Tahiti Fact Sheet

Airlines
Air New Zealand (NZ & USA), Qantas Airways (NZ & Australia) , Air France (France), Air Calin (New Caledonia), Hawaiin Airlines and Air Tahit Nui (Tokyo, USA, Japan) all fly to Papeete on Tahiti. Flying to Taihiti ex Auckland are Air NZ, Air Tahiti Nui, Polynesian Airlines and Qantas.

Airport
Tahiti’s international airport, Faa'a, is located 5km west of Papeete on Tahiti, and near the major hotels. There is an information desk, vehicle rental offices and shops, as well as post and telephone services, an ATM and foreign exchange agency.

Banking
There are branches of the Bank of Tahiti, Bank of Polynesia and Socredo bank, and international hotels also provide a foreign exchange service. Banking facilities are rare in the outer islands. Banking hours are 8am-3.30pm Monday to Friday. Some banks are open on Saturdays from 7.45am-11.30am.
There are ATMs (DABs in French) on the main Society Islands.

Communication
Papeete Central Post Office, near the Yacht Wharf & Bougainville Park, is open weekdays from 7am-6pm and Saturdays 8-11am. There is a philatelic centre at the Post Office.
The airport offers phone and postal services weekdays from 6am-10am and 6pm-10pm, and weekends and holidays from 6-10am.
Post Offices in the islands usually offer services weekdays from 7am-3.30pm.
International card-operated call boxes can be found throughout most of the islands.
Calling codes: French Polynesia's international code is 689, and information is 3612.
There are internet cafes in Papeete and Bora Bora.
Newspaper: Tahiti Beach Press is a free English-language weekly tourist paper with some local news coverage.
Radio: There are 15 radio stations broadcasting largely from Tahiti, Moorea and the Leeeward Islands. Radio France Outre-Mer (RFO) broadcasts many local programmes and also opertes two TV channels.

Consulates
  • Australia, c/o Qantas, Vaima Centre, BP 1695, Papeete
  • Germany, Rue Gadio, Pirae, BP 452, Papeete
  • Netherlands, Mobil Building, Fare Ute, BP 2804, Papeete
  • New Zealand, c/o Air New Zealand, Vaima Centre, BP 73, Papeete 

Currency
Pacific French Franc (CFP or XPF). Credit cards are widely accepted throughout the islands.

Culture
Predominantly Polynesian and French, with Asian influences. The Tahitian people are known for their hospitality and friendliness. Scented flower 'leis' are given to welcome visitors.

Departure Tax
There is no departure tax, although there are various other taxes including 6% VAT on tourist services, 3% VAT on hotels, and a tax on cruising (TAC) of 500CFP per day.

Dress
Comfortable, informal clothing is the norm, such as beachwear and sportswear. A sweater or light jersey may be required for the evenings. The traditional pareo (sarong) is ideal at the beach or pool.

Driving/Roads
Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Coastal roads are of a good standard in the Society Islands, but otherwise, roads can be fairly limited. Cars and 4WD vehicles are available for hire throughout most islands - 4WDs are necessary for roads into the rugged interior areas

Electricity
220 volts (60hz). Sockets are French-style. Some hotels supply 110V for shavers.

Entry Requirements
A current passport and outbound ticket is required. A visa is needed for all arrivals except EC countries, who can visit for up to 3 months without a visa. New Zealanders and various other nationalities may stay for up to one month without a visa. Check with your travel agent.

Health regulations
No vaccinations are required, except cholera or yellow fever if travelling via endemic areas. A good insect repellant is useful in the islands. Tap water is safe to drink on Tahiti and Bora Bora.

Language
French and Tahitian are the official languages, although English is widely spoken in tourist areas, shops and hotels.

Medical services
There are excellent medical and dental services in the islands, including pharmacies, a large government hospital and private clinics.

Politics
The Pomare dynasty ruled Tahiti until 1880, when the islands became a French colony. In 1957, they were declared a French Overseas Territory and have been internally autonomous since 1984. The legislative body is the Territorial Assembly, whose 41 members are elected by popular vote. This body elects the president of the government and head of the Territory, who appoints 10 ministers. A representative is elected to the French Senate and two representatives to the French Parliament.

Religion
Catholic (30%) and Protestant (55%). Other denominations include Buddhism and Confucianism.

Shopping
Shops usually open from 7.30am-11.30am and from 1.30pm-5 or 6pm on weekdays, and on Saturdays from 7.30am-11.30am. Some shops also open Saturday afternoons. Most places are closed on Sunday and also many restaurants.
Papeete Markets in Tahiti are open Sundays from 5am, selling flowers, hats, mother of pearl, arts and crafts, flowers, food and souvenirs.

Sport and Recreation
Land-based activities include golf, tennis, bowling, climbing, walking, horse riding, squash, cycling, 4WD tours and spectator sports such as soccer and races.
Water-based activities include deep sea fishing, diving, waterskiing, cruises, glass-bottom boat tours, charter boats, parasailing, shark and ray feeding, aquawalking and surfing.

Tipping
No tipping or bargaining (except for Pearls).

Transport (domestic)
Air Tahiti offers internal flights to 38 islands. Air Moorea runs a daily shuttle to Moorea. 'Le Truck' is Tahiti's public bus service, which starts and ends its circuit near the public market. Authorised stops are marked by a blue sign with a drawing. Hail the driver to stop, and pay when you disembark. Taxis are available at the main airports - check the fare before getting in. Helicopter excursions are available to nearby islands and there are daily ferry crossings to Moorea and regular sailings to other islands. Rental cars can be hired at the main airports and the wharves of the islands. Some rental offices also rent scooters and cycles.

Visitor Information
Tahiti Tourism
Fare Manihini, Pomare Boulevarde, Tahiti, French Polynesia.

More information