Lonely Planet review
Strategically situated at the narrow isthmus connecting Tahiti Nui with Tahiti Iti, the town of Taravao has been a military base on and off since 1844, when the first French fort was established. The original fort was intended to forestall Tahitian guerrilla forces opposed to the French takeover from mounting operations against Tahiti Nui from Tahiti Iti. Today the Faratea Port, on the northeastern side of the isthmus, is being built to shift commercial sea trade from Pape’ete (which is getting gussied up for tourists) to Taravao.
Although there is little of interest in the town, it does have shops, banks, petrol stations and a number of small restaurants.