Top 50 Things to Do and to See in French Polynesia

French Polynesia
The nation of French Polynesia consists of many groups of islands; the most famous among them is Tahiti which is located in Society Islands group. Tahiti is also the capital of French Polynesia. It requires many days to explore all the groups of Islands of French Polynesia. French Polynesia offers tourists world class beaches, aquatic adventures and French island culture. You can also experience whale watching and buy black pearls. The nation has plenty of good market places and world class shopping centers. Fifty things that you can do with your family while in French Polynesia are as follows:

1. Bora Bora

Bora Bora is definitely among the top tourist attractions of French Polynesia. The island of Bora Bora has an incredible coastal beauty that makes it one of the most visited tourist attractions. The island is largely vegetative, with an economy largely dependent on copra. But upon the realization of its potential as a tourism spot and further commercialization, it is now almost entirely dependent on the industry, hosting several resorts, from basic and cheap to luxurious and expensive. Bora Bora has sites for snorkeling, swimming, sailing and surfing along its beaches. This island is one of the most famous places in the world. It is visited by millions of tourists every year. It consist the greatest sandy beaches and crystal clear water.

2. Tahiti

Tahiti is among the most spectacular tourist attractions of the county that is completey surrounded by stunning coral reefs. On land, there are also imposing mountains people can hike and climb if they prefer alternative activities. And within the lush jungle of Tahiti Nui, they will be able to witness the majesty of Le Trois Cascades, which literally translates to three beautiful waterfalls. Now, what makes Tahiti very convenient is the fact that it actually is more than just a resort island. This place is also an ideal destination for shopping, where you can get wide variety of things to purchase.

3. Mo’orea

Mo’orea is another most interesting tourist destination of French Polynesia. The place also offers you with some of the best attractions. This island has become of the favorites places considered for honeymoons as well as marriages. The beaches of Moorea Island are amazing places to enjoy the hot summer sun aside from the warm Pacific Ocean.

4. Huahine Island

Huahine Island is one of the most popular tourist attractions of French Polynesia. Once here you can notice that the place is more of a historic island with various amazing historic sites to be visited. You will also find here various ancient temples known as “Marae” that even today is available here. The island is one of the mid-seized populated islands of French Polynesia.

5. Austral Island

Another most interesting place to visit in French Polynesia is Austral Island. The island is exceptionally beautiful and offers best sites for hiking. The major hiking location here is Rurutu in this island. Snorkeling activities take place in the huge Tubuai Lagoon. Off Rurutu site into the Pacific Ocean, lot of engine boats is available for travelling into the Paciifc Ocean to witness. The place is ideal for taking magnificent photos.

6. Fatu Hiva

Fatu Hiva belongs to the Marquesas Islands in the French Polynesia territory in France; it is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the country. It is well known for its natural rainforests which have drawn much attention to visitors. Back in the sixteenth century, Spanish explorers have once named this place as Isla Magdalena or Magdalene Island. This name is now rarely used. This is the southernmost island in the Marquesas group of islands in the Pacific Ocean.

7. The Marquesas Islands

The Marquesas Islands is composed of smaller island communes and among the most popular tourist destinations of French Polynesia. It is part of the French Polynesia region – an overseas territory of France by the Pacific Ocean, offers some of the spectacular attractions for tourist. It is the third largest island in the Marquesas group. One of these islands is the Ua Pou. This region is composed of the most beautiful scenery can give can’t even imagine.

8. The Sepik River

The region of Sepik is very huge reserve grassland which is completely occupied with a big river that is 1, 126 km originating from the mountains of the and ultimately draining to the sea. The people who live along the riverbanks depend upon the Sepik River for their transport, food and water supplies. These customs and traditions have been passed on from generation to generation and are still practiced even today. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions of French Polynesia.

9. Gauguin Museum

The Paul Gauguin Museum is a Japanese-styled art museum dedicated to the life and works of Paul Gauguin in Tahiti, French Polynesia. A ceramic vase made by Gauguin is displayed alongside many more of the artist’s engravings, paintings, woodcarvings, sculptures, and other masterpieces. The museum is situated at PK 51, 2 Papeari, Tahiti, directly across from the Botanical Gardens. Also included and unseen in years are some of his sketches and block prints.

10. Arahurahu Marae

Arahurahu is among the top most tourist attractions of the country and the only one of the various ancient maraes which once dotted French Polynesia to be restored to its full brilliance. The ancient open-air temple and meeting place now hosts live theater performances. The bright red wooden sculptures or unu which surround the marae, represent the ancestors of local families.

