Just the name 'Tahiti' evokes images of cerulean blue seas, cloudless skies and lush tropical gardens, laden with fresh flowers and fruit. Dreams of halcyon days spent languishing on the beach and soaking up the shimmering sunshine crystallise into reality on this heavenly isle of romance.
When the first explorers returned from Tahiti, they described a 'heaven on earth', and since then the islands have captured and stolen the hearts of artists, writers and romantics alike with their lush tropical forests, soaring volcanic peaks, soft sandy beaches and shimmering emerald waters. Tahiti has sparkled on the big screen as a modern day eden in films like Mutiny on the Bounty and Love Affair.
The largest and highest island in French Polynesia, Tahiti was borne of volcanic activity and is a mountainous island, surrounded by coral reefs. The islands of Tahiti are sprinkled across two million square miles of the South Pacific Ocean. Made up of 118 islands spanning five archipelagos, Tahiti is as far south of the equator as Hawaii is north, and is halfway between California and Australia. A brief non-stop 8-hour flight from the East Coast will get you there.
The three locations that draw the most visitors are the Society Islands, among which are Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora; The Tuamotu Atolls - also known as 'Tahiti's Strand of Pearls' - and the Marquesas, or 'Mysterious Islands.'
Tahiti is warm throughout the year, the tropical marine climate ensuring minimal extremes in temperature. The average temperature ranges from a pleasant 21C to a balmy 31C with little seasonal variation. The wet season is from November to April, with January being the wettest month. May to October is considered the high season, and is the best time for weddings in Tahiti, with August being the driest month.
The water temperature averages a comfortable 26C throughout the year.
If warm tropical temperatures, clear turquoise waters, incredible swimming, snorkelling and diving, luxurious cruises, five star resorts and overwater bungalows don't have you convinced, then you haven't been paying attention. For romance, there's nowhere else on earth like it. Think tropical sunsets - bright, brilliant pinks and oranges exploding high above emerald waves which break onto colourful reefs and deliciously soft white sand beaches. The people are generous and warm, the culture rich and vibrant, with stories of kings riding surfboards and legends of warriors lifting stones and throwing javelin as a show of pure strength.
You'll find something to suit no matter what your budget or style: from ultra-luxe Ã¼ber-resorts to more rustic, home-style accommodation. Prices are also a lot more relative to those in Australia now than they have ever been. Tahiti can be as affordable as you want it to be.
What you'll need
To enter Tahiti
Australian citizens must have a valid passport (with at least three months validity from your intended date of departure to be safe). You must also have a round-trip ticket. Visas aren't required for Australian citizens: visitors are granted a three-month stay.
To get married in Tahiti
To be legally married in Tahiti both of you must be over eighteen years of age, not currently married, couples must be of the opposite sex and you can't be a French national or resident of France. You will need two witnesses over eighteen. You must also complete a "Marriage of Foreign Citizens in French Polynesia" application and be able to provide the following documentation:
- A letter signed and dated by both future spouses, addressed to the mayor of the chosen commune (region) for the marriage ceremony
- Both your passports
- A certified copy of both birth certificates, issued less than 6 months prior to the date of the marriage and authenticated with an "Apostille".
- A "Certificate of Non-Marital Status"
- Your birth certificates, "Apostille" and "Certificate of Non-Marital Status" must also be signed by a lawyer, translated into French by an approved translator and legalised by the French Consulate.
- Proof of residency for both future spouses (e.g. a utility bill showing your names and physical address will suffice)
For more information visit
Currency: French Pacific Franc
Current exchange rate: 82.87 XPF for 1.00 AUD
Official languages: French (although Tahitian and English are both widely spoken)
At time of publishing.