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Discover the interior of the island of Tahiti by 4 wheel drive vehicle. The tour will take you to Mount Marau. You'll be taken to an altitude of 3600 feet, stop for a bird's eye view of Punaruu Valley, once a fortress built by the French during the Tahitian uprising of 1844 to 1846. The site is now used as a TV relay station. At 4320 feet, there is a magnificent panorama of the island's highest peaks: Orohena, Aorai, Tetufera and Teamaa. Tour continues to the Tiarei Arahoho Blow Hole, Tahiti's biggest roadside attraction. It's unmarked and located at the base of a steep cliff on a narrow shoulder on the mountain side of the road. Over countless years, battering surf has undercut the basalt shoreline and eroded a passage to the surface beneath the road. When waves crash against the rocks, the result is a geyser-like plume of sea water that showers on lookers. You'll enter to the Fa'aurumai Valley to visit the three waterfalls. The rainforest on both sides of this small valley is thick, nearly impenetrable and filled with "hutu" and "mape" trees (chestnut trees, only found in the Society Islands). If you look carefully, you'll notice star fruit, guava and "mape" along the trail. From the parking lot, it's several hundred yards to Vaimahutu, the first fall, which cascades 100 feet to the earth and empties into a pool. Continue the rainforst walk and within 20-minutes will reach the other two falls : Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi.
On 2 April 1768, it was the turn of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, aboard Boudeuse and Etoile on the first French circumnavigation, to sight Tahiti. On 5 April, he anchored off Hitiaa O Te Ra, and was welcomed by its chief Reti. Bougainville was also visited by Tutaha. Bougainville only stayed about ten days on the island, which he called "Nouvelle-Cythère ", or "New Cythera (the island of Aphrodite)", because of the warm welcome he had received, the sweetness of the Tahitian customs, calling it a "sailor's Paradise." Ahutoru accompanied the French on the return voyage, becoming the first Tahitian to sail on a European vessel.:93–109 The account Bougainville and Philibert Commerson gave of his port of call would contribute to the creation of the myth of a Polynesian paradise and nourished the theme of the noble savage, so dear to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which was very much in fashion.:116–118 Between this date right until the end of the 18th century, the name of the island was spelled phonetically "Taïti". Beginning in the 19th century, the Tahitian orthography "Tahiti" became normal usage in French and English.
Bottles of water are readily available. Being a French territory, wine is common and easy to find. As this is a tropical island, a multitude of fruit juices from pineapple juice to coconut milk are to be found everywhere. It is sometimes better to crack open your own coconut yourself and drain it for lunch. If you're a fan of beer, the Hinano Beer will definitely be one you will like to taste and bring a few cans home.
Followers of 'Oro were called ariori, and each district in Tahiti had an ariori lodge led by the avae parae, black leg. These leaders had legs tattooed from thigh to heel. The first 'Oro lodge was established around 1720 by Mahi, a representative of the high priest of Taputapuatea marae and Tamatoa I, the high chief of Ra'iatea. The first 'Oro marae was established at Tautira.
My fiancé and I will be traveling to French Polynesia in January for our honeymoon and your post was SO helpful. We are based out of the United States so we are very excited to make our way over to the South Pacific. We are both surfers and will be taking our boards. We are purchasing the multi island pass but are confused on which ticket we should purchase. Should we get the 50lb or the 100lb limit since we will have a backpack and a board bag? Hopefully you could help us out!
However, the island saw no combat as the American presence on Bora Bora went uncontested over the course of the war. The base was officially closed on 2 June 1946. The World War II airstrip was never able to accommodate large aircraft, but it nonetheless was French Polynesia's only international airport until Faa'a International Airport opened next to Papeete, Tahiti, in 1960.
In the 16th century, Magellan reached the Tuamotu Islands and the Marquesas. However, the name of Englishman Samuel Wallis is the one most often associated with the European discovery of Tahiti in 1767. The following year, the French navigator Antoine de Bougainville named it 'New Cythera'. A year later, it was the English Captain James Cook's turn to land and take possession of the Society Islands.
French Polynesia was relisted in the UN List of Non-Self Governing Territories in 2013, making it eligible for a UN-backed independence referendum. The relisting was made after its indigenous government was voiced and supported by the Polynesian Leaders Group, Pacific Conference of Churches, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Non-Aligned Movement, World Council of Churches, and Melanesian Spearhead Group.
The slim stretches of white-, pink- and black-sand beaches in French Polynesia are really just pretty springboards into the real draw: the lagoons. Most high islands are surrounded by fringing reef that creates a protected swimming pool of the most intense aqua imaginable. Coral atolls have this same calibre of lagoon minus the big island in the middle. Fish, dolphins, rays, sharks, turtles and more inhabit these clear-water coral gardens that are as excellent for snorkelling as they are for diving and swimming. Surfers ride glassy wave faces at reef passes while kitesurfers fly across the water with the trade winds.
The indigenous Tahitians are of Polynesian ancestry comprising 70% of the population alongside Europeans, East Asians (mostly Chinese) and people of mixed heritage sometimes referred to as Demis. They make up the largest population in French Polynesia. Most people from metropolitan France live in Papeete and its suburbs, notably Punaauia where they make up almost 20% of the population.