11. La Maison de James Norman Hall

This striking lagoonside Arue house as well as museum is an accurate replica of the home where ex- American army pilot James Norman Hall lived and also wrote many books with Charles Nordhoff. It is one of the most interesting tourist attractions of the country. Hall’s actual manuscript, typewriter, photographs, and countless other heirlooms are at displayed.

12. Tahiti Lagoonarium

Tahiti Lagoonarium is one of the most spectacular tourist attractions of French Polynesia. The Coral reefs and Tropical Fish, both boardwalk entrances into this unique Punaauia aquarium and fish park 7 miles west of Papeete towards the southern part of Tahiti, are plaster shark mouths leading into glass walls where sea turtles and reef sharks swim. Here you will find that 4 different types of sea creatures are enclosed in 4 different enclosures.

13. Harrison W Smith Botanical Gardens

Harrison W Smith Botanical Gardens are one of the famous tourist attractions of the country to be found in Tahiti. You will find them right next to the famous Gauguin Museum were named after and founded by American Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor Harrison Smith. During the year 1919 he actually moved to Tahiti and stayed on the island until his 1947 death.

14. Maharepa

Maharepa is one of the incredible tourist attractions of the country and what’s better than a heart-shaped island for the lovers around the world. Maharepa, on the Society Island of Moorea offers you with some of the spectacular beauty of nature like the classic white-sand beaches and a calm blue lagoon, just right for a cooling dip or an active snorkeling or boating session.

15. Tahaa

Tahaa is considered as one of the most sought after tourist destinations of the country. The island of Tahaa is so charming and is scattered with small villages nestled along hillside bays. It is also popular by the name “vanilla island” because of its large-scale production of the fragrant bean; Tahaa is exceptionally beautiful place especially for lovers.

16. Tomb of Pomare V

The Tomb of Pomare V is considered one of the prominent places of French Polynesia. The tomb was originally built for King Pmare V’s mother, Queen Pomare, but now containing the remains of Tahiti’s final king. After some year King Pomare V exhumed his mother’s remains, abdicated his throne, and died during the year 1891. The red Grecian urn containing King Pomare V’s remains stands on top of a coral stone structure resembling a small lighthouse with a bright red door in front.

17. Museum of Tahiti

The Museum of Tahiti is one of the most significant tourist attractions of the country. You will find some of the beautiful coconut groves and relaxing lagoon that are surrounded by this picturesque museum, and thus it is ranked among the finest in the entire South Pacific. A topographic map and 1939 Tahitian Bible are two of this museum’s standout exhibits. The museum’s displays are weapons, literature, sports, games, maraes, and traditional weaving.

18. Papeete Municipal Market

The Papeete Municipal Market is one of the liveliest places to visit in French Polynesia. You will find that this market is fully occupies usually on Sundays, when vendors arrive from throughout French Polynesia to peddle their wares. Breadfruit and taro are the most common local crops Tahitians sell, while Chinese vendors usually sell produce from China or Europe.

19. Turtle Conservation Center

Turtle Conservation Center is one of the famous places to visit in French Polynesia. Tahaa turtles have a savior in their middle: Leo Morou, center founder, rescues turtles caught in fishing nets, caring for them until healthy enough to be set free. It is one of the ideal places to visit with the entire family especially kids, they will enjoy their visit here.

20. Marae

Marae are some of the interesting places to visit in French Polynesia. They are the famous Polynesian temples where visitors came to offer up gifts to the Gods. The most famous one is the Taputapuatea on the island of Raiatea, and Opunohu Valley is also impressive Polynesian archaeology, which stretches from the head of Cook’s Bay up towards Belvédère on Moorea Island and has marae dotted all over the walking trail.

21. Ua Pou

Ua Pou is another most interesting tourist attraction of the country. This dry desert island has oasis similar to valleys filled with tropical fruit. It is said that there is enough to feed more than 10 times the amount of the population. You will find it situated towards the south of Nuku Hiva and is noted as an island rich in culture and arts.

22. Mataiva

This beautiful island of Mataiva offers fairly good tourist attractions. You will find some of the finest and easily accessible beaches, multiple snorkeling spots, and plenty of wonderful fish. In the Tuamotus, you will also find a few remarkable archaeological places.

