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Driving on Tahiti

Planning to travel to Tahiti in April-May and wondered about the viability/difficulty of driving around the island. We land at 5:30 am so I thought we'd explore before checking into our hotel (which we haven't yet selected). Any guidance/suggestions?

Posted by
7124 posts

You probably know better than I do, but what I found is its ~48 hours of travel on 4 flights

Driving yourself around right off the plane seems like a good idea?

If the hotel is not geared to dealing with the flight schedules ( seems unlikely) I would be inclined to take a taxi to the hotel and find a lounge chair by the pool until a room was ready.

Posted by
360 posts

Hello, are you staying on the island of Tahiti or transferring to another island? We rented a car and drove around the island for the day only. Very easy to drive, same side of the road etc., very busy traffic entering Papeete. During our trip. 2014 many of the rental cars were manual trans. but a limited amount of automatics were available at a higher cost. No experience renting from the airport, we had already overnighted and then walked around Papeete before reserving car for the next day from Avis. There are many historical sights to see mainly re: Capt. Cook if you are interested in history and good museums too. Lots of recent info on Trip Advisor- French Polynesia- Society Islands. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
1171 posts

We drove on Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora in late 70s and again in 2001. Roads were fine. Enjoy your trip but avoid dri long distance after your flight.

Posted by
2773 posts

If your trip is anything like mine ( but I had a shorter flight since I left from the west coast), I was so jet lagged by the time I arrived I could barely see straight. Driving would have been outright dangerous in my case.

Most hotels are accustomed to the early arrival of NA flights. Even if you can't get into your room immediately, you should be able to enjoy the hotel amenities and just walk around the area . Save the driving for the next day.

Posted by
738 posts

Thanks for the feedback! It will be several hours from the time we land until we can check into our guesthouse. In the past I've taken overnight long-haul flights and then driven all day after landing so I'm not too concerned about doing so in Tahiti - especially since I won't be driving very far. We'll probably find a spot to eat after landing and then drive into Pape'ete and wander around until we can check in. Then we'll head back out to explore some of the island. The next day we're off to Bora Bora for the main part of our vacation.

Posted by
15762 posts

Can't say about cars or the island of Tahiti, but we drove all around Moorea on mopeds and it was terrific. Roads were fine.