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Tahiti Island

Culture of Tahiti Island. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

One of the places on Tahiti that one must visit is a peninsula called Point Venus. It is located on the north coast of the island. This is a legendary place where the legendary Captain James Cook observed the transit of Venus across the sun. This happened in 1769. There is an observatory on the peninsula built at the same time. It will be possible to observe a new eclipse just in 2117, but even today, you can connect with history. The peninsula is just a 20-minute drive from Papeete. One more place related to the name of James Cook is One Tree Hill, where the Captain once anchored.
The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising the gross of the population. French is the official language but Tahitian and French are both in use. If you know French, … Open
This place is very interesting, here you can find a lighthouse that is one and only on the island; furthermore, you can enjoy a great view from the hill. Actually, the island has many places associated with pirates; therefore, you will have a chance to organize a thematic excursion in the footsteps of these legendary conquerors of the sea. You might want to visit Teti’aroa, the exquisite Polynesian atoll. It is rather difficult to get there on your own, but you will easily find a tour to the lagoon. Today this atoll is known as Marlon Brando's private island, the famous actor bought it in 1965 and spent there the last years of his life. One of the most intriguing historical events concerning the atoll is related to the ship, HMS Bounty, where a mutiny happened.
There are not so many museums on the island, but all of them are worth to visit. First of all, make tracks for the art museum dedicated to the life and works of Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. The museum is located very near to Papeete, just 5 km far from it, on the skirts of Papeari village, directly across from the Harrison W. Smith Botanical Garden. The museum stands on the place where the artist’s house used to be. You will easily find this Japanese-styled building. Here you will have an opportunity to learn about the life of this great French post-Impressionist artist, to see the paintings he made during his stay on the island. Copyright
Before everything else, Tahiti is a paradise for fans of extreme water sports activities. Thousands of professional surfers come here every year to conquer the coastal waves. The Billabong … Open
No need to say that special attention is paid exactly to the period of the artist’s life spent in Polynesia. The exhibits include artworks, Paul Gauguin’s original documents, letters, photographs, reproductions, sculptures, engravings, and gouaches. You might want to start your excursion by visiting a souvenir shop where it is possible to buy thematic postcards, stamps, and reproductions of Gauguin's works. At the end of your visit go to the located nearby local oceanfront restaurant.
Don’t miss out on the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands. It is a Polynesian ethnographic museum in the village of Puna'auia where you will observe Polynesian artifacts and cultural practices. Here you will find the ancient tools, arts, and crafts of the islanders; there is a separate showroom in the museum demonstrating the fishing industry of Tahitians, here you can explore the tackles and models of ships, which the aborigines used for sailing on the ocean during the centuries. The islands’ animal and vegetal life is presented extensively, there are many kinds of taxidermied animals and birds, unique exotic plants and shells of local molluscan shellfish exhibited in the museum.
1. The best time to visit the island is from May to October, the rest of the year is the rainy season, especially frequent storms occur in January. However if you are not afraid of storms … Open
The Black Pearl Museum is one more traditional place visited by the tourists. It is located in the historic center of Papeete, on Boulevard Pomare. Europeans were very surprised when they saw Tahitians using black pearl for their jewelry and as a status symbol instead of traditional white pearl. At first, they thought that kind of jewelry was simply painted in black, but the truth was much more prosaic. The reason was Pinctada margaritifera, commonly known as the black-lip pearl oyster, dwelling in the sea near the island. This oyster has a black body due to which a pearl also becomes black. It has to be noted that for centuries Tahitians have been aware regarding the value of the black pearl.
Papeete City Hall When Europeans settled on the island, they recognized that it was a too long and not effective process to hand-pick the pearl as the aborigines were doing it. Then they tried to take Pinctada margaritifera out to Australia and New Zealand, but that tries were unsuccessful. Eventually, Robert Wan, a Chinese with a European background, decided to culture the oysters on Tahiti. However, he did not leave things up to chance but put sand grains into the shells by himself. It is Wan’s enterprise that has created the Black Pearl Museum. Here you will not only see pearls of different sizes and forms but will learn about their mystical characteristics that Tahitians used to believe in. In the course of the excursion, you will be told about the attributes according to which you will be able to assess the quality of the pearl.
