When is the Best Time to Visit French Polynesia?
Published on: November 16th, 2017
Last modified: July 28th, 2023
With high temperatures, good weather and exciting festivals throughout the year, there's not really a best time to visit French Polynesia. It's great year-round.
The cooler and dryer season runs from March to November, with the arrival of the southeast trade winds. This time of year is known as the Austral winter and brings with it cooler temperatures.
November to March is when the weather is warmer and more humid, especially in the high islands where there is a lot of vegetation. Expect tropical showers, but also plenty of sunshine. The busiest time of year is between June and August, so you might want to plan to visit either side of that window if you are looking for good weather, but fewer crowds.
The Best Time for...
Surf enthusiasts keen on catching some of the Pro Surf Festival action should visit in April, or head for the islands in May for Taapuna Master Surfing, a big open reef surf competition for non-professional surfers. If you’re around in August, you might spot some of the big names competing in the Billabong Pro competition. The Tahiti Pearl Regatta is held in May every year and attracts about 50 boats which sail between Raiatea, Taha’a, Huahine and Bora Bora. In November, the Hawaiki Nui Va’a Race sees over 100 canoes paddling between the islands.
If you’re keen to get some new ink, don’t miss the annual international tattoo festival that is held in April. Then in July you can discover the rich world of Polynesian culture and tradition at Heiva/ Tahiti, a festival which includes some of the best chant and dance groups from around the region.
Every year the waters of the Polynesian Islands are visited by humpback whales between July and November. They come to the calm warm waters for their birthing season. A marine sanctuary since 2002, Polynesia is the only place in the world where you can observe these gentle giants from a small boat or the water itself – a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Diving and Snorkelling
Venture beneath the surface of the azure water and you'll find an array of fascinating and colourful creatures. Depending on which of the islands you are diving off, you can spot rays, dolphins, sharks, and reef fish in the corals. If you are hoping to spot mantas, visit Rangiroa in September, or Tikehau and Manihi from July to December. Be on the lookout for large schools of groupers off Fakarava and Manihi in June and July.