Papeete

An Island Getaway

The compact and wonderfully chaotic capital of French Polynesia, Papeete is the gateway to the island of Tahiti and the surreally beautiful and sensual islands of Moorea, Bora Bora, the Tuamotu islands, the Austral islands and the Marquesas.

While a visit to Papeete, with its colourful markets, lively waterfront bars, fine dining and unique restaurants, exquisite pearl jewellery boutiques and stirring traditional dance performances, are essential ingredients in a Tahitian holiday, it's the outdoor action in the mountainous interior and deep blue sea beyond the city that shouldn't be missed.

Hike through ancient and archaeological sites, up lush river valleys beside clear streams and high waterfalls, along rugged isolated coastlines and through fields of exquisite tropical flora

Papeete, meaning the 'water basket', was once a meeting place where the Tahitian people came to collect fresh water. Today Papeete continues to draw people from the four corners of the globe who invariably leave with lives replenished and tales of idyllic holidays of a lifetime.

Insiders' Tips

  • Street Food Fare: Sample local variety and cuisine by the peir at La Roulottes - A smorgasboard of food trucks await!
  • Visit the Municipal Market: This hall is busting with handicrafts, fresh flowers and fruit, vanilla beans, Tahitian foods, French pastries and more.
  • Tahitian Cultured Pearls: Shop for Tahiti's famous black pearls, Colours range from deep black to shimmering greens, bronze and pink.
  • Paul Gauguin Museum: This memorial in Taravao (54km from Papeete) to the iconic French artist boats original works, and is open daily.

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