Tahiti: It’s a Magical Place

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Much like Hawaii and the Maldives and the Seychelles, the islands of French Polynesia come to mind when I think “island paradise.”

Think about it: beaches and palm trees and those postcard-perfect huts suspended over turquoise water that you always see on magazine covers. Yeah, you can find all those things in French Polynesia.

Which is why, when the opportunity arose for me to stop in Tahiti for a few nights on my way to New Zealand, I jumped at it.

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Tahiti, located between Los Angeles and New Zealand, is one of the largest islands in French Polynesia. The Islands of Tahiti (another name for French Polynesia as a whole) consist of more than 100 islands and atolls spread across 1.5 million square miles in the South Pacific. The islands are divided up into smaller groups, and Tahiti is part of a group called the Society Islands.

Originally, I had planned to hop from Tahiti over to Moorea, a smaller island just a quick 25-minute ferry ride away. But a cruise ship in port in Moorea thwarted my plans. In the end, though, I was glad! Because without the option to go elsewhere, I spent two full days exploring the island of Tahiti.

And, let me just agree with Phil Coulson here: Tahiti is a magical place.

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

During my two days in Tahiti, I did a circle island tour, relaxed by the pool at the InterContinental Tahiti Resort, and went on a 4×4 adventure into Tahiti's mountainous center. Before arriving, I really had no clue that Tahiti had so much to offer. You tend to hear a lot more about Bora Bora and some of the more “romantic” islands in French Polynesia. But don't completely write Tahiti off!

Even though it doesn't have soft white sand beaches (the sand here is volcanic and black), Tahiti makes up for it with incredibly steep mountains, sweeping views, great surfing, and a community vibe that sets it apart from its French counterparts.

Here's a look at some of the highlights from my brief stop in Tahiti, from the island's mountainous interior (seriously, it just screams Jurassic Park, don't you think??) to some colorful flora to the views from my hotel's luxurious pool:

Tahiti interior

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Tahiti flower

Lighthouse at Point Venus, Tahiti

Tahiti valley

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Tahiti flowers

Beach at Point Venus in Tahiti

Moorea from Tahiti

Tahiti interior



Tahiti sunset

Vaipahi Gardens, Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Flower in Tahiti

4x4 tour of Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

Fern grotto, Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti

4x4 tour of Tahiti

InterContinental Resort Tahiti


Is Tahiti on YOUR wishlist? Which photo is your favorite?



"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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49 Comments on “Tahiti: It’s a Magical Place

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  1. Hey Amanda! Recently discovered your blog, and absolutely love it! Seems like we have the same travel philosophy and been to the same places 🙂 I am actually going on a road trip to NZ in January and booked the flight via Air Tahiti who offered a stopover in Tahiti for free! We will be at the Intercontinental for 3 days at the end of January. May I ask you more info regarding the 4×4 tour that you did? Did you book through your hotel? We are expecting insane prices for anything we will want to do, but also expecting amazingness 😉 Can’t wait!

      Yes, I just booked the 4×4 tour through the hotel – there are 2 tourism agencies right in the lobby. Highly recommend the 4×4 tour! And yeah, expect to pay a bit for anything at the hotel – especially food! But it was worth it for a couple of days. 🙂

    Thank you for this nice post about our island. Next time you visit don’t forget to go to the market place in Papeete…

      I’ll be sure not to miss it next time!

    After our experiences on Thoddoo island in the Maldives, places like Tahiti are firmly up there on our Wish List.

    We are planning to go to Auz in Sept/Oct and New Zealand in around October/November time and wanted to make some stop overs on the various Pacific Islands around there (subject to costs of course). But we know nothing about it yet, so Tahiti is our first step in our research about this unknown world for us.

      Sounds like a great plan! I did my stopover in Tahiti on the way to New Zealand, which worked out really well! Next time, though, I would want to stay longer so I could also visit Moorea and Bora Bora!

    ARGH I have serious issues with Tahiti! Only because we booked a stopover overnight at the end of our RTW trip … but once we were abroad I realised our agent had got the dates wrong and only given us a 3 hour stopover. Changing it was crazy expensive, so we’ll just have to go back some other time … we ended up just dozing in the airport.

      Aww what a bummer!! Highly recommend a proper stopover sometime – the island really surprised me!

    Oooh pretty. I am a fan of black sand beaches (in spite of the photos that come of the dunes in the north, Fuerteventura has tons of black sand beaches)! They are less crowded, too, generally speaking 😉

      Yup, everyone always seems to want white beaches! But black sand ones are cool, too.

    It is now! The sunset shot along the water – I’m a sucker for orange-y skies. 🙂

      Me too! Though, I think the interior of the island is what really won me over in the end!

    The photos look amazing! Such a beautiful place

      Yes, I’m definitely glad I went! It was even better than I was expecting.

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