One of the most important things I feel I need to mention about surfing in Tahiti is that there are waves for ALL LEVELS OF SURFER. There are a handful of beach breaks and of course dozens of reef breaks as well. The beach breaks are perfect for learning to surf, and the reef breaks range from intermediate level to advanced.
The Society Islands have five main islands with Tahiti, Moorea and Huahine being the most popular surf destinations. Tahiti is becoming an increasingly popular surf destination because of its reputation for consistency and quality waves. Tahiti has a reputation for being expensive, however, good budget holidays are possible and the airfares to Tahiti can be quite reasonable. Most breaks are over coral and surf access is either with a long paddle or by boat - there are a couple of close beach breaks on the main island. It is a destination that is probably easier to travel to with others, allowing transport and accommodation costs to be shared. Transport between the islands can be either by plane or ferry. A new fast ferry service between Papeete and Huahine cuts down travel time by sea considerably.
Accommodation is available close to most of the surfing spots, particularly Huahine, Moorea and the south coast of Tahiti. A variety of accommodation is available on Moorea.
Tahiti is a year round surf destination with the South and North swells hitting all three main islands. Tahiti is an amazing place! The combination of the French and Tahitian cultures makes for a fantastic surf destination.
INFORMATION + MAP (click to open/close)
The local currency is the Central Pacific Franc (CPF), which is divided into 100 centimes. There are five banks on Tahiti, most with branches in the islands: Banque de Polynesie, Banque de Tahiti, Banque Paribas, Banque Socredo and Westpac. The banks are open from 8am to 3:30pm and ATMs are common on larger islands for 24 hour banking. The airport bank is open to service flights. A foreign exchange office in Papeete is open from 7am to 7pm from Monday to Saturday, and 7am-1pm on Sundays and public holidays.Travellers cheques and most credit cards are accepted on the main islands, but the outer islands operate on cash.
No visa is required for stays (travelling on NZ passports) of three months or less for most countries.
The islands have a tropical climate, tempered by trade winds and there is not a great variation in temperatures through out the year. It rarely gets hotter than 27°C and evenings are pleasantly cool. November to March are the warmer, more humid months, while April to October are cooler and drier months. The islands are well outside the usual Pacific cyclone zone.
French and Tahitian are the official languages and English is widely spoken and understood.
Almost half the population is Protestant, with 37% being Catholic and the remaining 16% being different Christian religions and other religions such as Buddhists. Religion plays an important part of daily life, and in rural areas, Sunday is reserved as a day of worship.
There are no poisonous animals or insects, though stonefish are an occasional hazard, which visitors should protect against by wearing reef shoes when in the water. Visitors should take normal precautions against sunburn and insect bites.
Health services are excellent on the main islands, with two major hospitals in Papeete. Private medical practitioners are found in most places and some medical clinics are open 24 hours. There are also dentists and pharmacies readily available.
Tap water in the hotels and restaurants is safe to drink. Elsewhere, it is advisable to drink boiled or bottled water unless the water is known to be treated.