A CALENDAR OF BORA BORA EVENTS, FESTIVITIES, ACTIVITIES & ATTRACTIONS
RED HOT INSIDER TIPS
Hawaiki Nui Va’a – World’s greatest ocean outrigger canoe race. Don’t miss this one!
Bora Bora – Are You Joking??? – absolute “MUST READ” for those coming to Bora Bora
A “SHOCK READ” on Tupai & the closure of Tahiti-Helicopters, Bora Bora
FEATURED EVENTS – 2019
1 NEW YEAR’S DAY Most celebrate through the night bringing in the New Year watching fireworks. Needless to say, a quiet day follows with seaside family get-togethers celebrating over a hinano or ten – Matira Beach is popular (& the best option for visitors).
Little is open – Chin Lee (supermarket) & a few pearl shops (if a cruise ship in in town). Many restaurants closed over the Christmas/New Year’s break (details noted herein in specific reports).
A cultural celebration unique to Bora Bora featuring Himene (traditional song) & Orero (traditional oral declaration) dating back to the early 1800’s.
Conducted over 3 consecutive Sunday “all nighters” at the Protestant Temples in Anau, Faa’nui & Nunue (the order for this year), the Taurua Varua is something special.
2-10 FIFO – PACIFIC INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
This prestigious event promoting documentaries made in & about the Pacific region.
Excellent selection of films to suit any enthusiast or critic – check at the Bora Bora Town Hall to see if any will be screening at short notice in Bora Bora.
5 CHINESE NEW YEAR
Celebrated within the Chinese community throughout French Polynesia including Bora Bora (check at the Bora Bora Town Hall for details of various celebrations on the island)
An opportunity for families to gather & to look forward to happiness, health & prosperity in the year ahead.
14 ST. VALENTINE’S DAY
Bora Bora can be a great place to spend St Valentine’s Day for those looking for something unique & unforgettable………….contact this site to have your very own lunch ‘Feet in the Water’ on a private motu (island) or floating gently at reef’s end overlooking Raiatea & Tahaa on your own private houseboat with only reef-sharks & sting-rays as your guests.
A public holiday marking the day on which the first Protestant Missionaries arrived in Tahiti in 1797. See the kaleidoscopic colour of the head couronne worn by church-goers & hear the sensational himene (choral singing) in Protestant Churches throughout French Polynesia.
An ancient artistic form of oral declaration preserved in a series of championships Tahiti-wide conducted under the auspices of the Ministry of Education. An event requiring great talent not to mention a fabulous costume it packs in the locals & is well worth seeing. Check it out on Bora Orero.
30 MOOREA INTERNATIONAL MARATHON
Marathon staged in the magnificent setting of Moorea starting & finishing on the staggeringly beautiful Temae Beach.
A much prized competition on the international circuit.
Worth taking part…..if you can concentrate other than on the panoramic vistas!
Dates Not Yet Set POLYNESIA TATOU – TATTOO CONVENTION
Well worth seeing if it’s on!
The World’s best tattooers gather at Musee de Tahiti for what is a ‘must see’ event.
UNBELIEVABLE! Check out Tattoo Report.
7 MISS & MISTER BORA BORA
Grand evening spectacle at Vaitape & open to the public. Live music, dinner (4,000xpf) or non-dinner (1500xpf), from 7pm. For tourists who are in town this can represent a night out with a difference – no need to book but simply turn up at the large white marquis on the night! Run & Won!
You can find coverage here of previous year’s events on this site.
6 RAID VANIRA
A 15km cross-country event through Tahaa’s beautiful natural scenery.
Music, arts & crafts, vanilla & much more.
19 MATARII i RARO
The marking of the end of the period of abundance with the passing of the Pleiades constellation & celebrated in a magical, mystical & very spiritual sitting atop the Maroto in Tahiti.
An absolute MUST for those interested in authentic Tahitian culture. The very best!
7-11 May TAHITI PEARL REGATTA
This splendid, fun regatta offers sailors the chance to sail some of the most beautiful waters in the world.
Here’s a report on the Tahiti Pearl Regatta.
Wrap yourself up in a pareu & join in the fun.
12 SCHOOL HEIVA
If you happen to be in Vaitape the Heiva des Ecoles (School Heiva) festival showcases the local school children dressed up in their Heiva attire whilst singing & dancing in the way tradition has always had it.
Here’s coverage of the an earlier Heiva des Ecoles.
25/6-29/7 HEIVA i BORA BORA
The Heiva is Tahiti’s most emphatic statement of Polynesia’s deep history & rich culture; the Heiva i Bora Bora a world famous spectacle danced on white sands at the foot of Mts Otemanu & Pahia. It is innate for Tahitians to party & the Heiva is a non-stop, month long
5-21 HEIVA I TAHITI
136th edition of this legendary event conducted in Papeete, Tahiti.
