Tahiti and her Islands
Located in the Pacific Ocean, The Islands of Tahiti are signified by sublime natural surroundings of white sand beaches and lush mountains rising up from turquoise lagoons. This along with the combination of both Polynesian and French culture makes this destination irresistible.
Tahiti is a completely different world. A world where as a tourist you can enjoy the best she has to offer without always stepping over another tourist! There are more hotel rooms in a typical Las Vegas hotel than on all of the 118 islands of French Polynesia and locals say that Hawaii gets more visitors in 10 days than Tahiti does in an entire year! It’s hard not to take it slow in these islands and Tahiti Time is something you will definitely need to get used to when visiting. The city of Papeete does move to a faster pace though!
What is Tahiti known for? The islands feature lush jungles, sparkling lagoons, jagged volcanic peaks, powder-soft sand, colourful reefs, 5-star resorts, laid-back locals, world-class surfing, and rejuvenating ocean breezes.
So whilst visiting The Islands of Tahiti, immerse yourself in the French Polynesian culture and the Tahitian culture and tradition … slow down, think only of the present, order a cocktail and sit back and soak it all up!
Of course the most important thing to remember when visiting The Islands of Tahiti is to smile and say Bonjour or Ia Orana to everybody you meet! Your gesture will be returned with an equally genuine and welcoming smile.
Tahiti’s 118 islands are divided into five archipelagos which are known as French Polynesia and is officially still part of France.
The five archipelagos are the:
- Society Islands
- Tuamotu Islands
- Marquesas Islands
- Austral Islands
- Gambier Islands (Mangareva)
French Polynesia is also known as The Islands of Tahiti. There are 118 islands comprising The Islands of Tahiti, of which Tahiti is the main island and the home of the capital city of Papeete. Tahiti airport, Faa’a International Airport, is located on The Island of Tahiti approximately 5 kilometres west of Papeete.
Getting to Tahiti
From Australia, Air Tahiti Nui is the international airline to The Islands of Tahiti. It offers flights from Australia to Tahiti airport in Papeete, via Auckland. International flights arrive on the island of Tahiti. Due to crossing the International Dateline, most flights from Australia arrive the day before they depart. Holiday packages in The Islands of Tahiti will usually require one night in Papeete before travelling to another island the following morning. Most passengers returning to Australia will require one night in Papeete prior to departure, as flights leave early in the morning.
Getting Around Tahiti
Air Tahiti is a private, domestic airline which links all five archipelagos.
Travel between some islands, such as Tahiti to Moorea, can be made by high-speed catamaran. We recommend booking the same hotel chain throughout your visit, as ‘Island Combo’ specials are available. We also recommend booking transfers throughout your visit as many resorts are located on islets within the lagoon, only accessible by boat.
Passports & Visas
Australian passport holders do not currently require a visa for a stay as a tourist of up to three months but must hold a passport with six months validity beyond the date of departure from The Islands of Tahiti. If you are a non-Australian passport holder please check your visa requirements with the appropriate Embassy or Consular office. Please note you may also require a transit visa for New Zealand if you are flying via Auckland.
The local currency is the French Pacific Franc (XPF). There are plenty of ATMs and banks in Tahiti however access can be difficult in the outer islands. Major credit cards are accepted in most hotels, restaurants, boutiques and other tourist establishments. We do recommend you carry some local currency for smaller purchases. Note: AUD$1 = 80 XPF approximately.
Pricing & Seasonality
For all hotels on The Islands of Tahiti a compulsory local city tax of approximately 150XPF (approx. $2 AUD) per person per night must be paid directly to the hotels - for your guidance this amount has been included in the prices shown in this brochure. While seasons may vary for each resort, generally speaking, the following seasons apply: High Season: 1 May - 31 October & 19 December - 10 January Low Season: Rest of the year Seasonal surcharges, supplements, compulsory meals and/or transfers may apply during high season or at particular properties.
We strongly recommend that at the time of booking you purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy of your choice.
For all hotels in French Polynesia a compulsory local city tax of approximately 150XPF (approx. $2 AUD) per person per night must be paid direct to the hotels.
Notable annual events include:
- Billabong Surf Pro – World Surf League
- Hawaiki Nui Va’a - Polynesian outrigger canoe race
- Heiva i Tahiti – Singing and Dancing festival in July
- Part 2: Tahitian Culture
- Part 3: Tahiti's History
- Part 4: Tahiti's Natural Beauty
- Part 5: Things to Do
- Part 6: The Islands