An island getaway is one of the most adventurous things one can do when on a vacation. The unfamiliar terrain, lack of modern facilities, and the deserted beaches make one feel relaxed away from the buzz of the cities. The island of Mataiva in the French Polynesia is a great option for island adventurers looking for their next destination. Those going here can enter through Mataiva Airport, which lies west of Pahua village.
Travellers looking for this port of entry on the map will find it between -14.833333 (latitude) and -148.41667 (longitude). It is located on an atoll lying slightly to the northeast of the main island in French Polynesia. It features an untouched quality, as the place is protected by environmental activists who managed to keep phosphate mining away from the basins of the coral structures by the lagoon.
Where to go
Pape'ete, the capital of French Polynesia, might not be a bustling metropolis but the place has enough attractions to captivate those who visit. There is the Temple de Paofai to see, a Catholic cathedral in the centre of town. It makes a colourful scene with its pink paint, with devotees filling up the church on Sunday mornings. From here, tourists can visit Musee de la Perle, which features displays on pearl cultivation from Robert Wan, the pearl jewellery magnate in the area. Those who want to rest in the shade, however, can check out the Parc Bougainville. Its cool and lush surroundings offer a respite on hot days, especially after a long tour around the city's various landmarks.
Those who want to find beaches can venture to Bora Bora, where tourists can enjoy the water. One can indulge in water sports at Bora Diving Centre. Beginners can take lessons here, before they swim down to the deep for snorkelling. One can also join the Maikai Bora Bora Marina & Yacht Club for some boating experiences across the clear, beautiful waters of the ocean. Others go on island-hopping trips that can be fun for those eager to explore other parts of the French Polynesia. Other tourists who are interested in enjoying a romantic dinner in one of the various restaurants can also do so, and eat fresh, well-seasoned seafood.
New Zealand, one of the best destinations on this side of the Pacific, can be a nice addition to the itinerary. Auckland has a number of attractions to see, such as the Auckland Museum with a neoclassical facade and an impressive copper-and-glass dome. One will find here various artefacts from the Pacific Island and the people of Maori. After looking around, tourists can move to the Civic Theatre, an atmospheric building with a lavish Moorish décor and a starlit southern-hemisphere sky in the ceiling with cloud projections. This makes it a great venue for aching musicales, plays, and the occasional film festival. Those hankering to go out in nature, on the other hand, can go on a hike or a drive up the Mt Eden. Its crater can be a sight to see, which tourists can look forward to.
Those out to see more islands can venture to Japan, one of the most prosperous countries in East Asia. Its capital, Tokyo, is a marvel for its economic prowess and development. It is not lacking in traditional cultural sights, but Kyoto has more of them. The atmosphere is also quieter and statelier, making it a concrete representation of Old Japan. Kiyomizu-dera is one of the most popular and oldest temples, which was built back in 798. The present buildings surrounding here are reconstructions in 1633, making this place an ancient one indeed. From here, tourists can then visit Fushimi Inari-aisha, a vast shrine with a peaceful atmosphere. Sprawled across the wooded slopes of Inari-san, this mountain shrine makes a holy site to add to the list of places to see. Tourists can also squeeze in a trip to the Nishiki Market, which feature a variety of produce and other types of food that make it into the delicious cuisine set out in the tables of Kyoto restaurants.
How to get out
Travellers leaving French Polynesia for other destination can head out of Matavia Airport and connect to Fa'a'a International Airport. Airlines serving at this main port of entry include Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti, Air Tahiti Nui, Aircalin, Hawaiian Airlines, and LAN Airlines.
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