What is French Polynesia? How big an area is French Polynesia? What places In French Polynesia are note worthy? Are there other Polynesias?
French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France and its sole overseas country, located in the South Pacific Ocean. It consists of 121 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometers (1,200 mi) 1. The total land area of French Polynesia is 3,521 square kilometers (1,359 sq mi) 1. French Polynesia covers an area as large as Europe, it is 99% ocean and lagoons.
Some noteworthy places in French Polynesia include Tahiti, Bora Bora, Moorea, Huahine, and the Marquesas Islands11.Polynesia is a region in the central and southern Pacific Ocean, generally defined by the Polynesian Triangle, which connects the points of Hawaii, New Zealand, and Easter Island4.
Other main island groups within the Polynesian Triangle include Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Niue, Wallis and Futuna, and French Polynesia4.
French Polynesia offers a wide range of popular tourist attractions, including natural wonders, cultural experiences, and outdoor activities. Some of the top attractions are:
- Matira Beach: A beautiful beach on Bora Bora, known for its white sand and crystal-clear waters2.
- Belvedere Lookout: A scenic viewpoint on Moorea, offering panoramic views of the island’s lush landscape1.
- Bora Bora Lagoonarium: A natural aquarium where visitors can swim with marine life, including sharks and rays2.
- Magic Mountain: A viewpoint on Moorea, offering stunning views of the island and its surrounding lagoon1.
- Iipona: One of the best-preserved archaeological sites in French Polynesia, featuring monumental tiki statues6.
- Paofai Gardens: A beautiful garden in Papeete, Tahiti, perfect for a relaxing stroll4.
- Hiking: French Polynesia offers numerous hiking trails, such as Mount Aorai on Tahiti, Moorea peaks, and Maupiti4.
- Fakarava Atoll: Part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Fakarava is known for its cultured black pearls and offers several pearl retailers3.
- Tahitian dance performances: Experience the passion and energy of traditional Tahitian dancers3.
- Local cuisine: Taste the unique blend of French, Chinese, and Italian influences in Polynesian dishes4.
These attractions showcase the natural beauty, rich culture, and outdoor activities that make French Polynesia a popular tourist destination.
The French Navy protects French Polynesia, as it is an overseas collectivity of France. The French Navy has vessels based in the territory, including surveillance frigates and patrol ships, to ensure the protection of national interests and maritime sovereignty in the region15.
Residents of French Polynesia are French citizens and hold French passports12. As French citizens, they have the right to live anywhere in France and enjoy the same rights and privileges as citizens living in mainland France2.
In French Polynesia, high schools are located on several islands, not just on Tahiti. For example, Raiatea is the only French Polynesian island outside of Tahiti with a secondary school. Students from neighboring islands such as Bora-Bora, Tahaa, Maupiti, or Huahine come to Raiatea for their secondary education.
The French government provides free and mandatory education through public schools in French Polynesia. Schooling is compulsory until age 16, and education is offered in French, which is the official language of French Polynesia. Although some schools may provide a few hours per week of Tahitian language instruction, the primary medium of instruction is French. The six years of primary education are funded by the government, and there are church- and government-run secondary schools6.
The French government does provide financial assistance to students from the outer islands who need to travel to Tahiti or other islands for their education. This assistance includes transportation and housing.
The University of French Polynesia, located in Papeete, is the only tertiary-level institution in the country6.It was established in 1987 as part of the French University of the Pacific and took its present name in 1999 when the university split into two entities, one in French Polynesia and one in New Caledonia6.
What attractions are there on Tahiti?
Tahiti offers a wide range of attractions, including natural wonders, cultural experiences, and outdoor activities. Here are some of the top attractions in Tahiti:
- Papeete and its market: The capital city of Tahiti, known for its vibrant market selling local crafts, flowers, and fresh produce12.
- Faarumai Waterfalls: A beautiful waterfall located in the lush jungle of Tahiti12.