The coastal area Tahiti is notable for its amazing contrasts. There are gorgeous beaches with white coral sand, and exotic parts of the coast covered with black volcanic sand. The most … Open
The museum also exhibits one of the best collections of black pearl which is a private collection of Robert Wan. Usually all tourist groups are brought to the museum; however, it is possible to visit it on your own, the museum is open from 9 to 17. If you are fond of historical and architectural landmarks, for sure, you have to walk along the streets of the capital. Here you will find some beautiful old buildings of the colonial period such as the Vaiami hospital or Stuart Hotel. It is worth noting that the island has suffered from natural disasters many times; therefore, there are not so many historical buildings on the island and that is why they are even more valuable.
rade-de-papeete One more interesting museum is situated in the house of James Norman. The colonial atmosphere of the 18th-19th centuries has been perfectly preserved here. Not only the building itself but also many details of the interior and personal belongings have reached our days. Here you can observe the furniture, paintings, and even books and letters of the owner. The tomb of Tahiti's last king Pomare V is also a place worth to see. It is built of coral stones in the shape of a small lighthouse, which has a red door and is topped with a red Grecian urn. The king did a lot both for the welfare of Tahiti’s population and for strengthening the island’s ties with France.
Tahiti has several luxury resorts that won’t disappoint even the most discerning travelers. The popular hotel Le Meridien is situated at the Punaauia Beach; that’s one of the … Open
It is possible to find a small memorial on the islands dedicated to the nuclear tests conducted in the local waters and their consequences for nature. It would be interesting to visit the Protestant Temple De Paofai, which is a Protestant church known for its beautiful stained glass windows and wooden decorative elements. Notre Dame Cathedral, built in the colonial style, is also outstanding. The stained glass windows and paintings inside the cathedral were designed to interpret the basic values and tenets of Christianity for Polynesians. If you have free time, then you can just walk along the streets of the island’s capital and get a view of the buildings left from the 18th and 19th centuries.
The Sherathon Hotel (Tahiti) The main architectural monuments are located near Tarahoi Square. The square houses the French Polynesian Assembly. Near the area originates picturesque Bruat Avenue, where the elaborate Presidential Palace, as well as the office of the High Commissioner, can be found. Nearby is a memorial to Tahitian World War I hero and Tahitian independence advocate Pouvanaa o Oopa. With regard to architectural sights of the capital, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-Papeete has to be noted. The Cathedral built in 1875 in the neo-Gothic style is a source of pride and a real jewel of the capital. Since Protestants are as much as Catholics on the island, you will also find a Protestant church in the center of the city - this is the Paofai Church.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Tahiti Island and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Tahiti Island and surroundings

Tahiti Island - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Iconic cultural sights of French Polynesia

The house-museum of the remarkable American writer, poet and screenwriter James Norman Hall in Tahiti, was opened in 2001 in his honor. Hall has written many books about the islands, including “The Bounty Riot”. The writer has lived in this house since the 20s of the last century, and his home has not been subject to reconstruction. The house has a huge library with thousands of books, personal belongings of the writer and his family, and a tea room. The museum will be interesting even to those who have never heard of James Hall. Connoisseurs of modern art should visit the museum-shop “Bora Art Upstairs” in Vaytap. This is a gallery that sells paintings, wood crafts and other objects of art created by locals. It is a great place to buy quality souvenirs that can either be hanged on the wall or put on the shelf. … Open
Car rental on Rentals in Tahiti Island

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Tahiti Island

Landmarks of culture on Tahiti Island map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Tahiti Island

Culture guide to Tahiti Island. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Tahiti Island: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Tahiti Island. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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