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. Cybernesia


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

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

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

  • 5. Maison de la Culture


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  • 6. Mana Rock Café


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  • 7. Notre Dame Cathedral

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    This is the center of the Catholic community in Pape'ete, as well as a quiet and cool retreat from the hot and sticky city. Built in 1875 and...Read More

  • 8. Paofai Temple

    Pape'ete | Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This pale pink church with white timber filigree work and a clock tower topped with green steeple is right on the main road a 100 yards or so...Read More

  • 9. Pape'ete City Hall

    Pape'ete | Notable Building

    Alternatively known in French as Hotel de Ville and Mairie, this impressive building, opened in 1990, is a replica of Queen Pomare's mansion...Read More

  • 10. Pape'ete Public Market (Marché de Pape'ete)

    Pape'ete | Market/Bazaar

    You could spend hours wandering around this lively market, which sells almost everything from fruit and vegetables to fish and handicrafts to...Read More

  • 11. Place Tarahoi

    Pape'ete | Plaza/Square

    Once the compound of Tahiti's 19th-century royal family, today it's the center of French Polynesia's territorial government. The square houses...Read More

  • 12. Place To'ata

    Pape'ete | Plaza/Square

    This huge waterfront square, about half a mile south of Place Vaiete, is the venue for the Heiva festival dance performances. International...Read More

  • 13. Place Vaiete

    Pape'ete | Plaza/Square

    This open space, in front of the cruise dock and next to the tourist office, is the heart of Pape'ete. The square comes alive when cruise ships...Read More

  • 14. Robert Wan Pearl Museum

    Pape'ete | Museum/Gallery

    Pearl pioneer Robert Wan's lovely museum is one of a kind. Here you'll see a pearl-encrusted prayer book that belonged to Charles II of France...Read More

  • 15. Tiki Soft Café


    Tiki Soft Café ( 88–93–98 .) ...Read More

  • 16. Centre Vaima

    Pape'ete | Store/Mall

    Pape'ete's first shopping center houses 65 stores over three levels. The red-roofed building has stood on Boulevard Pomare, almost directly...Read More

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