When Travel Gets Back On Track
As we’re slowly getting back to normal with our day-to-day lives, travel is a hot topic of conversation.
From armchair wanderlust and ultimate travel inspo, to talk of a Trans-Tasman and Pacific Island bubble opening up, we’re all wondering when we will be able to book flights and go on holiday like we used to.
For those of us who love the outdoors, we can often find great trails and stunning scenery on our doorstep, but there’s really nothing better than exploring a new destination, hiking through tropical flora and fauna and learning about the local environment and culture. As we’ve been confined to our own local environments for quite some time now, the idea of a tropical adventure has become even more appealing, but it can be tricky to know where to visit, what to see, and which trails to walk.
When travel restrictions lift, The Islands of Tahiti are ready to welcome adventure seekers and trail walkers. With 118 Islands there is an abundance of bush walks, high peaks, deep valleys, striking waterfalls and lush fauna to navigate. There’s also the option to camp on some of the islands, or stay in family run pensions to give you a fully immersive experience.
Explore a handful of hiking options below, to consider for your next overseas adventure!
Vallee De Papenoo, Tahiti
Raw and wild landscapes fill the main Island of Tahiti, with magnificent waterfalls, sharp edges and tropical terrain Vallee De Papenoo is phenomenal. With precipitation rising from the trees, clouds thicken the further into the mountains you go. Along the trails you will also come across archeological sites with ancient stories, while several of the rivers have natural slides where you can take some time for a refreshing dip in the natural pools surrounded by guava and ferns to cool off from your trek.
Fautaua Valley, Tahiti
From Papeete Town Hall you can follow a stunning walk that takes you into the Fautaua Valley, where you will pass magnificent wild banana, mango and guava trees. You can either finish up at the base of the waterfall for a swim or continue all the way to the top of the Fautaua Falls. With truly awe-inspiring views, it’s definitely worth it, and if you’re up for an even bigger challenge, the Hitiaa Lava Tubes are a must-do. This hike requires a guide to lead you through the tougher terrain and tunnels and up Mt Aorai (Tahiti’s second highest summit).
Valley of the Kings, Bora Bora
While Bora Bora is one of the most popular destinations for visitors to The Islands of Tahiti, very few people know about the hike through the jungle of Faanui to discover the magnificent banyan tree that inspired the Tree of Souls in Avatar. Walk with a tour guide who will teach you about ancient traditions and the origins of the name. Learn about the ancestors who once resided in the valleys, the sacredness of certain plants and the medicinal qualities of others. Through lush vegetation and ancient sites of marae, visitors find the greatest discovery of all – Tumu Ora (the Tree of Life) – the largest banyan tree within The Islands of Tahiti, which has great cultural and spiritual significance to Tahitians. When producer James Cameron visited the tree, he felt an overwhelming feeling of connection, which is what inspired him to create the Tree of Souls in the movie Avatar.
Located 1,500km northeast of Tahiti, The Marquesas are home to 12 islands, six of which are inhabited. On Hiva Oa, visitors are encouraged to hike 11km to Hanatekuua Beach, where you will pass glorious waterfalls, wild flowers, steep cliffs and scenery like you’ve never seen. You can also camp in the Hanatekuua Valley, if you’re keen for an overnight experience in the wilderness. On Nuku Hiva, a short boat trip and a hike crossing rivers and passing through a small town will take you to Vaipo Waterfall – the most magical and the highest waterfall you will find on The Islands of Tahiti.