- Moorea: A nearby island known for its stunning beaches, hiking trails, and cultural experiences13.
- La Plage de Maui: A beautiful public beach with crystal-clear waters1.
- Municipal Market: A bustling market in Papeete selling local crafts, flowers, and fresh produce2.
- Museum of Tahiti and the Islands: A museum showcasing the history, culture, and natural wonders of French Polynesia2.
- Arahoho Blowhole: A natural wonder where waves crash into a lava tube, creating a spectacular spray25.
- Terevau: A ferry service connecting Tahiti with nearby islands, such as Moorea and Raiatea2.
- Tahitian dance lessons: Experience the passion and energy of traditional Tahitian dance4.
- Wine Cellar Tour with Tasting: Discover French Polynesia’s only winery, Dominique Auroy’s Vin de Tahiti4.
- Huahine Natural Aquarium Excursion: Explore the island of Huahine and visit a natural aquarium4.
- Snorkeling and Ray Feeding: Experience the abundant marine life of French Polynesia4.
- Les Trois Cascades: A beautiful waterfall located in the lush jungle of Tahiti6.
- Overwater bungalows: Stay in a luxurious overwater bungalow and enjoy the stunning views of the lagoon6.
- Huahine: A nearby island known for its ancient marae, vanilla plantations, and beautiful beaches46.
These attractions showcase the natural beauty, rich culture, and outdoor activities that make Tahiti a popular tourist destination.
What attractions are there on islands near Tahiti?
There are several attractions on the islands near Tahiti, particularly on Moorea, Bora Bora, and Raiatea. Some of the top attractions on these islands include:
- Belvedere Lookout: A scenic viewpoint offering panoramic views of Opunohu Valley and Cook and Opunohu Bays6.
- Magic Mountain: A viewpoint offering stunning views of the island and its surrounding lagoon2.
- Tiki Village Cultural Center: A cultural center showcasing traditional Polynesian life, crafts, and dance performances2.
- Temae Beach: A beautiful public beach with crystal-clear waters6.
- Moorea Tropical Garden: A lush garden featuring local plants and flowers2.
- Matira Beach: A beautiful beach known for its white sand and crystal-clear waters3.
- Bora Bora Lagoonarium: A natural aquarium where visitors can swim with marine life, including sharks and rays3.
- Mount Otemanu: A majestic volcanic peak offering hiking opportunities and stunning views3.
- Leopard Rays Trench: A popular snorkeling spot with abundant marine life3.
- Bora Bora Turtle Sanctuary: A sanctuary dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of sea turtles3.
- Taputapuatea Marae: A UNESCO World Heritage Site and an important ancient temple in the Polynesian Triangle4.
- Arahurahu Marae: Another ancient temple site with historical significance4.
- Mount Tapioi: A hiking destination offering panoramic views of the island and surrounding waters4.
- Motu Iriru: A small islet with beautiful beaches and snorkeling opportunities4.
- Mercato Coperto di Uturoa: A local market offering fresh produce, handicrafts, and souvenirs4.
These attractions showcase the natural beauty, rich culture, and outdoor activities available on the islands near Tahiti.
Foreign boats, including those documented in the USA, are allowed to berth in marinas in French Polynesia, such as Moorea, without paying French taxes as long as they follow the permitted stay rules1. If these rules are broken, a substantial fine may be imposed, and import taxes on the yacht may become due1.
Regarding marinas that allow berthing of USA documented vessels for a year, there are marinas in Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea11. However, it is essential to check with each marina individually for their specific policies and availability. Keep in mind that long-term berthing may be subject to different regulations and fees.
There are some restrictions on foreign boats berthing in French Polynesia. For example, certain mooring areas may be restricted, especially during cargo ship stopovers3. Additionally, Tahiti prohibits anchoring inside Bora Bora Island, allowing only mooring balls and docking5. It is essential to follow the permitted stay rules to avoid fines and import taxes on the yacht2. When planning to berth in French Polynesia, it is crucial to check the specific regulations and requirements for each location.