23. Tiki Theatre Village (Moorea)

Well, if you are looking for some of the best entertaining spot in French Polynesia then head towards the Tike Theatre Village. It was constructed to resemble a pre-European Tahitian village, it is beautiful cultural center that will also demonstrate you about handicrafts making and puts on a nightly dance show and feast. It is a best place to visit and enjoy with the entire family.

24. Wildlife of French Polynesia

You will find that most of wildlife here is found in the lagoons and surrounding waters because there are only little indigenous animals on land. You can also check out French Polynesia’s underwater wildlife through diving. On land, there is some much for bird watchers and sightings of kingfishers and rate Nuku Hiva pigeons among others.

25. Whale watching

Whale Watching is considered to be one of the most favorite tourist activities. It is said that the season for whale watching is June and July in the Austral Islands south of Tahiti. Pods of humpback whales swim to Rurutu and Tubuai from Antarctica to bear their young and this makes for one of the most spectacular sights you are likely to see on your travels.

26. Black Pearls

It is believed that Black pearls are the top souvenir for tourists in French Polynesia. The cost the famous this single gem (high quality gems) can be availed at half of the price in Tahiti then the rest of the world. The Robert Wan stores you’ll see throughout the country are like the Tiffany’s of black pearl shops—just about any other outfit is less expensive. The Manihi Island in the Tuamotus launched black pearl tourism and is a best place to witness how they’re produced and harvested.

27. Jus de Fruits de Moorea/Manutea Tahiti

Moorea is very popular the island of Pineapple mainly because of its profusion of the fruit, and you will find here that a lot of farmers locally sell their wares to this processing plant where Rotui juices and Manutea Tahiti punches and liqueurs are produced. Once here you can also have a tour of the factory, taste free samples, and can buy for yourself.

28. La Maison de James Norman Hall

La Maison de James Norman Hall is one of the interesting places to visit in French Polynesia. The coauthor of Mutiny on the Bounty and other books set in the South Pacific lived most of his adult life on Tahiti. His farmer home is maintained by his family and today it is a spectacular museum.

29. Paul Gauguin Cultural Center

The Paul Gauguin Cultural Center is a fairly interesting place to visit in French Polynesia. It is a little museum that recounts Paul Gauguin’s last days on Hiva Oa, where he died during the year 1903. This museum is surely worth a visit to witness the exact replicas of his original paintings executed by a team of French artists.

30. Maupiti

Maupiti is considered as the unspoiled jewel and widely believed to be a little miniature like Bora Bora, but without any modern hotels or resorts. Like Bora Bora, its mountainous central island towers over a crystal-clear lagoon.

31. Rangiroa, Tikehau, Manihi, and Fakarava

These famous islands of French Polynesia are some of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the country. They are lumped together because they are equally beautiful. Each has a string of islets enclosing large lagoons, like giant lakes in the middle of the ocean.

32. La Plage de Maui

La Plage de Maui is located towards the border of the southern shore of Tahiti, the main island’s peninsula; this strip of white sand is far and away the best beach on Tahiti. It is considered on of the beautiful places to visit in French Polynesia. The lagoon is appropriate for swimming, and there’s an exceptional snack bar beside the beach.

33. Mareto Plage Publique

Mareto Plage Publique is another most fascinating tourist attraction of the country to be found in Moorea. This beach between Cook’s and Opunohu bays sits between a coconut grove and the lagoon.

34. Temae Plage Publique

Tamae Plage Publique is one of the most interesting places to visit in French Polynesia to be found in Moorea. The northeastern coast of Moorea is fringed by an almost uninterrupted stretch of white-sand beach that commands a magnificent view: across a speckled lagoon to Tahiti, sitting on the horizon across the Sea of the Moon.

35. Avea Beach

Avea Beach is considered as one of the favorite tourist attractions of the country. You will surely fall in love with the area surrounding the beach. Here trees grow along the white beach, which slopes into a lagoon deep enough for swimming at any tide. The resort’s pier goes out to a giant coral head, a perfect and safe place to snorkel, and the lagoon here is protected from the trade winds, making it safe for sailing.

36. Ranch Opunohu Valley

Ranch Opunohu Valley is considered that best place for horse riding, with almost no difficulty. Once you start your ride, it will take you into the pineapple fields, to the heart of the crater that is exceptionally beautiful. It is the best activity for tourists who are fond of horseback riding, prior reservation is recommended.

