Don’t miss these 5 Huahine activities
I had always heard about the Garden Island of French Polynesia but had never before visited. While I have visited over 15 islands of French Polynesia, each time I had attempted to visit Huahine, something has prevented me from seizing the opportunity. On this my 4th trip to the islands, I was determined to make a stop even if only for one day.
My wife Kirsten and I took an early morning flight from Papeete which only took about 40 minutes to get to Huahine. The approach by air to the island was beautiful although the colours of the ocean were not as vibrant as they would have been on a sunny day. We circled around the island before landing at the airport on the Northern tip in the village of Fare.
We had arranged a circle island 4 wheel drive tour with Poe, a local guide that has been showing people her island for over 6 years. The tour was not the 4×4 style tour we were expecting, but rather a tour that had us circle the large and small islands of Huanine along paved roads.
Here are 5 of the not to miss activities everyone should do while visiting Huahine. We were able to do it in 4 hours with our expert guide telling us the history and backgrounds to each of the places.
- Visit one of the 280 ancient marae’s which are sacred Polynesian archaeological sites. Huahine has the highest concentration of marae’s in Polynesia. We visited Marae Anini which is a 4 foot tall stone platform built out of massive lava rocks.
- Visit the intersections of Maroe and Bourayne Bays and stop for a photo of the bridge that connects Huahine Nui to Huahine Iti. This bridge turns the two island into one.
- Visit a vanilla farm where they demonstrate how the vanilla flowers are hand pollinated and dried to produce some of the worlds most potent vanilla. Some say that the best Vanilla in French Polynesia comes from Huahine. I can’t tell you for sure but I can tell you that it smells wonderful.
- Stop to see the Fish Traps near Maeva. Here a freshwater lake empties into the ocean. When fish swim upstream from the ocean, 1000-year-old fish traps are still used to catch fish. V-shaped rocks are placed in the waterway with the bottom of the V downstream. As the fish go swimming back to the ocean, they get trapped and are collected by locals that have huts on the water at the bottom of the fish traps.
- Feed fish to the blue-eyed eels. These eels are found can only be found in Faie, Huahine. Along a freshwater stream, massive 20+ pound eels can be seen in the water. Bring some shoes you can walk through the water with and try petting these slippery eels as someone feeds them fish scraps. They will slither up on the rocks for a bite to eat before sliding back into their hiding places.