Tahiti Week: Historic Sites & Museums
This week, we’re dedicating our blog to Tahiti! Big surprise there, right? Well actually, we want to talk about all the attractions and things to do on the main island of Tahiti. All too often, most travelers skip over the country’s capital and head straight to the other islands of choice, but as you’ll see in this week’s series of posts, Tahiti has so much to offer! First, we’ll focus on the historical sites and museums worthy of a visit.
Museum of Tahiti and Her Islands
Located in Punaauia, Tahiti, this museum explains the geological history of the islands, describes their indigenous flora and fauna, and showcases the history and culture of the Polynesian people. Here, you’ll see examples of ancient artifacts including early tools, warfare weapons, woven objects, body ornaments and written transcripts. You’ll also learn about religion, fishing, horticultural techniques and the art of tattoo.
Point Venus, Tahiti
Point Venus is the northern-most point on the island of Tahiti. This is where Captain James Cook set up his observatory to watch the Transit of Venus during his second trip to Tahiti. The observatory was converted into a lighthouse, which is still in existence today. The site also includes monuments to Cook, Captain Bligh and the entire Bounty crew. If you remember, because of this historical significance, Point Venus is where many people gathered to watch the recent Transit of Venus earlier this month on June 5, 2012.
Paul Gauguin Museum
Located in Papeari, Tahiti, this museum tells the story of artist Paul Gauguin and reflects on his love affair with the islands of Tahiti. Although not the original paintings, it features photos and copies of his most famous works.
Tahiti Botanical Gardens
Conveniently located near the Paul Gauguin Museum, you can easily make your way over to the Botanical Gardens and discover many exotic flowers, plants and animals. Here, you’ll find one of the world’s oldest turtles – a Galapagos Tortoise that weighs approximately 440 pounds!
The Home of James Norman Hall
This home is a replica of the original residence of James Norman Hall, the author who was most famous for his classic, “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Located in Arue, Tahiti, it houses his extensive library of over 3,000 books and serves as a wonderful example of his life in Tahiti.
Robert Wan’s Black Pearl Museum
Located in Papeete, Tahiti, the Black Pearl Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated entirely to pearls. It tells the history of these gems by describing their place in art, history, mythology, philosophy and religion, as well as demonstrating the cultivation process.
All in One Day?
Believe it or not, you can see most of these attractions in one day. To see it all, we recommend a full-day circle island tour. Your guide will narrate the way as you visit each of these historical sites and museums.
But that’s not even the end of our list! There are so many other activities, sites and attractions in Tahiti. For instance, there’s the famous open-air market, Le Marché, and the popular food trucks, Les Roulettes… but we’ll talk about those later this week!