France > French Polynesia > Huahine


Huahine is an island located among the Society Islands, in French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Leeward Islands group . The island has a population of about 6,300.


Huahine measures 16 km (10 mi) in length, with a maximum width of 13 km (8 mi). It is made up of two main islands surrounded by a fringing coral reef with several islets, or motu. Huahine Nui (Big Huahine) lies to the north and Huahine Iti (Little Huahine) to the south. The two islands are separated by a few hundred yards of water and joined by a sandspit at low tide. A small bridge was built to connect Huahine Nui and Huahine Iti.

In the northwest of Huahine Nui lies a 375 hectares (926.65 acres) brackish lake known as Lac Fauna Nui (Lac Maeva). This lake is all that remains of the ancient atoll lagoon. Air transportation is available via Huahine airport, located on the northern shore of Huahine Nui.


Captain Cook arrived fare Harbour on 16 July 1769, with Tupaia navigating the HMS Endeavour. They met with leading chief Ori (Mato). Cook returned on 3 Sept. 1773 and met with Ori's son Teri'itaria, the new ari'i rahi of the island.


Administratively Huahine is a commune (municipality) part of the administrative subdivision of the Leeward Islands. Huahine consists of the following associated communes:

The administrative centre of the commune is the settlement of Fare, on Huahine Nui.

Tourist attraction

One of the famous attractions on Huahine is a bridge that crosses over a stream with 0.9 m - 1.8 m long freshwater eels. These eels are deemed sacred by the locals, by local mythology. While viewing these slithering creatures, tourists can buy a can of mackerel and feed the eels. The Fa'ahia archaeological site in the north of the island has revealed subfossil remains of several species of extinct birds exterminated by the earliest Polynesian colonists of the island.

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