One year after the Englishman Samuel Wallis, 1st European navigator to discover the island of Tahiti, the French expedition of Louis- Antoine de Bougainville made a stopover on its west coast, in Hitia’a, in April 1768. Both ships La Boudeuse and L’Étoile stayed there only nine days. However the Tahitian travel story reported by Bougainville in his Voyage around the world was undoubtedly at the very root of the reputation of paradise at the world’s end our islands have acquired.
In the middle of the Age of Enlightenment, the representations of the state of nature, supposed to prevail in Tahiti, served as foundation for many philosophical re ections. This made the « new Cythera », so called by Bougainville, a main symbol of tropical paradise. The celebration of this important anniversary date will give rise this year to several events*.
– Tahiti Tourisme organizes a touring exhibition dedicated to Bougainville’s expedition in Tahiti as part of a three-part work with regard to the three rst European discoverers Wallis (1767), Bougainville (1768) and Cook (1769), for the 250th anniversary of their respective trips. It will start in Bougainville’s Park, in Papeete the week of April 6th and will be particularly visible in the city hall of Papeete from Monday 14th to Tuesday 29th of May.
– By mid-April, a guided tour of the French expedition’s rst mooring site is scheduled in Hitia’a by Tahiti Tourisme
– On May 17th, the French Navy ship called Le Bougainville will join the Fa’afaite traditional canoe in the Bay of Hitia’a for a great ceremony in the presence of one of Comte Bougainville’s descendants.