Top 10 Things To Do In Huahine

One of French Polynesia’s best kept secrets in, you will instantly fall in love with Huahine. Known as the ‘Garden of Eden’, Huahine consists of two lush islands connected by the longest bridge in French Polynesia. Surrounded by a clear lagoon and carved by emerald bays hiding sleepy villages, this slice of paradise offers visitors the laid back way of life you’ve always dreamed of. I spent a magical week in Huahine while backpacking across the South Pacific Islands and have since returned on several occasions. Here’s my list of the top things to do in Huahine.

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10. Stroll Around Fare Village

With locals arriving in the morning by boat to do some shopping, a beautiful beach, and even a proper bar – there are so many reasons to fall in love with Huahine’s only town. From the main quay, visitors with a good sense of imagination might be able to make out the contours of a pregnant woman in the mountains across town. This might explain the island’s name oddly resembling the Tahitian word for a woman – vahine. Whether you believe in legends or not, you’ll love coming to Fare to run some errands, hit the beach, and don’t forget happy hour at the Huahine Yacht Club!

Locals walking in fare Village Huahine French Polynesia

9. Traditional Sunday Feast At Chez Tara

Sundays in Huahine can only mean one thing – driving down to Chez Tara on Huahine Iti for the ma’a Tahiti. The end of church service marks the beginning of the traditional Sunday feast. What’s on the menu? Anything that cooks well in an earth oven and plenty more. How about some taro, pork and poisson cru? Lunch is served buffet-style to the sounds of the ukulele and the sights of locals wearing their finest Sunday clothes – ending another great week in paradise.   

traditional sunday feast at Chez Tara - Huahine

8. See Ingenious Ancient Fish Traps

A long time ago, local residents figured out they could harness the currents in Lake Fauna to make their lives much easier. Instead of going out to fish, why not bring the fish to you… The V-shaped traps lead incoming fish along a maze of large stones before leaving them no choice but to get trapped in a circular basin. All that’s left is to toss in the harpoon and voila! Dinner is ready. All of this without the help of any ‘how to’ video on YouTube.

Ancient Polynesian V-Shaped Fish Traps - Huahine
Huahine - French Polynesia - V Shaped Fish Trap

7. Hang Out In The Coral Garden

The abandoned Sofitel resort has long been taken over by weeds and horses. But the beach that drew so many tourists in the past is still here, and it can be all yours for the day. It’s one of those picture-postcard beaches, and if the currents are right, you can enjoy some of the finest snorkeling on the island. On the way back to civilization, stop by Gallery Umatatea. Artist Melanie Dupre fell in love with Huahine after visiting from Ohio (maybe she just preferred the weather). In any case, she paints beautiful scenes from the island and her Tahitian partner can hook you up with ice cream that’ll make your day in this hot and sticky weather.  

The Old Sofitel Beach - Huaine - coconuts

6. Somehow Make It To Hana Iti Beach

Hana Iti Beach is Huahine’s wildest. Reached either by boat or via a short hike through the lush rainforest, Hana Iti sits on the site of a former resort bearing the same name. The resort was completely destroyed in a cyclone, turning this beautiful slice of paradise back to Mother Nature.


5. Meet The Sacred Blue-Eyed Eels

Sacred eels with blue eyes? Even if you hate these scary-looking creatures, curiosity will lead you with a can of sardines in your hand into the river by the village of Faie. Toss a few chunks into the fresh water and wait for the show to begin. Out of nowhere, huge eels with blue eyes feast on the easiest snack they’ll ever find. If you’re brave enough, you can even hand-feed them. Legend has it that the eels hold the spirits of the dead islanders. Whatever the case may be, these blind eels can only be found in this particular river in Huahine so don’t miss out on the chance.

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4. Chill On A Pristine Beach In Avea Bay

Surely the spot where one or two travel magazine shots were taken, the stretch of beach along Avea Bay, is as pretty as they come. Grab lunch at Hotel Le Mahana and then chill on their beach, or head a few meters south to find a shady spot to spread your sarong on, and enjoy life in the slow lane!


3. Road Trip Around Huahine

With two islands for the price of one, circling Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti will be one of the highlights of your visit. Like a road trip in Raiatea Island, leave plenty of extra time for random stops along the way. Don’t miss out on the Belvedere lookout point and the local children putting on a diving display on the bridge connecting the two islands. Stretching 72m across, this is the longest bridge in French Polynesia. If you thought Huahine Nui was laid back, wait until you cross over to ‘little Huahine’, where you’ll really feel all alone in paradise.  

Local jumping from Huahine bridge
Beach next to Marae Anini - Huahine

2. Reconnect With Polynesian Chiefs & Kings

Huahine is not only known as ‘the Garden of Eden,’ but it’s also an open-air museum. Why? Scattered across the island are over 200 ancient Polynesian temples, dozens of which have been excavated and restored. Known as marae, the largest concentration is found around the village of Maeva. These temples were used for community ceremonies, sacrifices, and for royals to meet up and do their thing. To see the ‘Buckingham Palace’ of ancient Huahine, hike up Matairea Hill and get as close to the ancient Gods as the royal families of Huahine believed to be.

marae at the top of Matairea Hill Hike - Huahine

1. Spend The Day Exploring Huahine’s Lagoon

No visit to Huahine is complete without checking out its beautiful lagoon. Hop on an outrigger canoe with the folks at Huahine Nautique for a day of fun in the sun. Your tour begins with a visit to a floating pearl farm, followed by some drift snorkeling in the ‘coral garden’. But the fun really begins with a picnic lunch on your very own dream island.

Huahine Lagoon Tour - picnic lunch

Ready To Visit Huahine?

There you have it! The top things to do in Huahine. For more information about Huahine and French Polynesia, check out these recommended guides.

Tahiti, Tailor Made!

The Islands of Tahiti are among the last places to be colonized by mankind, 118 islands, each with its unique personality.

Get expert advice and assistance with planning your trip to the destination where tropical dreams come true!

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