If you are headed to Tahiti or Moorea, please take heed of this tip. It will save you at least $100 US dollars, and you will enjoy saving the money!
Air Tahiti charges an arm and a leg for a 15 minute flight from Papeete to Moorea, which in my opinion is not worth it!
Since you will have to pick up your international baggage anyway, have to re-check in at PPT and board another plane to Moorea, why not see more of the island!
Take the Moorea Express Ferry instead (its a cab ride or Le Truck ride from the airport), where you will get 30 minutes of relaxing breath-taking views of Tahiti and Moorea by high speed catamaran.
If you are in Tahiti, I would not recommend that you rent a car for the whole time you stay here. It will go unused most of the time. Everything is centrally located in Papeete, and the only real need for wheels would be to go on the circle island road. This could be fun for a 4 hour excursion, however the need to rent past that point would sort of be counter productive.
Faa'a Airport has Hertz, Avis, and Europcar rental stations and almost all of the higher end hotels also have small divisions of these car rental agencies available to you as well.
This is my most important recommendation when it comes to transportation on Tahiti... I think it would be an absolute must to take a 4x4 Safari Excursion to see Tahiti. If you miss out on this portion of the Island, than you are really not seeing the true beauty of the island as a whole. There are several tour operators, although since we only had one day to get organized we went through the hotel to book this one. Our guide was very personable and knowledgeable. Look for more information on this adventure in my must-see-activities.
As in any major town, you will see a couple bicycle riders here and there, but I was surprised to see as many tourists donning the bicycles and heading out for a trek around the island. The road is very condusive to this mode of transportation, as there are many scenic outlook spots, and for the most part the circle island road is very flat. I would definitely recommend grabbing your bike and taking a spin!
Whilst it is not especially cheap to rent a car in Tahiti, it can work out quite cost effective compared to paying someone else to take you to places (hotels are so expensive you don't tend to be staying long, so everything is done in a hurry, so Le Truck is not always feasible!).
You can rent cars by the day with unlimited mileage, or you can pay less if you are going to do less mileage, with a surcharge for every extra kilometre you drive. If you have a good idea that you are not going to drive too far, this can be a good idea.
This picture shows the car we rented in the grounds of the Tahiti Museum.
There are several boats that leave from Papeete (Papeete is the capital of Tahiti) to Moorea (another island very close to Tahiti) quite a few times a day.
Unfortunately they all seem to depart at virtually the same time, so if you miss a boat, you can have several hours wait for the next one, so make sure you know what times the boats leave in advance and get there early as they depart promptly - they don't work on Tahitian time (i.e. late!).
From memory, the boat is around £5 (less than $10 US) for a single to Moorea (returns are double), which actually maks it quite good value by Tahitian standards!
Our day trip to the island of Tahiti departed from her nearby island, Moorea.
There are several vessels available frequently to take this 12 mile journey between Moorea and Papeete.
It's about a 40 minute journey and costs around 18 XPF per person for a round trip ticket. (same price, no matter which ferry company you choose)
Because of the frequency of service, there is no need to worry about reservations.
Schedules for all boats are available at the Tahiti Manava Visitor's Bureau in Papeete.
The short journey provides an opportunity to meet locals and enjoy a pleasurable travel experience on the water.
First you must learn to pronounce it!
Tahiti Faa'a International Airport is one of the most colorful airports I had ever flown into. Upon arrival, you are immediately welcomed with a colorful array of lei stands, blaring Tahitian music, and a true taste of the Tahitian lifestyle in Papeete.........laid-back yet hustling all at once!
All incoming international flights to French Polynesia touch down at the Faa'a Airport.
Air New Zealand, Qantas, Air France, Hawaiian Airlines, and Air Tahiti are the main carriers arriving at this destination.
We decided to take a trip into the mountain by 4WD, which arrives 45 minutes late due to a pucture (allegedly).
David and I sit in the back, my mother in the back seat along with an American couple and my father next to the driver in the front.
First we drive along the beach road and up a side track to the waterfall, then back past the hotel, through Papeete and off into the mountains. At first the road is sealed and quite smooth, then as we climb higher and higher into the cloud-shrouded rainforest-clad mountains, the road becomes a pothole-filled dirt track. We change to 4Wd and bunp our way slowly up the track, stopping to admire the view, pick wild raspberries and spotting the beautiful, deep purple wild orchids.
It isn't quite so hard or slow coming back down again, but every bit as bumpy!
If you want to explore the island, you definitely need a car. The coastal road around the island is a 114 km (71miles) paved two lanes road. You need to be 18 for renting a car and 21 for renting a 4-wheels vehicle. There are several car rentals to choose from: Avis-Pacificar, Europcar, Hertz and Tahiti Rent a Car.
A good way to visit the island of Tahiti is to rent a car for a few days. We chose the Europcar agency in Papeete and were satisfied.