In the Footprints of the First Naturalist Explorers is an account of the author's explorations of the French Polynesian islands in 1992 and 2017 on expeditions to search for endangered animals. The most recent expedition was 250 years after Tahiti was 'discovered' by European explorers. The acounts written by famous explorers such as Wallis, Bougainville and Cook, and their associated naturalists, give a patchy picture of Tahiti and its neighbouring islands. Many of the sites described in the 18th and 19th centuries were revisted and the old accounts compared to the present day. Although a great deal has changed, many aspects of these islands remain recognisable even in the world of modern infrastructure, communications and mass tourism.