The Marlon’s favorite island
Also called the Birds’ Island, Tetiaroa is an Eden for thousands of birds that live on the atoll all year around. The wildest motus shelter a large population of frigate birds, Blue-footed Booby and terns. Among these islets, the Tahuna Rahi motu seems to be one of the most appreciated by these species.
This private atoll was for a long-time, the “summer residence” of the Pomare family (the royal Tahitian family). It was an ideal place for rest and relaxation. Then, the royal family donated it to Johnston Williams in 1904 (an exceptional dentist in Tahiti at that time) who set up a copra farm. The atoll became particularly famous in 1966 when Marlon Brando bought it from the Polynesian government. He obtained the atoll for the sum of $ 270,000. The actor literally fell in love with the island six years earlier after the shooting of the “Mutiny on the Bounty”; a film in which he played Christian Fletcher. Marlon enjoyed a few years of his beautiful haven; a place he always wanted to be preserved and dominated by nature. He built a small airstrip and a rudimentary hotel managed at that time by his Tahitian wife Tarita. The dream pursued by the actor was to build a place dedicated to wildlife preservation, an eco-friendly complex with little impact on the atoll’s biodiversity as well as a site of protection and education. Unfortunately, the Hollywood star died before his project came to fruition.
Tetiaroa – the idyllic atoll well-known through the world thanks to Marlon Brando – is on the verge of welcoming an ambitious pioneer project unparalleled in the world. It could be a model for the future developments in such a fragile environment ?