Huahine... the wild island
Tour of the island: a mustWe recommend an entire day to do this tour of Huahine and to fully enjoy its wild and secrete beauty. A visit that will certainly be enhanced by picturesque encounters with the islanders. We prefer to do this tour going South from Fare to take advantage of the light and drive on the lagoon side. There are numerous and varied stops in the districts you'll encounter. Be careful as the road meanders several times on the hillside and you'll be happy to have rented a car or a scooter and not a bicycle.
The small town of Fare
The nonchalant atmosphere of Fare, the main town, is unique all over Polynesia. Time has stopped here, far from Tahiti's agitation. An autentic village concentrated around the main dock, Fare sleeps in the shade of its almond trees and acacias. Over time, it was able to attract people from all over the island with its market, its retail shops, handicraft shops and its waterfront "bistrots" bringing back the good old days of the schooners. Visit the waterfront's snacks and restaurants and taste their unpretentious but excellent local cuisine.
Discover the dock, especially when a schooner or one of the small freighters supplying the island arrives. All the population of the island is there, watching the flow of landing visitors, while on the dock copra, pigs, bananas and water melons are being loaded. Children dive joyfully in the little port's clear water (no pollution here) and you may be able to join the friendly conversations going on around the dock. A supreme anecdote to remember.
The West Coast
Head South, then in the district of Fitii you have to leave the road to reach the old village of Taravari, facing Motu Vaiorea. The magic bay of Bourayne spreads under your eyes, it used to shelter the inter-island seaplanes until the 70's. The old landing dock on Mataua Point is a witness to this still recent past.
The small peninsula
Back on the main road, you now cross the small bridge connecting the two islands and, to the right, reach the district of Haapu. The road now meanders along a superb lagoon. As you enter Parea, you now arrive to Huahine's Southernmost point where most of the best beaches are. A visit to the Anini marae, one of Polynesia's most impressive, is a must. The lagoon where Motu Araara is located, facing the marae, is home to an extraordinary sea life. It is possible to take a dip there. Continue toward Tefarerii, the wildest coastline in Huahine. Over some ten kilometers, the panorama is great.
You now arrive in front of Motu Topatii, marking the entrance to the large bay of Maroe. This sumptuous bay separates the Northern and Southern islands. Deep and large, it makes anchoring possible for big cruise ships. Maroe is also one of the islanders' favorite fishing spots, namely for its lobsters, but mostly for its varo (squills) and its tianee (sea cicatas). According to the legend, Maroe Bay was dug by the canoe of god Hiro while he was looking for shelter before a storm. On the road paved with "coral soup", right before sunset, tousands of tupa (land crabs) cross the road with disregard for traffic regulations. Be generous with these little animals and yield them the right of way!.
Return and climb
After crossing the bridge again to the North, turn right to follow Maroe Bay's North coast. After two kilometers, the road across the island begins and climbs on the hillside - it has finally been paved with asphalt and old time buffsmay regret the climb on the slippery trail. The view on the bay becomes enchanted when you reach the top: you encompass the whole Southern island spreading inside a lagoon with unreal colors. After this magical stop, the trail goes down through a forest toward Faie, the village with the "eels with ears".
At the heart of a tiny bay, Faie lives all year round at the pace of the Tropics. The small river running through the village is home to a rare species of tamed eels, whose oversized dorsal fins look like big ears. Bright and beautiful blue eyes add to their unreal look. Many legends, one more charming than the other, invent mysterious origins to this amazing animal. The district's children spend the day playing with them and feeding them, to the point where they have become practically domesticated despite their impressive size. The most beutiful specimens easily reach two meters in length.and are armed with scary teeth.
Leaving the bay of Faie, the road follows magnificent islets. On the mountain side, some trails lead you to the discovery of the area's marae, in the middle of Mt. Mouatapu's mountain range. After a sharp turn to the left, you reach Lake Fauna Nui, a large interior lagoon, limited to the North by a motu where the airport runway was buit. A fishermen's village has been restored on the side of the lake, with its fish traps, a fare pote’e (common house) on stilts, century old marae, facing the sacred hill of Matairea. The return to Fare is quick, only 10 minutes from there.