Huahine, (pronounced “way-a-hee-knee”), is truly a Polynesian Paradise. The only problem…we only had time to spend two days here. We could have easily spent an entire week but our visa clock was ticking and we still needed to get to Bora Bora and Maupiti.
Huahine proper is actually made of two islands, Huahine-Nui and Huahine-Iti. These two islands are separated by a tiny strip of sand. At high tide the islands are actually two separate islands but at low tide they are connected.
Since we were short on time we stopped at the village called Fare. This quaint little village has everything a cruiser needs to relax and enjoy themselves. There are several restaurants and even a few resorts if you want to get a bit fancier. The island has lots of hiking trails and good spots for snorkeling, diving and more.
Harbor & Port Check In
To check into Huahine you need to go to the Gendarmerie. It’s just over a quarter of a mile from the Huahine Yacht Club which is most likely where you will dock your dinghy. We were never charged a fee to tie up but then we always bought a few beers from them.
Be prepared with all the usual documents, passports, boat docs etc.. and also be prepared to wait. We arrived around lunchtime and the person who normally handles check ins out so it took some time to get this done. Being flexible and not in a hurry goes a long way. We’re never in a hurry as we know how these things can be in the island. We chatted with the people there and eventually the process was complete. Fortunately you don’t have to come back to check out.
Click on the map below for an enlarged version. This is the route from HYC to the Gendarmerie.
2019 ushered in many changes to anchoring rules in French Polynesia which limit greatly the places you can now anchor. Since this is a fluid environment with changes happening quickly we recommend that you follow Noonsite as they are tracking this situation and providing up to date reports.
In Fare there are some moorings available in front of the main wharf. These belong to the Huahine Yacht Club. You will need to contact them directly to arrange to have a mooring. Their telephone is 689 40 68 70 81. This was confirmed by them on 9 November 2020.
If you don’t want or can’t get a mooring it is our understanding that you can still anchor in this area. Be aware that the swell and current can be strong. It’s not uncommon for anchors to drag here. If it’s still possible to anchor not the south side of the bay here we highly recommend it. There was far less traffic and it was very safe and peaceful.
The are many other places in Huahine for cruisers to stay. Unfortunately we didn’t get to any of them. For more information on the other anchorages we’d suggest checking the Soggy Paws Compendium.
Getting Around Huahine-Nui
We never left the village of Fare so we walked everywhere we went. We do know there are bicycle and car rentals available. There is a Europcar less than a mile north of the HYC and an Avis near the Super Fare Nui. Just walk the main drag along the shore and you find many places renting cars, boats, bicycles and more.
Fare has a very large and well stocked grocery store right on the main strip and just a couple of hundred meters from HYC. It’s the Super Fare Nui and we were able to get everything from meat to veggies to beer here. To reach it leave the HYC and head south on the coast road.
There is a Total Gas Station located next door to the Super Fare Nui where you can purchase diesel and gasoline.
Huahine Yacht Club. We were only here two days and both days we ate at the HYC. The food is good, the views spectacular, the people friendly and the beers are ice cold. What more could you ask from a restaurant in paradise? They also have Happy Hour from 1700-1800 daily and they do offer free WiFi if you are spending a little money. Be prepared because it’s pretty slow.
There are other restaurants here with several small places being right on the main drag. There is a small internet cafe that serves light bites. It’s on the main drag just a few doors north of the grocery store. We heard the net is better than HYC but didn’t try it as we use our Iridium Go for emails and rarely found a need to access anything else on the net.
If you’re looking for a more fancy meal you might head to one of the nearby resorts. The Maitai Lapita Village Hotel is close by and they appear to have a nice menu and great views.
Banking & ATMs
There are two banks within walking distance of the shore. The Banque de Tahiti is right by the Super Fare grocery store. There’s also a Banque Socredo less than a half a mile north of the seaside village.
There are many trinkets and bead stores located on the main road at the shore. You’ll also find people who have set up tables along the road to sell their goodies too so if you’re looking for souvenirs you’re sure to find them here.