There is an abundance of scenic tropical beaches scattered throughout the islands which make up French Polynesia (better known as Tahiti). These chain of South Pacific islands are also called the Society Islands. Among the more popular to visit are Tahiti itself, Moorea and Bora Bora. The photographs on this website are from November of 1988 during a visit to all three of these islands.
One of many beautiful white sand tropical beaches in French Polynesia.
This is a view of scenic Cook's Bay on the island of Moorea.
The airport on Bora Bora is located on an outer island (or motu). This is a view of Mount Otemanu as seen from the Bora Bora airport grounds.
Papeete Harbor greets visitors to the big island of Tahiti itself.
The islands of French Polynesia receive a lot of rainfall and are blessed with many beautiful types of tropical rain forest plants. The lush vegetation extends right down to the edge of those gorgeous tropical beaches which are found throughout the islands.
Capturing all of this beauty on film - or nowadays, on a memory card - can sometimes be a challenge. There are many great photo books available that can show you how to get the most out of your camera (be it a compact or an SLR). One of the best photography books that I have ever read is entitled "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson. The information found in books like this one can help transform ordinary snapshots of tropical beaches or cascading waterfalls into works of art.
Yellow and pink Plumeria blossoms thrive in this tropical climate.
A grove of coconut trees grow near the water's edge on
The island of Moorea is only 12 miles west of Tahiti and can be reached quickly by air or by ferry boat. Its beauty is absolutely stunning and it is much more laid back and slower paced than Tahiti itself. Due to its close proximity to the city of Papeete, Moorea has more shopping and entertainment options available for its visitors than one would find on other French Polynesian islands (which lie further away from Tahiti). However, it also allows one to "escape from it all" if they so choose and stay isolated on this island paradise.
Green is definitely the color which best describes the island of Moorea.
Motus are small islands which surround and protect Bora Bora. They create clear and calm water near the island shoreline to swim and snorkel in.
This is an aerial view of small islands (or motus) which surround Bora Bora.
Bora Bora is considered by many to be the most beautiful island in the world. The tropical beaches found here are truly incredible and the water is as clear and blue as you will find anywhere in the world. Located 140 miles from Tahiti island, Bora Bora is surrounded with small motus (or islands) which protect its beautiful and peaceful lagoon from ocean waves. The water is quite warm and the underwater visibility is easily 100 feet or more in the lagoon. There are many types of tropical fish found in its waters - in all kinds of colors. You can sign up to go on a shark feed excursion when visiting Bora Bora (and other islands as well) and swim with reef sharks. If you have an underwater camera, you can capture wonderful pictures of sharks during a shark feed.
The clarity and brilliant color of the water around Bora Bora has to be seen to truly be appreciated. Most photographs cannot quite capture the many beautiful and varied hues of blue which one sees throughout the island lagoon areas. It is like a large, crystalline swimming pool. The tropical beaches on this island are truly special places to visit.
Looking up toward the mountain tops is a frequent occurrence on the island of Moorea. Many of the volcanic peaks have jagged and interesting shapes.
Tahiti is truly a South Pacific island paradise and it remains unspoiled to this present day. I hope to be able to return some day and spend more time in this beautiful corner of the world. There are many other splendid tropical beaches there (including some black sand beaches) that I would like to visit and didn't get the chance to see back in 1988.
Peaceful and relaxing (and uncrowded) beach on the island of Moorea.
The pace of life is much slower and more relaxed in Tahiti than it is in Hawaii (and Hawaii is pretty relaxed itself). This laid-back quality is not easily found in this day and age. It only adds to the charm of the Tahitian Islands.