Tauranga, New Zealand
Visiting the islands of French Polynesia? You’ll probably arrive in the capital city of Papeete, located in Tahiti. From the minute you arrive, you’ll immediately be greeted by the quintessential, well, tropical-ness of this exotically remote city. The brightly-colored buildings nestled among the soaring, moss-colored mountains are a sight for travel-weary eyes, and the warm, laid-back hospitality of the local people is something you’ll wish you could bottle up and take home as a souvenir. For tourists staying in the city for a few days, there is no shortage of things to do and places to explore. Those looking to do a little shopping can find high-end stores and boutiques to peruse at the Centre Vaima, the city’s main shopping area, while history buffs will love exploring the governmental center of the Place Tarahoi. More of an outdoorsy type? Scuba diving, kitesurfing, swimming, hiking, and so much more are all right at your fingertips. Although many use Papeete as a jumping off point for everything else that French Polynesia has to offer, we’d be remiss if we didn’t highlight the amazing culture and sites the city itself has to offer, making it more than worth a visit the next time you’re passing through on your next tropical adventure.