Four New Hikes in French Polynesia

We recently returned from a very enjoyable and successful three week trip to French Polynesia and Easter Island.  As part of this trip, we did 4 brand new hikes in French Polynesia and 4 hikes on Easter Island.  I am planning to publish reports on all 8 of these hikes in the near future to benefit future visitors to these areas.  This is the fourth straight year that we have visited the South Pacific.  As you can tell, we really love spending time there and enjoying the tranquil beauty of the islands and calm lagoon water.  Below, I will share a very brief description and 3 teaser images for each of the French Polynesia hikes.  In another post, I will do the same for each of the Easter Island hikes.

FRENCH POLYNESIA hikes Dec 2017 and Jan 2018

Mount Pohue Rahi (Huahine) – Our trip started with a hike to the summit of Mount Pohue Rahi at 1,516 feet in elevation on the island of Huahine.  The trail passes through a pine forest with several good viewpoints of the greenery covering the island.  Doing this first hike was quite a challenge due to the abrupt change in heat and humidity upon arrival a couple of days earlier.  The summit area had a spectacular bloom of Golden Trumpet wildflowers.

The trail passes through extensive greenery and a thick pine forest
The summit area is covered by Golden Trumpets
View of northern Huahine as seen from near the summit

Popotei Ridge (Bora Bora) – Bora Bora was the only island that I returned to on this trip which I had been to before (16 months earlier).  And there’s a reason for that.  Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful places in the world.  I found an obscure family hiking trail that I could do there and thus we all hiked the Popotei Ridge trail together, which had great views of the lagoon, village of Faanui, and Mount Otemanu, Mount Pahia, and Mount Ohue.

Looking back from the end of the trail, you can see most of the Popotei Ridge as it slopes down toward the lagoon at the back right
Stefan (5 years old) and I standing near the end of the trail
Incredible view of Faanui village (lower right) and Mount Otemanu (upper left) in the distance

Patio to Haamene Traverse (Tahaa) – The island of Tahaa was my favorite new island visited in French Polynesia during this trip.  It was quite challenging due to the lack of information, but I managed to find my way around and complete the 5 3/4 miles traverse hike from the village of Patio in the north to the village of Haamene in the center.  The trail has a fantastic display of wildflowers, plants, fruit trees, mountain scenery, and overlook points.  I’m really looking forward to providing valuable information for others about this little-known but outstanding hike.

Wildflowers lined the trail along the lower portion (Tahitian ginger pictured here)
The trail passes right beneath a major peak not far from Mount Ohiri (the highest peak on Tahaa)
There is an amazing viewpoint in a park-like setting to take in the views around Haamene Bay

Temehani Plateau (Raiatea) – The fourth and final hike I did in French Polynesia was one of the most spectacular lifetime hikes I have ever done.  This was a hike to the Temehani Plateau to see firsthand one of the world’s rarest flowers – the Tiare Apetahi.  Reaching the flower’s location requires a climb up into the mountains with over 2,000 feet of elevation gain.  Not an easy task but fortunately there were a couple of spots where we could swim in a small river along with some freshwater eels.  The views were some of the best ever.  We could see all the way around the island, Bora Bora’s silhouette, and the entire island of Tahaa.  And the rare flower was quite a sight to behold as well.

Cooling off was vital due to the high heat and humidity of summertime
During the upper portions of the hike, the entire island of Tahaa could be seen to the north
The Tiare Apetahi is one of the world’s rarest flowers with only about 5 plants left on the section of plateau we hiked (with another 70 plants on the next plateau over which is off-limits to the public)