The largest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti is a tropical paradise and a sought after holiday destination. Cheap flights to Tahiti are more likely to be snapped up in the high season which runs from May to October (though some resorts start high season prices as early as 1 April). Tahiti is a popular spot for weddings and honeymooners often arrive on package deals to stay at one of the fabulous resorts or travel to the outer islands. The capital Papeete offers resorts and spas, fine dining restaurants, markets, pearl shops and designer boutiques. While its lush green forests, high, jagged mountains, white beaches and coral reefs offer a myriad of hiking and watersport activities. Of course you can just laze on the beach, soak up the sun and set your body clock to Tahitian time. Don’t expect to get a bargain if you travel in July and August, these are the most expensive months for flights to Tahiti. Many tourists arrive from the US and Europe, the Heiva Nui festival takes place in July, and in August Tahitians take their annual holiday, in keeping with France. Christmas and New Year are also a busy tourist times as lots of Tahitians return home from overseas.
Low season months are November and January (after New Year’s celebrations) and when you’ll be able to pick cheap flights to Tahiti. Accommodation prices are lower and popular tours won’t be booked out. There is a good chance of rain over a few consecutive days in these months.
When is the best time to book a flight to Tahiti?
The best time to book flights to Tahiti is in the dry season between May and October, although tropical showers are likely at any time of year. Temperatures average 28 C and humidity hovers between 77% and 80%. Many Australian travellers time their visit for the July and August school holidays, so you may want to consider the months of May, June, September and October for the best combination of cheap flight tickets, good weather and accommodation availability.
Air Tahiti Nui, the national carrier, operates flights to Tahiti from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne via Auckland three days a week. Other airlines which operate flights to Tahiti include: Qantas and Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand has flights to Tahiti a few days a week via Auckland from many Australian destinations.
How to get from the airport to the city centre?
Flights to Tahiti land at Faa'a International Airport (PPT) and accommodation providers often pick up guests from the airport or provide a rental cars as part of the package deal. Alternatively you can take a bus or Le Truck to Papeete from the airport along the west coast freeway. Taxis are available at the airport but few have meters, so you will need to agree a fare with driver before you get in. A taxi fare will cost around AUD$30 from the airport to a hotel in Papeete. There are a good selection of rental car companies at the airport if you wish to explore the island independently.
Tahiti insider information
The Tattoonesia festival take place in Papeete each year. It features some of the best tattoo artists from Polynesia and around the world.
French Polynesia, like other parts of the South Pacific, doesn't have a haggling culture nor is tipping expected.
The glistening waters around Tahiti are well stocked with game fish such as marlin, mahi mahi, tuna and bonito. Mahi mahi is Polynesia's most prized game fish and can be fished year round.
Local custom dictates that if you are single you should wear a hibiscus behind your right ear, if you're taken, behind the right ear.
A great day trip is to take the ferry to Moorea, considered by many to be the most beautiful island in the world. The journey takes about 45 minutes from Papeete. The Afareaitu marae there is a sacred temple site that dates from 900. The marae were the focal point of religious, political and social activities, such as sacrifices.
Tahiti has a reputation for being expensive, but there are ways to make your holiday a little cheaper. Find self-catering accommodation and hit the market in Papeete or the Carrefour supermarket to stock up on local produce, French cheeses and beer and wine. There are no alcohol sales on Sundays.
The Billabong Pro is held in Teahupoo each May. Teahupoo is about 100km from Papeete.
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