14 BASTILLE DAY – France’s major holiday!
21 RAID ANEI BORA BORA
A wonderful outing both for the competitive & those who enjoy good hiking.
The world’s greatest surfing event held in the world’s ‘sickest’ wave at Teahupoo is set to run in August.
7 MARAAMU SURF SKI RACE
The World Series Maraamu Surf Ski Race features the world’s best kayakers in a thrilling 40km dash in the world’s best down-wind blue water ocean race. The setting is the stunning surroundings between Tahaa’s Paipai Pass & legendary Bora Bora.
Here’s a lead-in report for this prestigious event, the Maraamu.
Two years ago the Hawaiians remarked: “Well at least we could see the Tahitains this year.”
Well the Tahitians will be back, looking to win yet again. They just did – SEE IT HERE!
This the Hawaiki’nui Va’a Race sees the world’s greatest outrigger canoe race explode into action. Six (6) man outrigger canoes are paddled on 3 consecutive days from Huahine to Raiatea (day 1), Raiatea to Tahaa (day 2) & Tahaa to Bora Bora (day 3) in a test of physical & mental power which defies superlatives. To witness the finish at Matira Beach is a world magic moment!
Annual gathering at the major Cock Fighting Festival on the island. An interesting outing to witness what is an ancient Polynesian sport dating back thousands of years.
15 OPERATION BOB CAT – An interesting day on the main island celebrating the arrival of the Americans in Bora Bora for WWII.
18 MATARII i NI’A – The marking of the arrival of the Matarii (the Pleiades constellation) & the period of abundance celebrated in venerated grounds atop the Maroto in the centre of Tahiti. Polynesian culture authentically preserved. A MUST!
19-24 – HOLOPUNI CHANNEL RACE
UNBELEIVABLE Race from Tahiti to Bora Bora in Holopunis!
Check it out here:
Nov27-Dec2 – KXT IRONMANA LIQUID FESTIVAL A series of water-sport disciplines as diverse as single-man outrigger canoes, surf-skis, SUP, paddleboarding, ocean water swimming, horizontal free-diving & even life-saving techniques, the Ironmana marks the ultimate gathering in Tahiti of the world’s best in acquatic sports.
Aside from the competition there are relay races, kids programmes, live entertainment, traditional Tahitian dance (tamure) shows and a variety of tours & excursions open to everyone. Check out the Bora Bora Ironmana Liquid Festival.
1 RAID APETAHI – An excellent event – both serious & ‘fun’ – staged amidst spectacular scenery on the island of Raiatea & organised in various communes on the island.
7 BORA BORA DISTRICT VA’A
End of season V1 (single paddler) outrigger canoe championships.
Conducted off stunning Matira Beach, the setting is exceptional.
5-8 CHRISTMAS FAIR
Stores of locally made products from plants to pottery, musical instruments to clothing & jewelry with plenty of local ambience in the form of ukuleles & guitars all under the big white marquee at water’s edge in Vaitape. Worth a visit whilst in Vaitape.
A colourful parade of magnificently decorated floats & a night-time dance spectacle.
It’s a great favourite with the population & a chance to spread the wonder & joy of Christmas. Starts just after sunset in central Vaitape.
7pm at Place Mo’toi in Vaitape.
The major religious confessions sing their hearts out.
A very Happy Christmas full of peace & joy. If you wish to see what’s on in Bora during Christmas check out Christmas in Bora Bora.
By the way, there’s a great group of decorative Christmas Trees – particularly good to see at night – set up in the Marriage Hall of the Town Hall……it is there behind the big “Mairie de Bora Bora” sign just off the main road.
French Polynesia’s application to have Taptapapuatea listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with UNESCO subsequently requiring the country put in place suitable legislation to protect historical monuments & archaeological sites, saw the government finally move to protect the country’s patrimony. More visionary leaders want the legislation extended to protect the environment. This is long overdue & hopefully any new legislation will be properly enforced, not the case with current legislation.
Bora Bora “100% Natural”
In keeping with a quality environment based on sustainable development which has seen Bora Bora awarded the Pavillon Bleu for 16 consecutive years – a mark of the exceptional quality of the island’s swimming waters – the commune has embarked upon an ambitious programme to supply Bora Bora with pesticide free, 100% natural fruit & vegetables. Great news for locals & tourists alike.
Tahiti Air Charter
A sea-plane service – Tahiti Air Charter – offering tours & transport options encompassing Bora Bora, Tupai, Tahaa, Raiatea, Huahine, Moorea & Tahiti is now operating. Prices are competitive with Air Tahiti. Maximum 8 passengers (minimum 6).
The service to Maupiti remains ‘unavailable’…..what a shame for tourists! (TIP: Tourists looking to reach Maupiti from Bora Bora should consider investigating if they can organise transport with one of the Maupiti based fishing boats that supply Bora Bora’s supermarkets weekly.)