Just 35-minutes by flight from Tahiti, Huahine is an untouched haven of traditional Polynesian culture. With its physical beauty and warm, friendly people, Hauhine vacation is a hidden gem for travelers.
Along with Raiatea and Easter Island, Huahine is famous for its historically significant archaeological sites. The preservation of these sites, and Huahine’s sense of seclusion when compared to Bora Bora or Moorea, allow the visitor to ‘see Polynesia as it used to be’. Of note is the pronunciation of the island’s name. Locals refer to it as “Hoo-a-he-nay”, while the French (who don’t pronounce the ‘h’ sound) call it “Wa-e-nee”.
Huahine is actually comprised of two main islands - Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti - and home to only eight small villages and 5,500 inhabitants. It is blessed with pristine beaches and encircled by a magnificent crystal-clear lagoon.
The airport is situated at the northern most part of the island, about 2 miles from the island’s principal town of Fare. It is also in close proximity to the shores of Lake Fauna Nui, where ancient chiefs built their maraes (houses of worship). Maraes can also be found on the hills above the lakeside town of Maeva.
Guided tours are the best way to learn the lore of Huahine and get expert commentary about the historical sites. Boat tours are available as well, providing a relaxing way to cruise among the motus while viewing the mountains and bays.
Just south of Maeva is the small but picturesque Faie Bay. The Huahine Nui Pearl Farm and Pottery Studio are located here. During your Huahine vacation do not miss the famed blue-eyed eels of Faie. These 3- to 6-foot (1.8 m) long creatures are deemed sacred by local mythology. You can feed them with cans of mackerel.
Once past Faie, the road ascends to the top of the tranversiere, which offers a spectacular view over the vast Maroe Bay that divides the two islands.
Parea is one of the largest villages on the island, and Avea Beach, at the southern end of Huahine Iti, is purported to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. With the hills of the island blocking the trade winds, the waters off the beach are quiet and placid. This is a prime spot for sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving or sport fishing.
There’s an array of accommodation options for your Huahine vacation. You can try Relais Mahana, located on the right end of Avea Beach. Along the west coast of Huahine, on the way back to Fare is a bridge linking the two islands. From here it is a short detour to the lush Te Tiare Beach Resort. Another option, the charming Hotel Matai La Pita Village – Huahine, is located on an archaeological site, and conveniently only a five-minute drive from the airport.