Tahiti and her outlying islands offer many stunning beaches, although they offer a different beauty from that to which Australians are accustomed. The beaches set on the lagoons and motus are peaceful stretches of coral sand offering azure-hued, fish-filled, warm tropical waters. Bring your reef shoes and snorkel and wallow in the enjoyment of a different kind of paradise. Here are the best beaches in Tahiti:
Plage de Toaroto, Tahiti
This is a very pretty stretch of white sand just west of Le Méridien Resort in the Puna'auia area. Good for swimming and snorkelling, there is also a nearby park with public showers and toilets. It’s easily accessible via ‘Le Truck’ public bus service.
Lafayette Beach, Tahiti
Lafayette is one of many black sand beaches, coloured by volcanic rock. The sand is so soft in places you can sink down to your knees; a different experience for Australians used to grainy, white sand.
This is definitely not a peaceful lagoon! Sometimes referred to as the deadliest wave in the world, watch the thrill-seekers tackle one of the world’s most famous reef surf breaks. Huge, heavy, close-out barrels over sharp coral make this is an ‘experts only’ adventure.
Matira Beach, Bora Bora
Decent public beaches in Bora Bora are rare but this mile-long expanse of white sand boasts shady palm trees, safe swimming and easy snorkelling. At low tide you can wade through the shallows from Matira Point out to the barrier reef.
For after your swim: A Food Lover's Guide to Tahiti
Coastal stories from the other side of the globe: Coasting In Amalfi
Similar to nearby Bora Bora, this lush island is ringed by tiny motus, each with an unspoiled white-sand beach fringe. Take a tour and enjoy superb coral drift snorkelling, a picnic lunch and shark and ray feeding or visit a vanilla farm.
Temae Beach, Moorea
Temae is a white sand beach that can be rocky in places, but it’s easy to snorkel near the barrier reef and there is plenty of room to sprawl. Enjoy the lovely views of Moorea’s mountains and wander over to the adjacent Sofitel for lunch.
Opunohu Beach, Moorea
This 800-metre long public beach on the northeast side of Opunohu Bay is a local favourite and on weekends you will see families swimming, playing soccer and picnicking under the trees. Sit back and enjoy the local vibe while watching a catamaran regatta from nearby Moorea Sailing School.
Tikehau Beach, Tikehau
Tikehau is a small, circular atoll near Rangiroa in the Tuamotu Archipelago and is famous for its pink sand, a function of the coral colouring. This remote treasure has a shallow lagoon teeming with marine life.
Lagoons in the Tuamotu Islands
Noted for having some of the world's best diving destinations, the lagoons are headlined by Fakarava, southeast of Rangiroa. Fakarava has two notable passes that feed into the lagoon and these are rich with marine life, including lemon, white tip and hammerhead sharks.
Romance on your very own island
You’ll find completely deserted beaches on some of the motus, and many resorts can arrange a picnic lunch for your day of playing Robinson Crusoe (and friend).