11 Things you should know before going to Tahiti
The Islands of Tahiti = French Polynesia
1- Where is Tahiti?
2- What is the time difference?
From Australia, The islands of Tahiti are 20 hours behind. From New Zealand, the islands are 22 hours behind.
3- Currency exchange/Buy rates
AUD 1 = XPF (CFP is the same) 80.17
NZD 1 = XPF 72.63
No vaccines are required except for passengers from high risk countries (this information can be obtained from your airline). On the island of Tahiti, sanitary facilities and health services are available. The cities of Papeete, Taravao (peninsula of Tahiti) and Uturoa (raiatea) have fully equipped hospitals.
Other tourist islands at least possess a hospital or a clinic.
5- Foreign currency exchange offices:
banks, airports, hotels.
Note: some atolls and remote islands have no banking facilities. International credit card are also accepted in most of the hotels.
Customs declaration: Upon arrival in French Polynesia, you must declaire all goods you are carrying with you and pay the relevant duties and taxes to the Customs Office. More information: www.douane.gouv.fr
7- Stays exceeding three months
Should a foreigner wish to stay longer than a period of three months in French Polynesia, the latter should apply for a long stay visa.
The only exception will be for EU nationals, the European Economic Area, Switzerland, Monaco and San Marino.
8- Visa requirements
See our dedicated article: Do I need a visa to go to Tahiti?
Prior to their arrival in French Polynesia, applicants must contact the Prefecture of their place of residence (if in France) or the nearest embassy or consulate of their place of residence.
Any visa requirements falls within the competence of these authorities. Please check the relevant websites to ask for an appointment and obtain the list of required documents to attach to your long stay visa request in French Polynesia.
Australians and New Zealanders do not need a visa to go to Tahiti.
For any additional information in relation to foreigners’ entry and stay in French Polynesia, please contact the “Direction de la Règlementation et du Contrôle de la Légalité (DRCL)” by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
9- What to pack?
Bring summer clothes, beachwear, sportswear and boat wear, all preferably in cotton. Have something warm available for the evenings which are sometimes cooler (lagoon side, boat trips and in the mountains).
Footwear: sandals, sneakers, boat shoes. Essential: swimming costumes, sunglasses, hat, sunblock creams (intense reflection of the lagoons) and a powerful anti-mosquito lotion (useful in the islands in certain seasons).
10- Water and Electricity
Tap water in Papeete and Bora Bora is safe to drink; enquire locally on the other islands. If in doubt, use mineral water in sealed bottles. Electricity: 110 or 220 volts (60 Hz) depending on the island and type of accommodation. Check before plugging in.
11- Business Hours
Shops are open from Monday to Friday 7:30 am to 11:30 am and from 1:30 pm to 5 pm. Saturdays from 7:30 am to 11:30 am. Some shops are also open afternoons. Most places are closed on Sunday including many restaurants except for the Papeete market, which is very busy from 5 in the morning. There you can find a wide variety of flowers, food, pareu, hats, mother of pearl, art objects and a variety of souvenirs.