Part of the Leeward Group of Society Islands, Huahine is a 40-minute flight from Tahiti and rests in close proximity to Raiatea, Taha'a and Bora Bora. The island is divided into two parts: Huahine Nui (big) and Huahine Iti (small). The name Huahine, a variation of the Tahitian word vahine (woman), presumably refers to a mountain ridge resembling the outline of a pregnant woman—a symbol of the island's irrefutable fertility.
In a surprise result, Oscar Temaru's pro-independence progressive coalition, Union for Democracy, formed a government with a one-seat majority in the 57-seat parliament, defeating the conservative party, Tahoera'a Huiraatira, led by Gaston Flosse. On 8 October 2004, Flosse succeeded in passing a censure motion against the government, provoking a crisis. A controversy is whether the national government of France should use its power to call for new elections in a local government in case of a political crisis.
In November 1835 Charles Darwin visited Tahiti aboard HMS Beagle on her circumnavigation, captained by Robert FitzRoy. He was impressed by what he perceived to be the positive influence the missionaries had had on the sobriety and moral character of the population. Darwin praised the scenery, but was not flattering towards Tahiti's Queen Pōmare IV. Captain Fitzroy negotiated payment of compensation for an attack on an English ship by Tahitians, which had taken place in 1833.
Before the arrival of the Europeans the island was divided into different chiefdoms, very precise territories dominated by a single clan. These chiefdoms were linked to each other by allegiances based on the blood ties of their leaders and on their power in war. The most important clan on the island was the Teva, whose territory extended from the peninsula in the south of Tahiti Nui. The Teva Clan was composed of the Teva i Uta (Teva of the Interior) and the Teva i Tai (Teva of the Sea), and was led by Amo and Purea.
Cook returned to Tahiti between 15 August and 1 September 1773, greeted by the chiefs Tai and Puhi, besides the young ari'i Vehiatua II and his stepfather Ti'itorea. Cook anchored in Vaitepiha Bay before returning to Point Venus where he met Tu, the paramount chief. Cook picked up two passengers from Tahiti during this trip, Porea and Ma'i, with Hitihiti later replacing Porea when Cook stopped at Raiatea. Cook took Hitihiti to Tahiti on 22 April, during his return leg. Then, Cook departed Tahiti on 14 May 1774.:263–279,284,290,301–312
However, the island saw no combat as the American presence on Bora Bora went uncontested over the course of the war. The base was officially closed on 2 June 1946. The World War II airstrip was never able to accommodate large aircraft, but it nonetheless was French Polynesia's only international airport until Faa'a International Airport opened next to Papeete, Tahiti, in 1960.
In 1946, Tahiti and the whole of French Polynesia became an overseas territory (Territoire d'outre-mer). Tahitians were granted French citizenship, a right that had been campaigned for by nationalist leader Pouvanaa a Oopa for many years. In 2003, French Polynesia's status was changed to that of an overseas collectivity (Collectivité d'outre-mer) and in 2004 it was declared an overseas country (pays d'outre-mer or POM).
The inevitable love affair with this island begins right before you touch down. The view from the plane window is a moment you will not soon forget. Have your camera in hand as you begin your descent and prepare for the moment when iconic Mount Otemanu comes into view. From that point on, each experience will only continue to exceed even your highest expectations.
The island equivalent to the Garden of Eden, Huahine is an immense tropical jungle thriving with coconut plantations, vanilla orchids, banana groves, breadfruit trees and watermelon fields. Beyond its lush landscapes and bright blooms, Huahine is also a culturally preserved sanctuary with sacred temples hidden throughout dense vegetation. Undoubtedly, this island will leave you spellbound.
Football in Tahiti is administered by the Fédération Tahitienne de Football and was founded in 1938. The Tahiti Division Fédérale is the top division on the island and the Tahiti Championnat Enterprise is the second tier. Some of the major clubs are AS Manu-Ura, who play in Stade Hamuta, AS Pirae, who play in the Stade Pater Te Hono Nui and AS Tefana, who play in the Stade Louis Ganivet. Lesser clubs include Matavai. In 2012, the national team won the OFC Nations Cup qualifying for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil and becoming the first team other than Australia or New Zealand to win it.
Forest habitats on Bora Bora on the slopes of Mount Otemanu are quite diverse in gastropod life in comparison to other islands. Several species of endemic or native species existed in great numbers until relatively recently during the introductions of Lissachatina, Euglandina, and various flatworms which decimated populations of Partula lutea (an endemic partulid species that became extinct in the late 1990's), Samoana attenuata (a species once native to Bora Bora but later not found in surveys of the island), and Mautodontha boraborensis (a critically endangered species as of 1996 but most likely extinct, as it was last seen in the 1880's). The above listed native and endemic species were mostly restricted to virgin forest, and the only species that remain common (perhaps even extant) are several subulinids and tornatellinids among others, including Orobophana pacifica (a helicinid).
