The decision in April 1789 to cast their captain adrift shortly after a five-month Tahiti ‘holiday’ spawned two blockbuster movies which helped reveal to the world the glorious scenery of Tahiti and other islands of French Polynesia. Suddenly there was a spectacular new South Pacific destination for package holiday travellers, and they’ve been pouring in from all over the world ever since 펄안마.
Movie-makers are still using Tahiti’s lush tropical landscapes, crystal-clear azure lagoons and soaring volcanic peaks as backdrops for stories of love and romance. Only nowadays the focus is more on luxury than mutiny. A recent production,’ Couples Retreat’, has led to travel companies producing a rash of package holidays centred on the luxurious resort where the movie was filmed.
A landmark feature of Tahiti accommodation is the absence of high-rise properties which scar places like Australia’s Gold Coast. In Tahiti, thatched-roof bungalows appear to float on lagoons, showcasing the fish which can be seen through glass floors. And travellers find there’s more to a resort stay than covering themselves with suntan lotion and laying beside a pool with an airport novel.
Package holidays in Tahiti can include game-fishing and diving excursions, 4WD exploring and cooking and art lessons. French impressionist painter Paul Gauguin, who died in 1903, spent his last few years there. It’s perhaps his lasting influence which today sees many Tahiti holidaymakers crouching at easels with canvas and pastels trying to capture the beauty of the islands. Le Meridien Tahiti resort has a gallery and offers daily art lessons where guests can mix with and learn from local artists. The same resort offers cooking lessons, with hands-on instruction from the executive chef. It’s a vibrant art and cuisine culture which is replicated elsewhere on the islands.
Shopping excursions on a Tahiti holiday will invariably lead the visitor to the Papeete market, which displays a diverse range of produce, from woven bags and massage oils to vanilla beans, fresh fish, vegetables and the much sought-after black pearl.
Pearl farms are dotted throughout French Polynesia. With surgical precision each oyster is opened just wide enough to insert a small round nucleus made from shell into a ‘pocket’. A tiny piece of oyster meat, chosen for its colour, is also inserted. Over the next two years the mother will coat this foreign body with several layers of nacre which becomes the pearl, ranging in colour from the darkest black to shimmering shades of blue, green, bronze and pink. Prices vary wildly depending on quality, colour and size, but all have the stunning colours for which they’re famous.
Tahiti is eight hours of flying from eastern Australia, which is somewhat more than other South Pacific destinations popular with Australians, like Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia. For this reason it has something of a ‘niche’ image among travel companies promoting South Pacific holidays. With the focus more on the nearer destinations, people searching for a Tahiti holiday must work a little harder to find companies which can offer a broad range of options.