Pointe Vénus, its emerald-blue waters, black sandy beach and… its lighthouse. The place was named after British explorer and navigator James Cook, who built an observatory there in 1770 to study Venus' trajectory. Surprisingly, this breathtaking postcard-worthy landscape is still little known, in spite of its historic past. Erected more than 150 years ago, the lighthouse is quite recognisable with its singular architecture: the 25m-high square tower was put together in 1867 by Mangarevian workers. Back then, it was the very first lighthouse in the Southern Pacific, and it is still active today. It took its only break during World War II: to shed the doubt in the Japanese navy who had planned to land on its coast, islanders had camouflaged the construct (at the time surrounded with coconut groves) with painted coconut trees on its four sides.
Despite various renovation projects – the lighthouse is now fully automated – access to the inside of the building is still forbidden to the public. You will however be able to explore its surroundings: Pointe Vénus is first and foremost a vacation resort for Polynesian families out on Sundays. Its views over the Tahitian coast, dugout canoe races and, in the distance, Moorea panorama, are all very enticing.
Pointe Vénus lighthouse