Tahiti – an island of romance

Posted on November 23, 2015

Tahiti – an island of romance

As a Travel Artist I’m privy to what in the industry is called ‘a familiarisation tour’ where a group of agents get to experience firsthand what you, the client, will experience. Let’s face it, it makes me more knowledgeable if I’ve been to the destinations I promote. Here are some highlights of my trip to the beautiful Tahiti.

Depart Auckland on Air TahitiNui – when boarding each person is presented with a Tahitian native flower known as a Tiara and this is when your holiday experience begins.

The heat is phenomenal and standing in the immigration line with only overhead fans is suffocating but as you walk out of the arrivals hall you are given a garland of frangipanis; cool and oh so sweet smelling, the perfume fills the air.

Le Meridien Tahiti 4 star has a spectacular lagoon pool which is great for midnight swims. Our first night’s accommodation was spent here with spectacular views from every angle of the gardens, the water bungalows, the sea and our next destination, Moorea Island.

The Aremetti Ferry is a 30 minute transfer across to Moorea Island and on arrival you have to try the locals’ cold freshly peeled pineapples and mangos.

The 5 star Sofitel Moorea Ia Ora Beach Resort was our next stop set right on the beach with water bungalows, garden and beach villas. Entertainment in the afternoon is ‘how to crack a coconut’. I can tell you it’s not with a chisel or hammer either but the Tahitian way using teeth and tree trunks. The secret is where to hit the coconut. Guests get a chance to break coconuts as well as squeeze out their own coconut milk. This is used to make Tahitian Poisson Cru (marinated raw fish). They gave us a cooking demo and we ate, and ate, and ate enjoyably. What a lovely recipe to serve on a hot summers’ afternoon with fresh bread. Yum!

Tahitian Poisson Cru

1 cup lemon juice
300g snapper fillets, skinned and deboned
1 red onion, small finely chopped
2 Tbsp spring onions, chopped
½ cup cucumber, chopped
425g coconut cream
2 tomatoes, chopped
Cut snapper into 2cm pieces, pour lemon juice over
and leave for 15 minutes
Drain and add all the other ingredients
Serve with fresh bread on a hot summer day – delish!

Dinner was a candlelight affair in cocktail attire but barefoot as the restaurant floor is beach sand. How cool is that! Tahitian dancers entertained us by moving to the rhythm of island music, using their hands to tell the story of love and happiness - a fine end to a wonderful day.

We had a tour to one of the small islands with a barbeque lunch on the beach, perfectly matched with beers and wine. After lunch a quick snorkel in the lagoon and a swim with manta rays and reef sharks. Before we knew it, it was back to the hotel to freshen up and head back to Papeete.

Every night on Papeete the Roulottes food trucks cook up many different dishes - budget food under the stars!

Departing from this beautiful destination is not easy but we were all given necklaces made from small shells as a parting gift and a memory of our stay.

Tahiti has always been flagged as expensive but airfares are lowering and the hotels more affordable. The most romantic getaway as a destination, and if you have the financial means visit Bora Bora - the crème de la crème of French Polynesia.


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