37. Matira Beach

The Matira Beach that you will find in Bora Bora is one of the most exciting tourist attractions of French Polynesia. It is considered one of the finest ribbons of sand that stretches around skinny Matira Point, which forms the island’s southern extremity. You will find at the eastern side the views of the sister islands of Raiatea and Tahaa.

38. Diving

Diving is another most popular activity among tourist as well as the locals of French Polynesia. Rangiroa offers one of the best diving experiences of French Polynesia. It is the largest atoll of South Pacific and also one of the largest in the world. Masses of marine life contain barracuda, tuna, turtles and dolphins can be found in the waters as well as hammerhead sharks and manta rays. If you dive, you shouldn’t miss doing it here

39. Surfing

Another favorite tourist activity of French Polynesia is Surfing. The giant breaks at Teahupoo create some of the spectacular waves which can challenge all abilities. On this island of Tahiti you will find many surf schools and board rental is available in Papeete. The surf is also good off the coast of Moorea. Surfing is very famous in this country.

40. Plage Tereia

Plage Tereia is quite similar in beauty to the Matira Beach on Bora Bora. It is a well maintained white-sand beach that wraps around a peninsula on Maupiti’s main island. Almost as beautiful is the beach at the northern end of Motu Tiapaa, where you and get nice view of Maupiti’s central mountain.

41. Les Sables Rose

Les Sables Rose is another most exciting tourist attraction of French Polynesia. You will find it at a remote corner of Rangiroa’s lagoon, the world’s second largest, lays a beautiful beach that is completely made up of pink sand. Visiting this beach is surely worth it.

42. Motu Tuherahera

Motu Tuherahera is one of the fairly attractive tourist destinations of French Polynesia to be found in Tikehau. The eastern half of Tikihau’s important island is skirted by a beautiful stretch of white sand, much of it flanked by the atoll’s pensions.

43. Discovery Diving Pass

It is said that the best way of discovering amazing fauna of Tahiti is the Discovery Diving Pass; it offers certified divers flexibility and convenience. With the Discovery Diving Pass, your Polynesian underwater adventure is taken care of, from all your essential equipment to access to the best diving spots and centers in the region.

44. Hiking Moorea’s Three-Coconut Trail

Hiking Moorea’s three coconut trail is one of the best experiences of French Polynesia. While crossing the forest you can discover Polynesian plants and learn of their many uses for fishing, cloth making from Banyan tree bark, and lighting at night. You can also find various different varieties of native song birds and discover their nesting areas. Binoculars are available for easy viewing.

45. Maeva Maraes

One of the interesting places to visit in French Polynesia is the Maeva Maraes. The ancient Tahitians used to worship their gods and hold other ceremonies at stone temples which are called as the maraes. You will find around more than 40 of these structures that were restored quite close to the village of Maeva and are a highlight of any visit to Huahine.

46. Taputapuatea Marae

The largest and the most significant of Marae is located besides the lagoon on Raiatea it is said that the archaeologists have uncovered bones apparently from human sacrifices from beneath its 45m-long (150-ft.) grand altar.

47. Fare Potee

Fare Potee is one of the interesting places to visit in French Polynesia. The Fare Potee which is the chief’s house or community meeting place houses a small archaeological museum. The original fare potee was actually shattered during the year 1998 cyclone but was reconstructed during the year 2001 using traditional materials. You will find it around the site more than 10 marae, some of which date back to the 16th century.

48. Hiva Oa

Hiva Oa is one of the most fascinating places to visit in French Polynesia. It also contains some wonderful archaeological spots. Among them is Iipona, an extraordinary me’ae (sacred site) features five monumental tiki (carved human figures). In the Faakua Valley are the Tehueto petroglyphs, where stylised, horizontal human figures have been carved into an enormous basalt block. Hiva Oa is well known because it is home to Belgian crooner Jacques Brel from 1975 to 1978.

49. Taravao

Taravao is one of the prominent tourist attractions of French Polynesia. Well located towards the narrow isthmus connecting Tahiti Nui with Tahiti Iti. This famous town of French Polynesia has been a military base on and off since 1844, when the first French fort was recognized. The Faratea Port today is being constructed to shift commercial sea trade from Pape’ete to Taravao.

50. Cathédrale Saint-Michel

The Cathedral of St Michael to be found in the upper part of Rikitea is considered the ultimate symbol of despotic French Catholic missionary Father Honoré Laval’s single-minded obsession. The Cathedral was considered between 1839 and 1848, its altar is decorated with mother-of-pearl and the woodwork is inlaid with pearl shell.

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