Popular Huahine Shore Excursions
Itty-bitty Fare is Huahine's main village. There's not a lot to do, but that's part of its charm. The main drag along the waterfront is lined with small boutiques, a jewelry store, a few banks, a bustling supermarket stocked with everything from food to furniture, and Internet cafes. The warm breeze off Haamene Bay carries the delicious scent of fried food, and locals in straw hats are sure to smile and say hello.
There are plenty of ways to get in the water on Huahine, both on shore excursions and via local operators located in Fare. To explore on your own, Huahine Lagoon in downtown Fare rents out bikes, boats and kayaks, though there are no set hours and no guarantees they'll be open. For divers, Mahana Dive and Pacific Blue Adventures operate scuba trips.
Belvedere Point, which translates loosely to "lookout point," is exactly that and a must-stop for photographers. The summit awards stunning panoramic views of Maroe Bay and a clear view of the ship at anchor. You can reach Belvedere Point by car or on select shore excursions.
A free ferry departs from the village of Fare to Huahine Nui Pearls & Pottery (689-78-30-20) every 15 minutes between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. The owner is a potter and a pearl farmer, and his studio is on his pearl farm in the middle of the lagoon. After a demonstration of pearl farming there of course will be an opportunity to browse his shop and purchase jewelry.
The sleepy village of Maeva was once the seat of royal power on the island; scattered along the waterfront and in the mountains are the ruins of maraes, or temples, which belonged to chiefs and priests. As you cruise through town, look for the stone fish traps that are unique to Huahine. These date back 400 years and are still used today; groups of stones are arranged in the water; when the fish swim in, they are scooped up with nets.
For a little bit more history, stop by the open-air Fare Potee archeological museum, a small hut over the water with a woven floor (shoes must be removed, a respectful tradition in Polynesian culture). Objects of interest include tools used to build houses and carry water (hollowed coconut shells, for example), and fabrics such as the fibrous purau that were used to create early dance costumes and baskets. There's no gift shop, but a handful of silk pareos and small wooden canoes made by local school children are available for purchase.