The French Polynesia Islands are comprised of five different island groups, and while many of them are perfect for fabulous getaways, not all of them are perfect for kids. Of course, a French Polynesia vacation may not have even been on your radar, until you began reading this post, simply because it is kind of forgotten about out in the middle of an ocean.
To be a little more specific towards the often-asked question of “Where is French Polynesia?”, we would like to say that it is in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, approximately halfway between Australia and the state of California. You may want to refer to this handy map of French Polynesia here, so that you have an advantage when you begin to plan your trip. With so many islands, it can be tricky to determine which ones are worthwhile to visit and you may even wonder where the capital of French Polynesia is, since that must be a popular choice for any traveler. Well, the capital of French Polynesia is Papeete and it can be found on the island of Tahiti.
If you are looking for a phenomenal destination for your next trip away from home, French Polynesia may be one of your best options. A French Polynesia vacation will have you enjoying beautiful weather at any time of the year, however, the months of June, July, August, September, and October are often said to be the best months. During the months of November through April, you will find that the French Polynesia weather is hot and humid, and the sun is always shining. The rest of the year brings slightly cooler temperatures with less humidity, due in part to the cooling trade winds.
During your French Polynesia vacation, you will need to make sure that you are prepared to hear different languages, use different currency, and are ready to eat different cuisines. The languages spoken in French Polynesia are mainly French and Polynesian, but you may also hear a few Asian languages during your time there. French Polynesia currency is the Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc, which means that you will want to check the conversion rates before your travel dates. This will ensure that you have enough money with you on your French Polynesia vacation.
You will be eating quite a bit of French Polynesia food during your vacation, and the islands specialize in French foods. However, when on Tahiti, you may find yourself being offered the chance to dine on Chinese dishes as well. Tahitian food is also quite popular on the islands, and since it is all steamed underground in an earth oven, the flavors all blend together to create delectable dishes that will met in your mouth.
Once you have decided that you want to go on vacation on these islands, you will need to book your fights to French Polynesia. The French Polynesia airport is Fa’a’ā International Airport, which is also known as the Tahiti International Airport. This is the international airport of the islands, which means no matter which island you are headed to, you will need to land on the island of Tahiti first. Once you arrive in Tahiti, you will either need to fly to the island of your choice or take a boat ride there.
A French Polynesia vacation can take a lot of planning, which is why we recommend starting your research well in advance. While you can do a fairly good job creating a plan in less than a month, we find that a good three to four months is best. This obviously includes all your pre-planning of which islands you want to go to. After all, you need to know that information so you can finalize your travel arrangements and book your accommodations.
We wanted to give you a head start with all that, which is why we researched the best French Polynesia islands for kids. And don’t worry, all your hard work will be rewarded with breathtaking landscapes, soothing cultural vibes, and enough variety to keep everyone in your family wanting more.
Here are the best French Polynesia islands to visit with kids:
1. Bora Bora
Bora Bora French Polynesia is known for its soft white sandy beaches and sparkling water of the lagoon, but thankfully for you and your kids, this island offers so much more for your vacation. Your entire family will love spending your days participating in numerous water sports that include snorkeling, surfing, sailing, jet skiing, and more.
If you want to learn more about the animals that live in the waters surrounding this beautiful island, you may want to sign up for at least one animal encounter. There are plenty available, and they include time in the water with many marine animals including sharks, stingrays, dolphins, sea turtles, and eagle rays.
Your kids will love the fact that you can all rent bicycles to explore the island, but a 4×4 jeep may be their favorite option. During your exploration time, you will learn quite a bit about the history and culture of the island. The Guns of Bora Bora attraction holds canons that the United States used during World War II and it is a popular site for many kids. You may prefer the art galleries, including the Bora Bora Gallery, the Galerie D’art Alain et Linda, and the Art du Pacifique. Your kids won’t be as thrilled at first, but they will come around, as they see the many different works of art that are on display.
You may be worried that the resorts on Bora Bora French Polynesia will not have enough for your children to do, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, many of the resorts on the island cater to kids and you will find that you do not even need to leave the resort to find something for them to do!
