The best time of year to travel to Tahiti – which is also the peak season – is during their winter, especially the months of June through August. This also corresponds to the North American wedding season.
The overall high season in French Polynesia extends from May 1 to October 31, although some resorts change their prices starting April 1. The low season covers November 1 to April 30.
During the high season, temperatures are milder and there are fewer rain showers with less humidity, and better visibility for divers. However, there are two or three times as many tourists per resort – thus increasing demand for sightseeing activities and prices for lodging and events.
Throughout the slower months, the costs are lower and there is less competition for spots on popular tours. Additionally, just because it’s off season it doesn’t mean the sun completely disappears! Tahiti still receives warming rays, although consecutive days of rain are possible.
Average temperatures in Tahiti
The annual average temperature in Tahiti is 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 27 degrees Celsius. Closer to the equator, the Tuamotu Atolls and the Marquesas Islands have slightly warmer temperatures than Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora.
During the high season, or winter, temperatures range from 70-82 degrees Fahrenheit, while in the low season, summer, temperatures vary from 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. December and January average 12 inches of rain a month, however, Tahiti receives more hours of sun than Hawaii during the comprable humid season. Less than three inches of rain fall per month from June through September.
Storms in Tahiti
The humid season in Tahiti is from November to April. Occasionally, strong storms do develop. Cyclones are rare, with the last powerful one occurring in 1982.
Water temperature, SCUBA diving and surfing in Tahiti
The water temperature in the lagoons averages 78 degrees Fahrenheit, or 26 degrees Celsius, only slightly less than the average air temperature.
SCUBA diving is possible off the coast of many islands. Surfing is most abundant in Tahiti and Moorea and up-and-coming in Huahine. May is a popular surfing month, due to the Billabong Pro competition at Teahupoo in Tahiti.
For more on SCUBA diving and surfing information, hang ten over to the Tahiti Popular Activities page.
Wildlife in Tahiti
Tahiti’s most popular and attractive wildlife is found underwater, with hundreds of reefs and scores of colorful fish, sharks and other animals who call them home. Tiger sharks, sting rays and dolphins can all be seen here.
On land, there are more than 33 native bird species. However, due to the volcanic origin of the islnds, the only other land-based wildlife has been introduced by humans – cows, horses, dogs, etc. The only not-so-common species on the list? Wild pigs!
Plants and flowers in Tahiti
Numerous fruit bearing trees including lime, mango, coconut, grapefruit, papaya, orange, lemon, avocado and breadfruit dot the Tahitian landscape.
Flowers are an important part of Tahitian culture – the tiare Tahiti (Tahitian gardenia) is highly prized as the official flower. The popular hibiscus flowers decorate beach wear and the paper flower is unique for its thin appearance.
It is not uncommon for Polynesians to wear flowers in their hair and you will most likely be greeted with a flower gift upon arrival at an airport or resort.
A final note about wearing flowers – unless you want an amorous suitor (that isn’t your partner!) follow these rules:
- Flower behind left ear – you’re taken
- Flower behind right ear – you’re single
- Flowers behind both ears – you’re taken…but ‘available’
- Flower worn backward behind your ear – you’re available….right now.