French Polynesia Things to Do Tips by easyoar Top 5 Page for this destination
French Polynesia Things to Do: 80 reviews and 76 photos
Getting Married in French Polynesia
Yikes, did your heart miss a beat there!
Seriously, this picture was just a re-enactment as part of a show, but the clothing is (apparently) traditional Polynesian wedding clothing. If I remember correctly, these two were actually man and wife, so there didn't need to be too much acting involved.
As with everything, French Polynesia is so expensive, I would seriously think hard before thinking of doing something like this, if your wallet can take it, can those of your guests? Whilst we were there, there were a lot of honeymooners and there, and for a lot of people, the over pricing of everything took the shine off the location.
Address: This was in the Tiki Village, Moorea
Spectacular Sunsets on Moorea
If you are around about PK27 to PK28 on Moorea in the evening, you can get some really spectacular sunsets as the sun goes down.
It's a great place to find a bar and just hangout and watch the sunset (or in my case, find a boat and turn your back on the sunset ;-) )
The Hotel Hibiscus (which conveniently in our case was where we were staying) is famous for its sunset bar, and is well worth dropping in to if the sunset looks like it is going to be a good one. That way you can put your feet up and watch the sun set. You'll need to be quick though as the sun sets very fast in French Polynesia.
Address: PK27 to PK28 on Moorea
Taverio Peata on Tahiti
Taverio Peata on the island of Tahiti is a beautiful church built is a classically Tahitian style. It is built out of lots of small stones and has a small steeple. This is a practicing church and was hosting a wedding when we drove past it the first time.
It is very close to Arahurahu Marae, and is well worth pulling over on the side of the road to look at if you are driving back to Papeete or the airport on Tahiti at Faaa.
Address: Near Arahurahu Marae
Cascade Atiraa on Moorea
Apparently this 'waterfall' on Moorea is actually quite good in the rainy season.
We drove the car up as far as we could, and then had to hike over rocks etc for around 20 mins to get to the cascade.
Cascade is a rather debatable word for it in the middle of August. Checkout the flow in the photo! What flow I hear you ask? Exactly. I hope this doesn't sound too disrespectful, but if I had urinated against the rock, there would have been a better flow...
The hike through the forest to get there was pretty pleasant mind...
Polynesian BBQ on Moorea
There's not too much I can say about this one as the picture says most of it! This is the classical view of a Polynesian BBQ on Moorea.
In actual fact, it is the restaurant associated with the Huge Polynesian Man in the previous tip. I believe the restuarant is only open in the evenings if I remember the signs that were up correctly.
As you can see, the backdrop is classical Polynesia, and although it is bright daylight, you can easily imagine what the scene would look like with the moon out and a log fire roaring in the fire pit. You can almost smell the food!
Address: Restaurant by the Huge Polynesian Man
Huge Polynesian Man on Moorea
If you drive around Moorea, you can't fail to spot this statue of a Polynesian warrior on the side of the road!
To my knowledge, it does little more than advertise a restaurant that only appeared to be open in the evening, although the setting looked very good for the restaurant (it was right on the waterfront).
It was common to see people stopping to take pictures with him, so the advertising probably worked well!
Marae at Faaa Airport, Tahiti
You may need to enlarge the photo for this tip!
This is very easy one to see, seeing as how most people arrive in French Polynesia at Tahiti International Airport (also known as Faaa).
If you look at the bottom half of the picture, this may just look like another Marae, but it is actually built around the departure lounge in the airport (Tahiti, Faaa). You can see this is true as the plane I was just about to depart on to Easter Island can be seen in the background at the top of the picture.
The airport was a problem to build. It was built in 1960, but the difficult was that there not enough flat land to build a runway that would allow modern aircraft to land. The solution was to fill in the lagoon and reef around Faaa giving plenty of flat land!
Address: Faaa Airport - Tahiti
The Overwater bungalows
It would be easy to say: Go and stay in one. But they can easily cost $400 USD per night, so I won't!
This is about as close as I got to any as I kind of balked at the price!
In Polynesia (and I believe this to be true in many beach resorts), the price of accommodation goes up the closer you get to water, and you can't get much closer than being just above it. These are therefore the premium rooms.
Several hotels do them, if you really must try them, shop around for the best possible price you can find!
This picture was actually taken on Moorea, but they crop up all over French Polynesia.
Rent/Borrow an Outrigger canoe!
These outrigger canoes are great fun to paddle about in. If you have ever been in a single scull (to the uninitiated, it is a very thin 'rowing' boat for just one person), this will feel very stable. On the other hand, if you haven't, you will have a good chance of turning one of these over! If you can't swim, definitely think twice about taking one of these out on the water!!! We were staying at the Hotel Hibiscus, and you could borrow these boats for free, so we borrowed this and headed over to the nearest Motu (a small uninhabited island).
Coming back, we hit a strong sidewind, and it made paddling in the direction I wanted to go very difficult as the outrigger was effectively braking the boat making it want to go in the same direction as the wind was. The only way I could get the boat back was to row it backwards (as a traditional row boat - but without any gate to hold the oar in place)
as I could get the oar almost horizontal this way and get more turning force in the water. It's worth being aware of anyway - I did get some very strange looks from the Polynesians as we came back in, as they all row them forwards (as I am doing in the picture!)!
If you don't have experience, make sure you don't take any cameras that would be 'allergic' to water in the boat with you, or anything that might sink should it suddenly find itself in the water! Don't try and swap positions in the canoe once you set out unless you exercise extreme caution, unless of course you don't mind a dip! You are very unlikely to roll it over the side of the rigger, but the other side has nothing to brace the boat.
The Motu's around Moorea
A Motu is a small islet (usually uninhabited) around a larger island. Quite often they don't even appear to have names, although I have seen one that was oficially called "Motu"!
This Motu (there are several around Moorea) is actually where the Lagoonarium is. It is a privately owned island, with a huge sea area cordoned off with fine mesh to stop the fish and turtles inside from escaping. It is possible to visit (see other tip).
Generally though you can just rent/borrow a boat and row out to the Motus (or even swim if you wish, most Motus are probably less than half a mile out to sea, so they are quite swimmable to - just make sure you are a competent swimmer!). You will probably have the whole island to yourselves in most cases!
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