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Huahine: ancient Polynesian temples and crops

Huahine Island is part of the Society Islands, and is the first of the Leeward group of islands which is encountered from Tahiti and Moorea. Huahine is located 175 km northwest of Tahiti. The island is made up of two islands, Huahine Nui (large), the northern island, and Huahine Iti (small), the southern island. In the past, the two islands were joined by a sandy isthmus only at low tide, but now they are joined by a small bridge. The two islands have a total area of 74 sq km, the highest point of the island is Mount Turi (669 meters), which is located in the center of the northern island. In the 2017 census, the island had over six thousand inhabitants, mainly concentrated in the villages of Fare, Maeva and Fitii, in the northern island and in those of Parea, Tefarerii and Haapu in the southern one.


Huahine is a green and wild island and its coast is dotted with numerous bays, the largest of which is the Bay of Maroe which divides the two islands that form Huahine. Along the east coast, the island’s coral reef is dotted with three large motus: the Motu Murimahora, the Motu Vavaratea and the Motu Mahare. At the northern end of the island is Lake Fauna Nui and Matu Ovarei. While to the south near the Araara Pass is the Motu Araara. Agriculture is highly developed and vanilla, taro, coconut, pineapple, watermelons, breadfruit, bananas and grapefruits are grown on the island.

The island is very rich from an archaeological point of view with remains of ancient Polynesian settlements and marae (temples). The most important remains are located in Maeva, along the coast of Lake Fauna Nui where the marae of the eight leaders of the island was discovered and where dozens of temples are found. Other archaeological areas are in Vaitootia, Faahia, and Fare. Huahine has about 280 archaeological structures, including the remains of houses, ceremonial and religious monuments. Among the marae, in addition to those of Maeva located around Lake Fauna Nui, there is the Marae Anini which is located in a beautiful position on the southern tip of the island, near the most beautiful beach of Huahine, that of the bay of Avea.


Huahine airport is located in the far north of the island. Huahine has flights that connect it to the islands of Tahiti, Moorea, Raiatea and Bora Bora.


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