Tahiti Things to Do Tips by grets Top 5 Page for this destination
Tahiti Things to Do: 100 reviews and 177 photos
The last stop of the day is at the distillery of Ava Tea Liqueurs - 17 of them are displayed on the counter, you are given a glass each and can just help yourself to what you want. I try them all ....hic.....the one I like the best is the coconut and vanilla, so I have three glasses of that. I buy a bottle to take home, and a pack of four minitaure bottles. I feel a little light headed by the time I get back on the bus........ :-)
A dirt road leads to the three Faarumai Waterfalls. We park in the makeshift car park near a bamboo grove and walk along a muddy path to the first of three falls. The other two aflls are within reach too, five more minutes for the second and 30 minutes for the last one. Along the trail there are many fruits growing, star fruit and guava mainly.
Next stop is the grotto which is very different to how I imagined it, with a large opening, crest shaped with ferns hanging down from the ceiling and water in the bottom. Quite impressive.
I am the only one to brave the botanical gardens in the pouring rain. It is raining so hard it is coming through the umbrella, and the walkways are covered by two inches of water. I don't see anybody else in the gardens at all. It's a beautiful place with a good selection of traopical plants. I am very wet by the time I get back to the bus.
Directions: Motu Ovini
Gaugin left Europe to "steep himself in virgin nature and to see no one but savages" in Tahiti in 1891, believing it to still be an unspoilt paradise. With the intention of painting enough pictures to hold an exhibition which would make him famous, he left behind his wife Mette and their five children.
Living in a straw hut far from Papeete with a 13 year old "wife", Gaugin managed to finish 68 paintings whcih he returned to France with in 1893, but his exhibition failed to establish him as a recognised artist. After falling out with his wife, being beaten up by a gang of sailors and catching syphelis from a prostitute, Gaugin returned to Tahiti where he lived in poverty for a number of years.
Gaugin moved to the Marquesas after getting a commision from a Paris art dealer where he dies after living a wild life with another 14 year old "wife" and taking copious amounts of morphine for his pain.
My personal impression of the museum is one of disappointment. It is well laid out with covered walkways between buildings but not much on show.
Directions: Motu Ovini
The name was given to this area by Captain Cook's expedition in 1769, and was inspired by the reason for his journey - to measure the transit of Venus which would enable scientists to work out the distance between the sun and the earth.
At the point there is not much to see now, except an old lighthouse from 1867 designed by Rober Louis Stevenson's father, a black beach, a monument to Venus and the sun and another to the first missionaries who landed here.
Before the clouds cleared
Having bumped our way up the track from the beach in a 4WD, we stop right at the top of the 4500ft Marau Mountain by the radio and TV transmitters, with an incredible view of the valley below. On a good day. All we can see is cloud. Very disappointing. William, our driver, thinks it might clear if we wait a while, so we hang around for a bit. William then suggests a touch of voodoo, we all count to three and blow as hard as we can! Suddenly, like a theatre curtain, the clouds blow away to reveal mountain tops straight ahead and the verdant green valley below, complete with waterfall. We can see the coastline, with Marlon Brando's personal atoll, and our hotel perched spectacularly on the cliffside. Over on the right, the mountainside is shaped like folds of fabric, with cushions of clouds lingering between each one, making it very picturesque.
A 20 metre high waterfall with a beautiful veil of water cascading over the rocks. At the bottom is a shallow pool where you can bathe underneath the waterfall. The force of the water tumbling down is incredible!
Attempt to go from the hotel to the beach via the lift. Get to the bottom floor only to find the exit padlocked. Just as we are getting back into the lift again, the room boy shows us the back exit.
Lots of steps down through lush vegetation.
Small black beach with a couple of beach bars.
I'd brought my snorkelling equipment (tried to organise some SCUBA, but it was not all too easy - I'd have to find my own way to the Beachcomber Hotel etc - too much hassle_. So I thought I'd go snorkelling instead. Not much to see though - sand, sand and more sand. Do see a shoal of black-tipped fish. Swim quite a long way out in order to see the hotel from the sea, but I can glimpse is the very top of the building.
Take the shuttle bus back to the hotel rather than walk all up the steep hill.
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