French Polynesia/Tahiti: Driving Around the Island

Tahiti is the largest island in French Polynesia and is home to the country’s capital of Papeete as well as the only international airport. It’s a hub and a transfer point to all other island, and 68% of entire French Polynesian population lives here. And while it doesn’t have the beautiful white sand beaches or, it boasts plenty of black volcanic sand and that begs to be explored. Circumnavigating the island by car takes about 8 hours (including visiting the Tahiti Iti sister island connected via a small isthmus). Along the way – plenty of spectacular black sand beaches, amazing vistas, towering cliffs, and rocky outcrops. The further you drive from Papeete, the more desolate and starkly beautiful the island becomes. The road just ends twice on Tahiti Iti in north and south (there is no connection and you have to backtrack). The center of the island is mostly towering peaks and inaccessible valleys.