One with the Sea: Exploring the Paradise of Tahiti
Are you excited to go on your trip to Tahiti? We bet you’ve searched online for must-visit attractions and must-try dishes for your stay. It can be nerve-wracking to plan your itinerary, especially if it’s your first time. You wouldn’t want to forget something and not get the whole Tahiti experience.
To help you prepare for your trip, we’ve created a Tahiti travel guide, so you know what to expect. Experience paradise and be one with the sea as you explore the natural beauty of this archipelago.
Exploring the Different Islands of Tahiti
Tahiti consists of more than a hundred islands. They make up the country of French Polynesia and are a collective of France. It’s also a semi-autonomous region with its own assembly and by-laws.
You shouldn’t get confused when people say Tahiti and French Polynesia because they both mean the same thing. You can also call it the “Islands of Tahiti” to reference the country’s five distinct islands: Society, Tuamotu, Austral, Gambier and Marquesas. Each of these destinations has something unique to offer.
The Society Islands have popular destinations such as Moorea and Bora Bora. Tuamotu has beautiful coral atolls. The Gambier Islands extend from Tuamotu and are known for pearl farming. The Marquesas have a myriad of mountains and rock formations. Finally, the southern Austral Islands are known for their numerous dive sites and humpback whale sightings.
Currency & Tipping in Tahiti
The national currency of Tahiti is the Pacific Franc (CFP Franc or XPF). While some western establishments accept US dollars, it’s best to have some local currency at the ready once you explore the rest of the region during your visit since small business vendors and tour operators may refuse to accept other banknotes.
While the rule of thumb for tipping in Australia is 5 to 10%, it is not a standard practice for customers to leave tips in Tahiti. However, if you feel like someone has given you exceptional service, you are free to tip them.
Here is some helpful information you can remember for a fun and hassle-free trip to Tahiti.
- Electricity – Most sockets in the country use 220 volts and 60Hz. Be sure to pack the appropriate adapters for your gadgets for the trip.
- Time Zone – You will need to adjust your clocks because Australia is 20 hours ahead of Tahiti.
- Locals – While you can call the country French Polynesia, the locals are known as Tahitian.
- Sim cards – Getting a Vini or Vodafone sim card will make your travel much more manageable.
- Language – The official languages here are French and Tahitian. The local language uses only 16 letters, so learning it is very straightforward. Be prepared for your trip by knowing essential words and phrases, such as “Ia Orana” or “Hello” and “Maururu” for “Thank you.”
Travelling During the Pandemic
French Polynesia has further eased entry requirements for travellers. You are only required to undergo a COVID-19 test if you are unvaccinated. Wearing masks is also no longer mandatory except in healthcare facilities.
Flying to the Islands of Tahiti
Faa’a International Airport is the only airport that offers international flights to and from Tahiti. It is five kilometres away from the capital city of Papeete.
There are currently no direct flights from Australia, but you can catch connecting flights via the country’s national airline, Air Tahiti Nui. You can get a flight from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Prepare for a long trip because flight time averages from 10 to 13 hours, depending on your departure place.
Travellers can’t directly go to the different islands of Tahiti. You must board a smaller domestic plane at Faa’a International Airport and continue your journey from there. Make sure you get a window seat so you can enjoy the jaw-dropping view as you go to the islands of French Polynesia.
Flying to the bigger islands of Tahiti is easy because multiple flights are available daily. If you want to go to the more remote islands, plan your itinerary ahead of time since these will only have one flight available per day. It’s best to check for schedules to make the most of your trip to Tahiti.
Where to Stay in Tahiti
Tahiti’s over 60 inhabited islands can make it difficult to decide where you want to go first. We’ve narrowed down a few factors for you to consider.
- If you’re only staying in the islands for less than a week, you should consider staying in the Society Islands and make the most out of its many attractions
- First-time visitors of Tahiti should never pass up the chance to visit Bora Bora.
- You can also explore the many islands of Tahiti by joining a cruise that goes up to the Marquesas.
- Do you want to try scuba diving? The top sites are Rangiroa, Fakarava and Raiatea, to name a few.
- Be more immersed in this paradise on earth when you book an overwater bungalow in Tahiti, Moorea, or Bora Bora.
Food to Try
The best way to know a country is by trying its local delicacies. Here are some delectable dishes that you must try during your stay:
- Poisson cru – The country’s signature dish consists of raw tuna marinated in lime juice, mixed with vegetables and coconut milk and served on a bed of rice.
- Po’e – This traditional dessert is made with creamy pudding and coconut milk sauce. Top it off with some banana, papaya, vanilla, or pumpkin and you’ve got yourself a delicious treat.
- Chevrettes – This dish often served as an entrée consists of freshwater shrimp with creamy coconut water and vanilla.
Prepare for Your Trip to Tahiti
The islands of Tahiti are the perfect destination for any occasion, whether you’re on your honeymoon or travelling with your family. Your itinerary will surely be filled with beautiful sightseeing, visiting its many beaches and tasting the delicious and exotic dishes on the islands. Use this Tahiti travel guide to make the most of your visit to French Polynesia.