti?
If you find yourself staying in Tahiti, there are great sights you can visit such as:
– The Point Venus in Mahina
– Gauguin Museum in Puna’auia
– Pearl Museum in Papeete
– The James Norman Hall house in Arue
– The Water gardens of Vaipahi and
– The Botanical garden in Papearii
As a result, if you decide to stay in Tahiti for more than a day before visiting other islands, there are plenty of other things you can visit and experience. You can explore the interior jungle of Tahiti where waterfalls and tropical plants are blooming everywhere. Therefore, here are 7 examples of activities we experienced on the island of Tahiti and that you might want to have a look into.
View on the island Moorea from Punaauia (Tahiti)
1. Road trip around the island
So, the first thing we found great to do is a road trip around the island. Why? Well, taking a trip around the island will allow you to discover Tahiti in all its beauty and wonders from the west to the east coast of the island while trying the delicious local fruits. Depending on the fruit seasons you can find small huts next to the road full of fruits like mangoes, fresh coconut and other exotic fruits sold by locals. What’s great about doing the road trip by ourself is that we felt no pressure to stop whenever and wherever we wanted. We also prepared some sandwiches before the trip and where able to stop by the sea to take a picnic whenever we felt like it. Tahiti is a small island (around 3 hours to drive around the island without a stop). So if you are comfortable at driving and you like to take your time to discover the island, we think it would be a great option! ^_^
Drinking fresh coconut water
Tahiti offers a number of hiking trails for all level of intensity. If you are a fan of hikes, you might find impressive hiking trails all over the island giving you amazing views during your climb. Here are some examples of popular hiking areas in Tahiti:
– Vaipahi (Teva i uta)
– Vaitavere (Puna’auia)
– Fataua Valley trail (Pape’ete)
– Belvédère de Pira’e (Pira’e)
– Mont Aorai (Pira’e)
– Plateau des orangers (Puna’auia)
In the following pictures you can have an overview of the Vaipahi hike (1), the Belvédère in Pira’e (2) and a view from the restaurant “O Belvédère” in Pira’e (3).
Belvédère in Pirae (2)
OBelvédère restaurant (3)
If you’re not feeling like doing high intensity sport on your vacation, you can head to the three waterfalls in the Fa’arumai Valley in Ti’arei. This site is a popular place for walkers. A little walk through a tahitian chestnut grove will lead you the first waterfall and in order to reach the two other waterfalls, you will need to walk a little longer. When we visited the site in the end of 2018, the two other waterfalls were unfortunately closed due to landslides. However, the first waterfall was enough to be amazed by its magnificent energy and gave us a feeling of awe.
One of the three waterfalls of Tiarei
4. Surfing areas
Surfing schools in Tahiti are becoming more and more popular. If you want to have a try and immerse yourself in the surf world, you can find professional instructors providing surf lessons for kids and adult beginners. If you don’t feel like trying it, you still can watch surfers from the shore in some places like Papeno’o or Papara. The most popular places for surfing in Tahiti are:
– Papara (Taharu’u beach)
Surfers at Papeno’o
5. Golf area
If you are more likely to play golf, well, there is an international golf course on the west coast of Tahiti. It is located in Atimaono, Papara, 41 kilometers from the center of Pape’ete. It offers a golf course accessible to beginners and experienced players alike. The course has been approved by the French Golf Federation and is about 5950 meters long.
Golf of Atimaono (Papara)
Under the heat of the tropical island, you will at one point surely decide to visit some of those beaches where you can cool down and enjoy swimming and snorkeling. There are several beaches on the island of Tahiti and here are the three most popular beaches you can head to:
– Venus Point (Mahina)
– Mahana Park (Puna’auia)
– PK 18 (Punaauia)
Venus Point is a black sand beach in Mahina. It was named after the visit of Captain James Cook in 1769 to witness the trajectory of the planet Venus. Moreover, this point was the landing place of many explorers such as Bougainville and Wallis. Today, the site is home to a beautiful lighthouse and where usually visitors take a great swim in the cool waters while enjoying the sunset.
Mahana Park is located on the west coast of the island in Puna’auia. It is a great destination for snorkeling while enjoying the near shore reef. It is also a great place for an afternoon picnic in the park.
The PK 18 in Puna’auia is the busiest white sand beach on the west coast of Tahiti. The weekend is a little crowded which make it difficult sometimes to find a parking slot. However, it is still a great destination for swimming and snorkeling while enjoying the sunset behind Mo’orea.
An overview of the PK18 beach (Puna’auia)
7. Amazing sunsets
There’s no better way to appreciate a sunset in French Polynesia than by sipping a fruity cocktail with your toes in the sand or in the cool water. The three beaches we talked about previously are already great places to start enjoying the sunset with views of Mo’orea.
Point Venus with the view on Moorea (Mahina)
Punaauia Pk18 with the view on Moorea
“Sunsets are proof that no matter what happens, everyday can end beautifully!”