Although it lies between Moorea and Bora Bora, Huahine (pronounced Hu-a-hee-nee or Wha-hee-nee) isn't on the tourist circuit just yet, but it should be. Its near-deserted roads and villages and wooded hills entwined with jungle vines beckon those looking for a little R&R.Huahine is two islands (Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti) joined by a bridge. What passes for action takes place in the main town of Fare (pronounced far-ay) on Huahine Nui, the northern and bigger island. View more
Away from this little port, life is slow-paced and you'll be lucky to find anyone stirring on a lazy afternoon in any of the villages of Huahine Iti. Most locals ride bicycles and agriculture's still the main industry—plantations grow vanilla and melons. There are various legends surrounding the island's name. Some say that hua> means "sex" and hine means "woman," while others say the name means "pregnant woman" due to a rock outline on Huahine Nui's Fitii Peninsula. Then there's the legend of Hiro, Polynesia's most famous god. It's said that Hiro rammed his canoe into the island, splitting it down the middle. Not far from the town of Maroe is a rock spire called Te Moa o Hiro or "penis of Hiro"—you can't miss it. It's easy to explore Huahine (75 square km [47 square mi]) by rental car, as there is really only one road, albeit with a few forks in it. When you cross the bridge into Huahine Iti you can go either left to Maroe or right to Parea. The road to Haapu leads off to a dead end. When crossing from Huahine Iti to Nui the same rule applies. Take the left fork to the "busy" town of Fare and the right fork to the "sacred eel" village of Faaie, via the Belvedere lookout. Hiring your own boat allows you to circle the island and anchor at the motu; a couple of self-catering villas provide both a car and a boat. There are only one or two restaurants on Huahine Iti; you either eat at your pension, choose a pension with cooking facilities, or drive up to Fare for a wider, though still rather limited, choice.
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