One with the Sea: Exploring the Paradise of Tahiti
Excited to go on your trip to Tahiti? We bet you searched online for attractions you want to visit and dishes you want to try for your stay. It can be nerve-wracking to plan your itinerary, especially if it’s your first time. You don’t want to forget anything and not get the full Tahiti experience.
To help you prepare for your trip, we have 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 form the country of French Polynesia and are a collective of France. It is also a semi-autonomous region with its own assembly and bylaws.
Don’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 refer to the five distinct islands of the country: the Society, the Tuamotu, the Austral, the Gambier and the 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 large number of mountains and rock formations. Finally, the South Australian Islands are known for their many dive sites and humpback whale sightings.
Currency and Tipping in Tahiti
The national currency of Tahiti is the Pacific Franc (CFP Franc or XPF). While some Western establishments accept US dollars, it is best to have some local currency ready once you explore the rest of the region during your visit as small business vendors and tour operators may refuse that accept other banknotes.
While the general rule of thumb for tipping in Australia is 5 to 10%, it is not standard practice for customers to tip in Tahiti. However, if you feel that someone has given you exceptional service, you are free to tip them.
Here is some useful information to remember for a fun and hassle-free trip to Tahiti.
- Electrical – 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.
- Local – While you may 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 only uses 16 letters, so learning is very simple. Be prepared for your trip by knowing essential words and phrases, such as “Ia Orana” or “Hello” and “Maururu” for “Thank you.”
Traveling During the Pandemic
French Polynesia continued to ease entry requirements for travelers. You are only required to take a COVID-19 test if you are not vaccinated. The wearing of masks is also no longer mandatory except in health care facilities.
Flight to the Islands of Tahiti
Faa’a International Airport is the only airport that offers international flights to and from Tahiti. It is five kilometers away from the capital city of Papeete.
There are currently no direct flights from Australia, but you can catch connecting flights through the country’s national airline, Air Tahiti Nui. You can get a flight from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Prepare for a long journey because the average flight time is from 10 to 13 hours, depending on your place of departure.
Travelers cannot go directly 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 amazing view as you head to the islands of French Polynesia.
Flying to the larger islands of Tahiti is easy as multiple flights are available each day. If you want to go to the more remote islands, plan your itinerary in advance as they will only have one flight available per day. It is best to check the schedules to make the most of your trip to Tahiti.
Where to stay in Tahiti
Tahiti’s more than 60 inhabited islands can make it difficult to decide where to go first. We’ve outlined a few factors for you to consider.
- If you are only staying in the islands for less than a week, you should consider staying in the Society Islands and make the most of its many attractions.
- Those visiting Tahiti for the first time 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.
- Want to try scuba diving? The best 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 get to know a country is by trying its local delicacies. Here are some delicious dishes you must try during your visit:
- Poisson cru – The main dish of the country 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. Stick 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 prawns with coconut water and vanilla.
Prepare for Your Trip to Tahiti
The islands of Tahiti are the perfect destination for any occasion, whether you are on your honeymoon or traveling with your family. Your itinerary will surely be full of 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.