French Polynesia Weather and Climate
The French overseas territory of French Polynesia, located in the South Pacific, southeast of Australia and New Zealand, consists of 118 islands and atolls, which are combined into a total of five archipelagos.
The region extends with a land area of 4,167 km² on a gigantic water surface of almost 4 million square kilometers. km². The capital is Papeete on the most populous island of Tahiti.
A total of around 300,000 inhabitants live on the islands of French Polynesia, the majority of which are Polynesians with around 78 percent. The largest minority are those of Chinese origin with 12 percent, followed by French settlers who were already born on the islands with 6 percent and other residents who immigrated from Europe with 4 percent.
The only official language is French. Polynesian is still spoken by parts of the population. About 54% of the population belong to the Protestant religious communities, 30% are Roman Catholic Christians.
French Polynesia is not part of the European Union, but the inhabitants are considered French citizens. The 5 archipelagos are the Society Islands (with popular holiday destinations such as Tahiti, Bora Bora and Moorea), the Tuamotu Islands, the enchanting Marquesas and 32 other islands of the so-called Gambier and Austral Islands.
Climate in French Polynesia
Despite the large area over which the archipelago extends, the prevailing climate on all Polynesian islands is quite uniform. With up to 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, a distinction is made between two seasons. The very humid and hotter season from November to April (“rainy season”) and the season from May to October with somewhat cooler and less precipitation conditions (“dry season”).
In the wetter period, the humidity is sometimes over 80 percent with daily values of around 32 ° C. During this time of year it rains on up to 14 days a month. In the cooler part of the year, the average temperatures are still warm 28 to 29 degrees, while at night it cools down slightly to around 21 degrees. Rain showers can occur all year round, which is why the islands are extremely tropical and lush green.
When is the best time to visit French Polynesia?
The best time to travel to French Polynesia is from mid-May to around mid-October, as this period has the most pleasant climatic conditions. Only in these months is the average monthly rainfall below 100mm. Even the wetter months are suitable for travel despite the precipitation and the hot and humid climate.
Because even in the so-called “rainy season” it is mostly sunny during the day and the temperatures in the air and in the water are suitable for bathing all year round anyway. From January to March the island groups can occasionally be hit by cyclones.
Optimal travel time for the regions
In the following overview you can see the best travel time depending on the region (French Polynesia).
|Place||Best travel time|
|Tahiti||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Bora-Bora||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Papeete||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Bora Bora||May, June, July, August, September and October|
|Moorea||May, June, July, August, September and October|
Temperatures, precipitation, sunshine in Tahiti (French Polynesia)
|Daytime temperature||30 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||31 ° C||30 ° C||29 ° C||28 ° C||28 ° C||29 ° C||29 ° C||30 ° C||30 ° C|
|Night temperature||23 ° C||24 ° C||24 ° C||23 ° C||23 ° C||21 ° C||21 ° C||21 ° C||21 ° C||22 ° C||23 ° C||23 ° C|
|Water temperature||27 ° C||27 ° C||27 ° C||28 ° C||28 ° C||27 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||26 ° C||27 ° C||27 ° C|
|Precipitation in mm||315||233||195||141||92||60||61||48||46||91||162||317|
|Hours of sunshine||7||7||7||8||7||7||8||8||8||8||7||6|
The annual average temperature in Tahiti is 25.8 ° C. For comparison: Munich reaches an average of 8.6 ° C, in Berlin it is 9.6 ° C. The warmest month is March (27 ° C), coldest month of August, with mean values of 24.3 ° C. The maximum water temperature in Tahiti is 28 ° C. Comfortable bathing is possible at these temperatures. All months have a water temperature of at least 21 ° C and are therefore suitable for a beach holiday.
The annual precipitation is 1761 mm on 100 days with precipitation. For comparison: In Munich, 967 mm, in Berlin 570 mm, precipitation is measured annually. The months of January, February, March and December are considered the rainy season, as more than 175 mm of precipitation can be expected per month. Overall, about 1060 mm of precipitation can be expected in the rainy season. You cannot expect snow in any month in Tahiti.
As our climate table shows, August is the sunniest month with an average of 8.1 hours of sunshine per day. The average annual sunshine is 7.4 hours per day. For comparison: In Munich and Berlin, the sun shines an average of 4.7 hours per day throughout the year.
Sights & attractions
One of the sights is definitely a jeep safari starting from Papeete, which lasts around eight hours and is conducted in English. On this jeep safari you will get to know the almost untouched nature of French Polynesia from a completely different side, which most tourists will not see, and roam with the jeep and an experienced guide through the fantastic flora and fauna of the interior of the island. In addition, due to the optimal water temperatures, daily jet ski tours on Bora Bora are ideal for a short two-hour excursion.
Another popular and must-see tour is the Tahiti Island Tour with a visit to Venus Point, the Taharaa viewpoint and the Vaipahi Gardens. Absolutely worth seeing are the lagoons of Bora Bora with their magnificent coral reefs, a visit to which is a must for every passionate snorkeler interested in marine vegetation. More action than on the snorkeling tour can be found for the more adventurous swimming with sharks, rays and dolphins. An insider tip for many first-time visitors to Polynesia is Moorea, an absolute dream island and a slightly cheaper alternative than Bora Bora. The other islands of French Polynesia are also of indescribable beauty, especially the Marquesas.