The largest of the Austral Islands, Tubuai is also the administrative center of the island group. Tubuai’s lagoon stretches over 33 sq. mi. (85 km²), offering a vast water playground protected by a barrier reef and pristine motu islets. The cooler average climate is ideal for farming and coffee, taro, vegetables, lychee, flowers grow bountifully.
Like Rurutu, Tubuai is an essential producer of traditional woven products,and every year, artisans travel to the capital island of Tahiti for the Austral Islands exhibit, an opportunity for locals to showcase their unmatched weaving skills and for visitors to appreciate and support the industry of a centuries-old Polynesian skill.
Tubuai played a key role in the adventures of the mutineers of the storied schooner, HMS Bounty, in 1789. Led by Fletcher Christian, notorious for his mutiny against Captain Bligh, the mutineers settled on Tubuai for several months and against great odds, managed to build a small fort for their safety, Fort George which remnants can still be seen -. They were eventually forced to abandon the island after clashes with the natives… It is said that the mutineers were trying to steal their wives, and as we can imagine, that did not go well!
“Bloody Beach” on Tubuai bears the story of violent battles between British mutineers and the island’s warriors. The mutineers left Tubuai and ultimately made their way to the isolated and then vaguely uncharted island of Pitcairn, now a British Overseas Territory.
On Tubuai, history has shaped its inhabitants into the resilient, hard-working and proud Polynesians they are today. It is with an open heart and a genuine sense of hospitality that they welcome travelers visiting their island on a humble quest of discovery.