Papeete Waterfront Walk, Papeete

Papeete Waterfront Walk (Self Guided), Papeete

Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, is renowned for its beautiful natural setting. Still, other than lush green areas and stunning beaches, the city boasts a number of man-made sights well worth checking out. Papeete's Waterfront is a vibrant area bustling with activity and attractions that capture the essence of the island's culture and beauty.

Start your waterfront tour at Place Vaiete, a lively square where locals and tourists gather to enjoy delicious food from various food stalls offering an array of Polynesian delicacies and international cuisines.

Your next stop is the Quay, a picturesque promenade offering stunning views of the harbor and the majestic mountains in the distance. It's a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll or to simply sit and admire the serene beauty of the surroundings.

Further along the waterfront is Bougainville Park, home to a statue honoring the famous French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville. This park provides a tranquil escape amidst lush greenery, complete with shaded areas, and a well-maintained playground for children.

Nearby, you'll find Place Jacques Chirac, a charming square named after the former French President.

Paofai Garden (Jardin de Paofai) offers another oasis of tranquility with its manicured lawns, tropical plants, and a peaceful lagoon. It's a popular spot for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply enjoying the sea breeze.

Lastly, Place To'Ata adds to the charm of Papeete's waterfront with its vibrant atmosphere and cultural performances. Here, you can experience traditional Polynesian dance and music, immersing yourself in the rich heritage of the islands.

Papeete's Waterfront is a captivating destination that offers a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and culinary delights. So, given the chance, take a stroll here with the help of our self-guided tour and discover some of the loveliest sights along Papeete's seashore for yourself!
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Papeete Waterfront Walk Map

Guide Name: Papeete Waterfront Walk
Guide Location: Tahiti » Papeete (See other walking tours in Papeete)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Author: karenl
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Place Vaiete
  • The Quay
  • Bougainville Park and Statue
  • Place Jacques Chirac
  • Paofai Garden (Jardin de Paofai)
  • Place To'Ata
Place Vaiete

1) Place Vaiete

The place is an exciting, modern square with benches, a waterfall and public toilets that are very clean and open all day; there is even a security guard. In the evening, the space for food stalls and musical events of all kinds is put to goo duse. Here you can enjoy a lovely day until about 3 am, where you can have a cheap meal at one of the roulottes (mobile dining vans).
The Quay

2) The Quay

Yachts and boats from the whole world come here between April and September, and resident vessels are accosted here all year long. On the other side of the port is Motu Uta, which was a small, unique island of the Queen Pomare years ago but is now home to pontoon bridges and warehouses of Papeete's shipping port. The boats at the quay are one of the best tourist attractions. Most of the day, people walk by slowly and admire the many ports of call for the boats tied to the quay. You will often see tourists taking pictures of their significant others with the boats in the background.
Bougainville Park and Statue

3) Bougainville Park and Statue

Located adjacent to the post office, the Bougainville park is the best place for a promenade in the fresh air while viewing the amazing surroundings of Papeete. The park is a real tropical heaven filled with lush green landscape. It has a lot of trees providing shade during the warmest part of the day when many are walking through the park. It is well maintained and is a great place for the kids to run around and have fun. There is an entire playground with rides and swings dedicated to kids.

Situated at the entrance of the park, facing the seafront, you can see the Bougainville statue which is dedicated to Louis Antoine de Bougainvile, a French sailor. He stopped in this city in 1768 and became very famous in Europe when he published his "Voyage autour du monde" in which he described Tahiti as heaven on earth where men and women lived happily in innocence, away from the corruption of civilization.
Place Jacques Chirac

4) Place Jacques Chirac

Papeete's vast road renovations are not just a traffic semicircle, through which the four directions of boulevard Pomare cross and meet the adjoining underground parking place. Located in downtown Papeete, on the port side, the semicircular park is very popular in this town, whose name created some problems because French tradition goes against naming a public place after a living president. Flosse officially initiated a two-level, underground parking lot for 280 vehicles, in addition to some landscaping between the entrance and exit, thus far unfinished.
Paofai Garden (Jardin de Paofai)

5) Paofai Garden (Jardin de Paofai) (must see)

The Paofai Gardens is a park in the picturesque center of Papeete, Tahiti. It covers 11.37 landscaped acres and a recreational area. The Paofai Gardens is a calm place with lush green trees: royal palms, coconut trees, and other flowering species. There are footpaths, trails, greens, and fountains. There are also restroom facilities and locker rooms.

The gardens touch on the Waterfront Esplanade that stretches from To'Ato Square to Vaiete Square. This stretch is an ideal stroll at sunset with the serene parklands on one side and sweeping views of the tropic sea on the other. Snack kiosks and cafes give the park a kind of tropical Parisian vibe.

Paved paths for walking are accessible to wheelchairs and prams. The park is reputed to be one of the best places in Papeete. There is no admission charge. The park is within a short distance of the cruise ship port and other attractions, like the Maison de la Culture (House of Culture) and the Monument aux Morts (Memorial).

The best times for a stroll would be early mornings and evenings. The days are often hot. In the evenings, the atmosphere grows a little festive with the arrival of food-bearing "roulettes" and live music.
Place To'Ata

6) Place To'Ata

Another park built on the landfill is Place To'Ata, which is a special gathering place for office workers during the day and families at night. They come to stroll, take in the view and dine at inexpensive snack bars. Place Toata's outdoor amphitheater hosts concerts all year round. This place is used for public performance including the national dance festival during the huge Heiva Nui holiday in July and it also includes numerous Tikis.

Walking Tours in Papeete, Tahiti

Create Your Own Walk in Papeete

Create Your Own Walk in Papeete

Creating your own self-guided walk in Papeete is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Papeete Introduction Walking Tour

Papeete Introduction Walking Tour

The islands of the Pacific were gradually settled by daring sea voyagers in large multiple hulled catamarans (canoes). Tonga and Samoa were reached by 1300 BC. By 500 BC, the Marquesas Islands were known to the navigators. Tahiti was settled between 300 and 800 AD.

Tahiti was divided into clan territories managed by chiefs and under-chiefs. Spanish explorers began arriving in the 16th century....  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.0 Km or 1.9 Miles