Jardins Botaniques

Around Tahiti Nui

The 137-hectare Jardins Botaniques has walking paths that wind their way through the garden past ponds, palms, a massive banyan tree and a superb mape forest. The gardens were founded in 1919 by an American, Harrison Smith, who introduced many plants to Tahiti including the large southeast Asian pomelo known on Tahiti as pamplemousse, the French word for grapefruit.

Unfortunately, Smith also introduced one or two botanical disasters that Tahiti could well have done without, including the Miconia calvescens, which has caused serious damage to other plants. Mosquitoes in the gardens can be fierce.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Around Tahiti Nui attractions

1. Musée Gauguin

0.76 MILES

This museum has been closed for years but hopefully it will reopen during the life of this book. The airy site surrounded by lush foliage is lovely, and…

3. Mataiea

3.43 MILES

Between 1891 and 1893, Paul Gauguin lived in Mataiea where he produced works including Two Women on the Beach, Woman with a Mango and Ia Orana Maria –…

4. Maui Beach

5.17 MILES

A picturesque strip of white sand, Maui Beach gets packed and noisy on weekends, but is peaceful during the week. It’s right on the road but has shallow…

5. Marae Nuutere

6.24 MILES

A signposted turn-off at PK9.5 leads a short distance inland to the rarely visited remains of Marae Nuutere, restored in 1994. There are three paved yards…

6. Marae Mahaiatea

7.18 MILES

Just east of the village of Papara, the Marae Mahaiatea was the most magnificent marae on Tahiti at the time of Cook’s first visit (according to Cook it…

7. Plage de Taharuu

7.44 MILES

Everybody loves Plage de Taharuu – locals taking the kids for a swim, tourists on day trips from Pape’ete and surfers catching some great waves. This…

8. Taravao Lookout

7.75 MILES

View over the bucolic plateaus of Taravao to the blue coastlines and towering Tahiti Nui.