Moana Voyages makes you discover this week a place you should definitely visit during your stay in French Polynesia, the Point Venus and its lighthouse. Small cape at the North shore of Tahiti, surrounded by a sublime black sand beach, this is the most northeasterly point of the island. It was named like this because it has been chosen as observation site during the Transit of Venus across the solar disk in 1769.
Let’s explore this historic place where many sailors landed…
The island of Tahiti has been discovered by the sailor James Cook on the 17th of June 1767. As most of the sailors after him, he arrives in the bay of Matavai, where is located Point Venus. Indeed, this bay offers a sheltered place and easy to access because there is no coral reef.
The destiny of the Point Venus becomes clear in 1769 with the arrival of the Endeavor and its captain, James Cook, came to this place in order to observe the Transit of Venus.
In 1866, was built at this place the only lighthouse in Tahiti called in Tahitian “Teara o Tahiti”. This square tower of 8 floors and a height of 25 meters was built with rubblestone and coral by Thomas Stevenson and helped by bricklayers came from Mangareva island. Inaugurates in 1868, the lighthouse will be raised by 7 meters in 1963.
For the anecdote, during the second World War, the inhabitants of the Mahina town (municipality where is located the lighthouse) have painted coconuts to camouflage the lighthouse and remove any landmark for the Japanese fleet which threatened to land. This cap, build in the middle of a coconut field became invisible. The lighthouse was so well hidden that it even happened to the watchman to not find it during drinking evenings. He was climbing on a coconut tree, thinking climb the lighthouse stairs.
Nowadays, the lighthouse of Point Venus still works, guiding ships approaching Tahiti. It is also used for air navigation service thanks to additional lenses for overhead beams.
The Point Venus, its long and amazing black sand beach, its clear water and its lighthouse… A place imbued with a strong history, but also a place full of charm where it is good to walk and swim…