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From the lesser-known island of Tahiti-iti to the famous white sand beaches of Bora Bora, here’s the best way to spend seven nights and eight days in the spectacular Islands of Tahiti
What better way to start your adventure in The Islands of Tahiti than by exploring the heart of French Polynesia – Papeete’s town centre? Take a stroll through the Papeete markets where you can browse local Polynesian produce and products, then visit the Tahiti Pearl Market where you can shop a wide range of Tahiti’s famous black pearls. Spend your afternoon discovering more of the Islands’ history at one of the museums located in the city’s centre, then make your way to the foreshore where you’ll find the local food trucks known as les roulottes. Pick a dish from the host of international cuisines on offer and then grab a seat nearby to enjoy the local Tahitian entertainment often taking place near les roulottes as the sun sets over the water.
Take a day trip with a guide to the lesser-known and less-frequented Tahiti-iti where you can witness the world’s biggest waves at Teahupoo. If you consider yourself a bit of a surfer, opt for a surf tour and have the chance to tackle the world-famous surf break with the guidance of your tour captain. For those not game to get in the water, an organised day tour is available, where you can immerse yourself in traditional Polynesian culture, discover the west coast and explore caves only known to the island’s locals.
Depart the mainland and make your way to the magical island of Moorea. A scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Papeete, Moorea is commonly referred to as nature’s playground, with stunning lagoons, magnificent mountains and lush valleys. Upon arrival, enjoy lunch at one of the island’s numerous eateries – Lilikoi Garden Café offers light snacks under the palm trees, while the Fare Hana Restaurant is the place to go to indulge in a long lunch of delicious dishes made with fresh, local produce. For a truly inspirational afternoon visit the Coral Gardeners, a group of young Tahitians committed to preserving the local environment, and learn how they’re saving the ocean’s ecosystems by replanting one coral at a time.
For those travelling to Moorea during the months of August to early December, you will have the opportunity to swim with one of the world’s most breathtaking creatures – the humpback whale. Moorea offers incredible dive tours that let you see the whales up close in their natural environment. But don’t fret if you’re not travelling during whale season – there is still an incredible array of marine life to see all year round. Take a lagoon tour and interact with friendly local sharks, stingrays and an abundance of tropical fish.
If you have a few extra days’ holiday up your sleeve, you won’t want to miss exploring the birthplace of the overwater bungalow – the idyllic island of Bora Bora. Just an hour’s flight from Moorea and also accessible from Papeete, Bora Bora is known for its powdery, white sand beaches, turquoise lagoons and luxury resorts perfectly positioned to take in the paradisiacal surrounds.
If you can tear yourself away from your hotel to explore the mainland of Bora Bora, put on your walking shoes and visit the Valley of the Kings. The easy three-hour walk features ancient Polynesian homes, historic temples and the famous giant banyan tree that sits at the top of the valley as the traditional resting place of the kings. To really understand the history of the valley, it is a good idea to have a local guide to explain the traditional legends, plants and medicines that you’ll be seeing. After an afternoon of walking, head back to the beach and experience a romantic, candle-lit dinner under the stars.
Today, spend some time enjoying one of the most beautiful places on the planet. Snorkel in the crystal-clear lagoon, jump on a jet ski to explore the further reaches of the lagoon, or sit by the beach with a cocktail in hand, taking in one last spectacular Tahitian sunset.
Start your day with one last breakfast in paradise – delivered by canoe to your room – before heading back to the main island of Tahiti to catch your plane home.
For more information visit tahititourisme.com.au.