A favorite resort for families in Bora Bora is the Four Seasons. They offer so many family friendly activities and you can drop your kids off at the kids’ club any time when it is open. The kids’ club staff will take kids fishing, arrange scavenger hunts, and much more, plus they will even create fun things to do that align with what your kids like to do. Another great feature of this resort is that paddle boarding and kayaking are included. That means that if that equipment is available, you and your kids can venture out on them for as long as you like. No more paying for an hour’s worth of paddling to have your kids out there for less than fifteen minutes! Of course, it also works in your favor if you have kids that love to be out on the water and want to stay out there for hours!
We also love Condrad Bora Bora Nui by Hilton Hotels. It’s located in its own private island, or Motu as the islands are referred to. Conrad sits one of the longest stretches of white sand in the French Polynesia and offers accommodation from spacious lagoon views for families to extravagant presidential villas. The breakfast buffet is also amazing. For those who love exploration, Conrad Bora Bora Nui offers activaties including hiking, snorkeling, swimming with sharks and many more.
Tahiti La Ora Beach Resorts (Formerly Le Meridien Tahiti) is another fantastic option, as they have overwater bungalows with glass floors that your kids will love! Okay, you will love them too, because you can see all sorts of marine life swimming underneath your feet. In between volleyball games and time out in the water, you will want to find some time to squeeze in an encounter at the Bora Bora Turtle Center.
Activities are a little more hands-on when you choose to stay at the St. Regis Bora Bora, because your kids will find that they can do things like participating in Polynesian art-making and constructing a sand castle on top of all the regular beach vacation options.
The sand on the beaches in Tahiti may not be white, but we think that your kids will fall in love with the fact that they can walk over black sand towards the warm blue water of the lagoons. The capital of French Polynesia, Papeete, can be found on this island, which means that you and your kids can have a well-rounded visit that includes the mountains, nature, and the hustle and bustle of a busier city.
You must begin in the capital city when you arrive, and the easiest way to see many popular attractions is via walking along the streets. Two museums that you may be interested in includes the Tahiti Pearl Center Museum and the Museum of Tahiti. The former is perfect if you have always wondered how pearls are discovered and then used for jewelry. The latter will allow you to see how Tahiti has changed over the years through household goods, art, and even the animals that live on the island. The Cathedral of Notre Dame Papeete is a must-see even if it is just for the stunning stained-glass windows.
There are numerous hiking trails on this island, so if all those museums do not pique your interest, or your child’s, then feel free to stay out in the great outdoors and go exploring! As you are wandering around, you will see sights like Queen’s Cave, Faarumai Waterfalls, GrotteAnaihe, and many botanical gardens. A mountain safari might be a better option if you do not want to do a lot of walking, or you just want a local guide to point things out to you, so you do not miss anything.
The Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti is one of your best options for a French Polynesia vacation on this island, as they have so many activities for kids to do. Your little ones, and older ones, will love the kids’ club, as well as the opportunity to learn more about the local culture through arts and crafts and cooking. Your days can be filled with dips in the massive infinity pool and your kids can join you when they are not too busy on the trampoline or playing ping pong.
The Le Meridien Tahiti and the Manava Suite Resort Tahiti are two other options that you will love and they each offer something unique that will keep you and your kids happy for the duration of your stay.
Moorea is an island that is not too far from the largest island, Tahiti, which is why many families like yours will venture over there for a few days during their French Polynesia vacation. This is one of the French Polynesian islands that is quite popular, yet it doesn’t have a major touristy ambiance. Instead, you can simply arrive on the island and make your own adventures from what is available to you!
We recommend renting a car for one day on this island, so you can drive around and see as much of it as possible. It is easy to see the entire island in only one day, because it is basically a circle that has a total of thirty-seven miles. During your trip, you will find yourself discovering sights that include volcanoes, waterfalls, pineapple fields, and much more if you choose to go off the main roads. If you choose to stay on course, you will easily find yourself drinking delicious fruit juice at the Rotui Juice Factory or purchasing some amazing honey, jams, and sorbet from the students who attend the Agricultural High School.
You are going to want to make sure that you spend plenty of time out in the water when you are on this island, because there are plenty of colorful creatures down below. You can see them all when you snorkel, but for a much closer encounter, we recommend swimming with the stingrays and sharks during an excursion.
The Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort & Spa is one of the best options that you will find on this island for accommodations. They offer a luxurious setting that will still allow your kids to run around and have fun without breaking too many rules, and everything else. You can utilize the babysitting service while you are at the spa without feeling guilty, because your kids will have plenty of fun with the person watching them. The beach is right there along with kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkeling equipment, so everyone in your family can enjoy some time in the sun. The tour desk can be extremely helpful with getting you set up for any number of sightseeing tours and will even recommend ones that your kids will enjoy the most.
Legends Resort Moorea is another option when you are traveling with your kids, as you will have access to your own private villa pool and the larger infinity pool. Your villa will have its own kitchen, which is perfect for those days when your children cannot seem to get enough to eat after being outside in the sun and the water all day long.
If you do not want to deal with the crowds of people that can arrive on Bora Bora French Polynesia at any given time, then you may want to consider her sister island, Maupiti. While this island has recently been discovered and is growing in popularity, you can still find some charm and secret hideaways during your visit.
Your days will be spent either being lazy on the beach or riding a bike as you explore this quaint island complete with a local lifestyles and traditions. The beach is the biggest draw though, and your kids will have a blast if they are into swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. Tereia Beach has very shallow waters, which is perfect for younger kids. Plus, a lot of stingrays hang out there.
We recommend that you go on a little scavenger hunt while you are on this island, as you must find the Haranae petroglyphs! This is a massive rock that has a turtle carved onto it and your kids will be amazed at how it made its way to the middle of an island inside a rainforest. You can see even more nature as you climb up to the top of Mount Teurafaatiu.
The one adventure that everyone in your family will love is walking across the lagoon to Motu Auira. This smaller island has one of the best beaches within the French Polynesian Islands and all you need to do is keep an eye on the stingrays and reef sharks that love the shallow water that you are walking through.
There are no fancy resorts, or resorts of any kind on this island, but you will still find family friendly places to stay. The Maupiti Residence is one of the better family friendly hotels on this island and you will find that your children will have plenty of things to do during your stay. You will be quite close to Tereia Beach, as well as the nearby Motu Auira. All your meals can be enjoyed in restaurants that are nearby and you can even request to have some meals delivered to your patio.
Pension Tautiare Village and Pension Tereia are two other options when you are traveling with kids. As mentioned, these are mostly basic accommodations, due to the rustic feel of the island, so please do not think that you will receive much pampering during your stay. However, you will have plenty of time to spend with your kids as you explore and have one adventure after another.
Huahine is the perfect island for a French Polynesia vacation if you are looking to get your children away from their screens and into nature. It is so easy to relax while on this island, although you can definitely find plenty of activities to keep your kids moving all day long.
Your kids will be intrigued by the ancient fish traps, which allows the locals to go fishing without the hook, line, or sinker. They simply create V shaped traps that bring the fish in, but do not allow them to leave. These traps may get your kids thinking of how they can do something that they need to do without doing too much work. You never know what they may create!
We recommend taking a drive around this island, so you can see some of the more unusual sights. There are more than two hundred Polynesian temples on this island and while you can try to scope them all out, you should start with those near the village of Maeva. When you reach the bridge that will take you over to Little Huahine, you must cross it to see what paradise looks like over on the other side.
Royal Huahine is a beachfront resort that your entire family will love on this island, because you can spend your days on the sand or in the water. There is a playground on site, for when you want to sit and relax, and your kids need to work off some energy. You can go out kayaking, canoeing, or snorkeling, but surfing and water skiing are the most popular activities amongst families. The private beach has more than enough room for the guests, so you will never feel cramped or rushed to claim a spot each day.
The Villas Bougainville is another fantastic option that will have your kids out in a boat with you as you all look for marine life. Each private villa will allow you to feel like you have currently claimed your own piece of paradise.
These are five fabulous French Polynesian Islands that are perfect to visit with kids. You will find that you can fill your days with activities whenever you want and the rest of the time you can simply sit back and relax while enjoying the beauty all around you. And trust us, your kids won’t mind sitting still or playing in the sand right next to you!