When it comes to sightseeing options on Huahine, it seems there are a few things unique enough to defy regular classification...
This page lists a few attractions on the island that merit a special listing of their own...
SACRED EELS (Anguilles sacrees)
Along the coastal road on Huahine-Nui, there is a certain bridge over a certain part of a river that is the home to some very unusual residents... Tahitian Eels! Sacred ones!
These eels range in size from 3 to 6 feet long and are very interesting to look at. They have fins along their side that many people think are "ears" and their eyes are a wild cold blue translucent color.
(We don't actually know their exact eel species name, but believe them to be found only on Tahiti and Huahine... biologists please correct us if you know better!)
Why are they "sacred" one might ask?
What could possibly make these slimy river creatures so famous and well respected? Well, on Huahine, as on all the rest of the Tahitian islands, mythology and history is very important, and as you might have guessed, these eeeeeels have a loooong history and interesting story behind them...
||AS THE ANCIENT LEGENDS HAVE IT:
"The first eel crawled across the mountains from a pool in Arue, on the north coast of Tahiti.
Feeling lonely, the eel married a beautiful maiden from Mataiea, after much courting and splashing about the water. The present day inhabitants supposedly descend from this incongruous couple." (This legend is perhaps best explained by a Jungian or Freudian psychoanylyst.)
Regardless of who believes the mythology behind these slithery yet graceful creatures, the eels today remain a tourism favorite and mainstay on the island of Huahine. They are gentle, harmless, and only interested in "sacred mackeral" from "sacred cans" that can be purchased at any "sacred market" on the island.
This attraction is also unique among the Society Islands. Its a great idea and apparently a goverment project in the planning for many years: They have finally re-constructed a "Fare Potee" (a chiefs residence or gathering place for the community), to show how it looked during ancient times.
Simply known as Fare Potee, it's built on the grounds of one of the larger Marae complexes on Huahine- quite readily accessable from the roadside. (*see note below)
Inside, they have turned the building into a small but splendid museum complete with artifacts, Polynesian art, old photographs, and lots of facts, details and explanations regarding the nearby maraes and the ancient peoples of Huahine and her surrounding islands.
There's an english speaking guide working there to explain what it all means and a bathroom across the way.
*Note: This is the same location (look for the "Maeva" sign on the road), to park where you can begin a wonderful hike overlooking Lake Maeva and see many fascinating and well preserved maraes overgrown in the tropical jungle of Huahine.
Check out our ISLAND FUN page now for the details of the hike.
Huahine's Eden Parc USED TO BE quite famous throughout the Polynesian islands due to its line of locally sold natural products including various foods and drinks, oils, and natural insect repellents, among others.
In the past, when you visited the park, you could purchase these fine products direct from the source itself at favorable prices. (In TST's opinion, the citronella oil insect repellent was some of the best smelling, most effective insect repellent available anywhere.)
It's also used to be a popular sightseeing destination for many reasons: Its collection of medicinal and ecologically important plants was quite interesting for horticulture buffs and its tropical island lush setting made for a wonderful few hours of casual walking and strolling around - and there was also an organic restaurant on the premises where interesting and delicious dishes were served with a unique line of quality fruit drinks...
Nowadays, sadly, all that has changed. For reasons unknown to TST, the place has gone into a severe state of disrepair- (Our last visit to the place was in November, 07). The garden was overgrown and the ecological tours long since stopped. Even the sign on the road pointing out the place has gone from a previously beautiful piece of art to a ripped up grey mess...
We have no idea whether it will ever stage a recovery... but until that time comes, we still list it here as an interesting part of Huahine's sightseeing history.
Located on Vaiorea bay, PO Box 75, 98731 Fare- HUAHINE Telephone- (689) 68.86.58, Fax- (689) 68.84.04
Botanical park located in a 9 hectare private valley, with a fine collection of organic and ecologically important plants. Traditional, ornamental, and medicinal plants and fruit trees from around the world. Eden Parc also has an organic restaurant and produces a line of products including fruit drinks, oils, natural insect repellents, and various food products sold throughout the South Pacific. Open from 9:00 am to 4 pm. Monday- Saturday, closed Sundays and from Mid December- Mid January.
A favorite thing to see among tourists is a good classic Tahitian dancing show.
Huahine has one place where this occurs in a rather theatrical manner:
P.O. Box 38, Fare-HUAHINE,
Telephone- (689) 60.61.60 /41.04.04, Fax- (689) 68.85.25 / 41.05.05,
Theatrical Tahitian dancing shows weekly. Exact schedules unknown by TST.
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