The coastal road that circles the exterior of both Tahiti Nui and Iti is measured in pointe kilometrique markers, known as PKs. PK0 begins in Pape'ete and markers go in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions, meeting in Taravao, which is PK60 counterclockwise and PK54 clockwise.

The west coast has the most sights and the most traffic; it's wise to set out early on a driving tour to avoid peak-hour traffic. Grab a map so you know whether a sight is at PK10 clockwise or counterclockwise. While the distances are not far, there is quite a lot to see on the west coast—beaches, surf breaks, museums, gardens and an excellent golf course—and it may take much longer than you think.

Tahiti Nui also has a handful of short interior roads. While a standard car can access the roads to the Belvedere lookout, the Three Waterfalls, and the start of the walking and 4WD trails in the Papenoo Valley, it's not possible to cross the island from north to south, or south to north, without a 4WD.

The PK marker system also operates in Tahiti Iti, beginning in Taravao, the town at the isthmus. There are two roads: the north road of 18 km (11 mi) from Taravao to Tautira and the south road, also measuring 18 km (11 mi) from Taravao to Teahupoo. The southeast and east coasts of Tahiti Iti can only be accessed by boat, bicycle, or foot. There is one inland road, leading from near Taravao up onto the Taravao Plateau and Taravao's lookout, also called the Belvedere.

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  • 1. ABC Diffusion


    ABC Diffusion ( 45–29–29 .) ...Read More

  • 2. Afaahiti, Pueu, and Tautira


    Pueu has a good surf break, ideal for beginners and body boarders. Taurita is the most remote of the three towns and has fantastic mountain...Read More

  • 3. Arahoho Blowhole

    Tiarei | Nature Sight

    Look out for the signs denoting the French name trou du souffleur. However, you won't miss it because the blowhole is right on—and under—the...Read More

  • 4. Cybernesia


    Cybernesia ( 85–43–67 .) ...Read More

  • 5. Faa'a


    Pronounced Fa-ah-ah, this town is a commune (municipality area) of greater Pape'ete and houses the international and domestic airport, the...Read More

  • 6. Fenua Aihere


    This is the name given to the remote eastern section of Tahiti Iti, which lies between the north coast and the south coast road. A wild and...Read More

  • 7. Gauguin Museum and Botanic Gardens

    Taunoa | Museum/Gallery

    These two sights are side by side. The museum has 25 small original works by the famous artist who lived in Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands...Read More

  • 8. House of James Norman Hall

    Arue | Historic Home

    The life of this American adventurer, WWI hero, and novelist is displayed at the beautifully restored house where he lived with his wife and...Read More

  • 9. La Maison de la Press


    La Maison de la Press ( 50–93–93 .) ...Read More

  • 10. Lafayette Beach

    Arue | Beach

    There's plenty of room for everyone at this black-sand beach at Arue, stretching for a whopping 2,624 feet (800 meters). It's on the edge of...Read More

  • 11. Le Belvedere

    Pira'e | Viewpoint

    Like most French Polynesian volcanic islands, Tahiti has a belvedere or lookout that can be accessed by car (the word means beautiful view...Read More

  • 12. Le Lagoonarium

    Puna'auia | Zoo/Aquarium

    You can't miss this open-air aquarium in a fenced -off part of the lagoon as there's a huge model of a shark at the entrance. Here you can swim...Read More

  • 13. Le Relais de la Maroto


    Le Relais de la Maroto. Almost miraculously you'll come across the only accommodation in the interior, Le Relais de la Maroto. The pension...Read More

  • 14. Maeva Beach


    This picturesque stretch of white sand lies just west of the Sofitel Tahiti Maeva Beach Resort. To get there take L'Truck from Pape'ete and...Read More

  • 15. Mahana Park

    Paea | Beach

    A mile or so west of Toaroto Beach is this family-friendly beachside park complete with a little restaurant. The stretch of white sand is lovely...Read More

  • 16. Mahina, Papenoo, and Tiarei


    These three towns stretching from around PK10 to PK25 are more of interest for their black-sand beaches and the natural wonders near them: look...Read More

  • 17. Maison de la Culture

    Pape'ete | Arts/Performance Venue

    The nation's cultural center is housed in a traditional Polynesian design, octagonal building which has a theater, cinema, exhibition space...Read More

  • 18. Maison de la Culture


    Maison de la Culture ( 54–45–44 .) ...Read More

  • 19. Mana Rock Café


    Mana Rock Café ( 50–02–40 .) ...Read More

  • 20. Maraa Grotto

    City Park

    This park, with meandering pathways leading to ferny grottoes (caves), has lovely gardens and crystal clear pools. You can walk into the caves...Read More

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