Although various explorers had refused to get involved in tribal conflicts, the mutineers from Bounty offered their services as mercenaries and furnished arms to the family which became the Pōmare Dynasty. The chief Tū knew how to use their presence in the harbours favoured by sailors to his advantage. As a result of his alliance with the mutineers, he succeeded in considerably increasing his supremacy over the island of Tahiti.
Followers of 'Oro were called ariori, and each district in Tahiti had an ariori lodge led by the avae parae, black leg. These leaders had legs tattooed from thigh to heel. The first 'Oro lodge was established around 1720 by Mahi, a representative of the high priest of Taputapuatea marae and Tamatoa I, the high chief of Ra'iatea. The first 'Oro marae was established at Tautira.
A clan was composed of a chief (ari'i rahi), nobles (ari'i) and under-chiefs ( 'Īato'ai). The ari'i, considered descendants of the Polynesian gods, were full of mana (spiritual power). They traditionally wore belts of red feathers, symbols of their power. The chief of the clan did not have absolute power. Councils or general assemblies had to be called composed of the ari'i and the 'Īato'ai, especially in case of war.
On 2 April 1768, it was the turn of Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, aboard Boudeuse and Etoile on the first French circumnavigation, to sight Tahiti. On 5 April, he anchored off Hitiaa O Te Ra, and was welcomed by its chief Reti. Bougainville was also visited by Tutaha. Bougainville only stayed about ten days on the island, which he called "Nouvelle-Cythère ", or "New Cythera (the island of Aphrodite)", because of the warm welcome he had received, the sweetness of the Tahitian customs, calling it a "sailor's Paradise." Ahutoru accompanied the French on the return voyage, becoming the first Tahitian to sail on a European vessel.:93–109 The account Bougainville and Philibert Commerson gave of his port of call would contribute to the creation of the myth of a Polynesian paradise and nourished the theme of the noble savage, so dear to Jean-Jacques Rousseau, which was very much in fashion.:116–118 Between this date right until the end of the 18th century, the name of the island was spelled phonetically "Taïti". Beginning in the 19th century, the Tahitian orthography "Tahiti" became normal usage in French and English.
This emigration, across several hundred kilometres of ocean, was made possible by using outrigger canoes that were up to twenty or thirty meters long and could transport families as well as domestic animals. In 1769, for instance, James Cook mentions a great traditional ship (va'a) in Tahiti that was 33 m (108 ft) long, and could be propelled by sail or paddles. In 2010, an expedition on a simple outrigger canoe with a sail retraced the route back from Tahiti to Asia.
In 1827, the young Pōmare III suddenly died, and it was his half-sister, 'Aimata, aged thirteen, who took the title of Pōmare IV. The Birmingham born missionary George Pritchard, who was the acting British consul, became her main adviser and tried to interest her in the affairs of the kingdom. But the authority of the Queen, who was certainly less charismatic than her father, was challenged by the chiefs, who had won back an important part of their prerogatives since the death of Pōmare II. The power of the Pōmare had become more symbolic than real, time and time again Queen Pōmare, Protestant and anglophile, sought in vain the protection of England.
The overwater bungalows are reasonably large, and there is a great variety of restaurants, bars, and activities available, so going elsewhere might not be a high priority anyway. The spa here is also among the best in Bora Bora. Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort Premium overwater bungalows are not the cheapest on the island, but are very competitive considering the size and quality.
With soothing lagoon waters, a rich botanical environment, air scented of vanilla and taire flowers and the blissful tranquility of each island, The Islands of Tahiti offer a « spa whithin a spa » experience, found nowhere else on eath. Each spa is unique haven – private gardens, thatched-roof open- air bungalows with tropical fish parading below, or atop hills overlooking the lagoons.
Cook and Banks circumnavigated the island from 26 June to 1 July. On the exploration, they met Ahio, chief of Ha'apaiano'o or Papenoo, Rita, chief of Hitia'a, Pahairro, chief of Pueu, Vehiatua, chief of Tautra, Matahiapo, chief of Teahupo'o, Tutea, chief of Vaira'o, and Moe, chief of Afa'Ahiti. In Papara, guided by Tupaia, they investigated the ruins of Mahaiatea marae, an impressive structure containing a stone pyramid or ahu, measuring 44 feet (13 m) high, 267 feet (81 m) long and 87 feet (27 m) wide. Cook and Endeavour departed Tahiti on 13 July 1769, taking Raiatean navigator Tupaia along for his geographic knowledge of the islands.:149,186–202,205