They say that Tubuai is the breadbasket of The Islands of Tahiti. Everything grows in this island which is truly blessed by Mother Nature. Even the wind is just perfect for the kitesurfers on the vast, shallow lagoon. Situated to the south of Tahiti, in the Austral Islands, the cooler climate and rich soil of Tubuai are perfect for the growing of lychees. This deliciously sweet, succulent fruit is exported to islands throughout French Polynesia in december each year.
What makes it so special
Why visit Tubuai?
History of the Bounty mutineers
The name of Tubuai will be familiar to anyone who has read the tales of the Bounty mutineers.
In 1789, they sailed to Tubuai and tried to settle there, but the local population forced them to leave. You can visit the reconstruction of Fort George, which was built by the mutineers as a defence against the islanders. There are also other cultural sites on the island such as the marae and the Saint-Hélène Hermitage.
Devotees of green tourism will certainly appreciate the simple, preserved environment of this beautiful island, which is also known as Tupuai.
If you climb the 422 meters to the top of Mount Taitaa, the 360° view is simply breathtaking. This hike is part of the renowned Raid Litchis race which is held in November each year.
« It’s a little known island that is well worth visiting. With beautiful beaches, mountains, farming and fishing, basket weaving, sculpture, history and culture…there’s a lot to see and do in Tubuai. »
Not to be missed
Diving and craftwork
Tubuai might not be the best known destination for diving, but it has more than a dozen excellent sites, of which six are suitable even for beginners. On the island, go by bike or on foot to visit the district of Mataura.
That’s where you’ll find the island’s only bank with a cash dispenser, the town hall and gendarmerie (police station.) There is also a craftwork center where you can find the superb creations of local craftsmen and women, including tifaifai blankets, woven hats and baskets, and many other treasures.
There’s a lot to keep you busy in Tubuai. A picnic excursion to motu Toena, with a little fishing and snorkeling. Whale watching excursions from July to November. Scuba diving, kitesurf and a host of other watersports. On the island itself, hiking, horseback riding and cycling beside the beautiful beaches and the turquoise lagoon. Stop for a dip in the sea at Tavana Beach to cool off. The people of Tubuai say that their island and its magnificent lagoon have nothing to envy Bora Bora.
Vacations in the Austral Islands
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Forget about luxury hotel complexes, you’ll feel perfectly at home in a friendly and comfortable Tahitian Guesthouse in Tubuai. A warm welcome and an authentic Polynesian experience are guaranteed.
Austral Islands, Tahiti
Austral Islands, Tahiti
Staying in Tubuai
There are no hotels in Tubuai, the administrative capital of the Austral Islands. However, thereare several family-run Tahitian Guesthouses, where you’ll receive a traditional Polynesian welcome and be made to feel perfectly at home.
Getting there and getting around
Tahiti-Faa’a is the only international airport in The Islands of Tahiti. From there, you catch a domestic flight with Air Tahiti. There is one road which goes round the island and another which crosses it from north to south. The best way to get around is by bike, or on foot. You can also go horseback riding with the island’s ranch.
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