What tropical fishes can be found in French Polynesia? Are any unique to a particular area? What coral can be found in French Polynesia? When is the best time to see turtles at Bora Bora? Are the waters in French Polynesia unpolluted? Does the purity of the water make French Polynesia a haven for fishes, turtles, and whales?
French Polynesia is home to a diverse range of marine life, including tropical fish, coral, sharks, whales, turtles, and dolphins1. Some of the tropical fish species that can be found in French Polynesia include clownfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, and parrotfish2. Here are some specific areas in French Polynesia where certain fish species can be found:
- Clownfish: These fish can be found in the lagoon, the reef, and the ocean2.
- Bonefish, trevally, tuna, mahi-mahi, and bonito: These fish can be caught on deep-sea fishing trips available on virtually every island5.
- Awaous ocellaris: This freshwater fish is native to French Polynesia4.
- Pseudodax moluccanus, Pseudojuloides polynesica, and Pseudolabrus torotai: These fish species can be found in French Polynesia3.
- ‘Uravena: This local fish is only served at the St. Regis Bora-Bora’s Lagoon Restaurant by Jean-Georges5.
- Foa leisi, Eviota deminuta, and Eviota dorsimaculata: These endemic fish species can be found in French Polynesia6.
Some of the coral species that can be found in French Polynesia include staghorn coral, brain coral, and mushroom coral1.
The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and the University of California, Berkeley are among the universities studying the coral that grows around Moorea.
The UCSB operates the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site (MCR LTER), which is a complex of coral reefs and lagoons that surround the island of Moorea in French Polynesia23. The MCR LTER gives scientists the unique opportunity to study the coral reefs surrounding Moorea in real-time, contributing new knowledge while drawing1.
The University of California, Berkeley operates the Richard B. Gump South Pacific Research Station on the island of Moorea, which promotes research, education, and public service in tropical biocomplexity and sustainable development45. The Gump Station organizes Moorea’s longest-running undergraduate field course each fall and leads research programs in a wide range of disciplines from archaeology to marine biology4.
The University of Washington is studying coral around Moorea. Dr. Steven Roberts, a professor at the University of Washington, is conducting research on the response of corals to changing environmental conditions in Moorea using epigenetic techniques4. Additionally, the University of Washington has collaborated with other universities and research institutions to study the coral reefs surrounding Moorea, including the Moorea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site (MCR LTER) operated by the University of California, Santa Barbara3.
The pristine waters of French Polynesia are a haven for marine life, and the purity of the water makes it an ideal environment for fishes, coral, turtles, and whales.
The best time to see turtles in Bora Bora is from November to April, during the nesting season4.During this time, turtles can be seen laying their eggs on the beaches of Bora Bora, and hatchlings can be seen making their way to the sea4.The waters in French Polynesia are generally unpolluted, and the purity of the water makes it a haven for marine life, including fishes, turtles, and whales1. The government of French Polynesia has implemented several measures to protect the marine environment, including the creation of marine protected areas and shark sanctuaries1.
In French Polynesia, where the waters are pure, There are many places that are sure to allure. From Tahiti to Bora Bora, and Moorea too, There are sights and sounds that will leave you anew.
The citizens of French Polynesia are kind, And their culture and traditions are easy to find. Their navy protects the waters and the land, Ensuring that the marine life is always at hand.
The coral reefs are a sight to behold, With tropical fish and turtles that never get old.
Whales can be seen in the pristine waters, And the beauty of it all will leave you in wonder.
UC Santa Barbara and Berkeley study the coral, While the University of Washington studies it moral. The marine life is abundant and unique,
And the waters are pure, making it a haven for the meek.
In French Polynesia, there is much to explore, From the coral reefs to the sandy shore.
The marine life is abundant and diverse, And the beauty of it all will leave you immersed.