Spectacular mountain peaks tower over dense rainforests of soft ferns and bright tropical flowers that reach down to white or black sand beaches. Sounds inviting doesn't it? Welcome to French Polynesia, which is perhaps the ultimate "laid back" virtual travel destination for your satellite dish.
French Polynesia comprises over 115 islands and atolls that were originally ruled by chieftains who commanded large fleets of outrigger canoes and conducted religious practices that included human sacrifice. Early European visitors including James Cook (1769) and Louis-Antoine de Bouganivlle (1768) returned to home with reports of a tropical haven inhabited by "nobel savages" and Venus-like women freely offering sexual favors. It's therefore not a surprise that the early European expeditions soon paved the way for frequent European visitors.
The Polynesian islands and it's indigenous culture suffered greatly throughout the 19th centenary as whalers and traders introduced prostitution and European diseases, followed by a wave of tyrannical Protestant missionaries who forbade any activity or worship that was not devoutly Christian. Eventually the French arrived ousting the English and during the late 20th century used the islands for nuclear weapons testing.
Somehow despite this interference from the western world the islands have maintained their charm and magnetic attraction to travelers. The all important tourist industry now promotes a movement to revive the traditional culture and arts.
Radio Polynésie broadcasts from studios in Papeete on the Tahiti-Nui (big Tahiti) island with programming in both French and Tahitian. The station is heard throughout French Polynesia via a comprehensive network of close to 50 FM transmitters. For Eastern Australia Radio Polynésie is an easy catch from Intelsat 701. The station's programming offers a unique mixture of Polynesian, Tahitian and a small amount of English popular music that instantly transports the listener into the tropical environment. During the Tahitian night the station relays France-Inter radio from Paris. Tahiti is twenty hours behind Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) with the local Papeete breakfast programing commencing around 1AM Sydney time.
French Polynesia's national television channel is also an easy catch in Australia. The daily broadcast starts around 12:45 AM Sydney time with Polynesian music clips, the local news in Tahitian, and then the local news in French. The evening news in Tahitian can be seen at 2:45 PM Sydney time, it is followed by a sports roundup and then the local news in French at 3:15 PM Sydney time. Télé Polynésie programming is a varied mix of local material and French domestic network television with Polynesian musical programs being popular viewing in Tahitian evening.
Tuning & Resources