Ua Huka

Ua Huka horse island

Found at 50 km to the east of Nuku Hiva , Ua Huka is without a doubt the most extraordinary of the northern group of the marquesas.With vegetation a lot less fertile than the neighbouring islands, vast areas of land are occupied by wild goats and horses.

Very hospitable, the inhabitants are found concentrated on the south coast, in the villages of Vaipaee, Hane and Hokatu. In each valley , a handicraft centre can be found.An arboretum and two very interesting museums are the pride of the island.

Some archeological and natural sites of great interest are also easily accessible. The airport was re opened in 1995.

The island is served by the dornier 228 once a week It is also possible to reach the island by helicopter or occasionally with speed boats or fishing boats.

Vaipaee village


The Arboretum

The arboretum of Ua Huka was created a few kilometers from Vaipaee on the one and only road.It is one of the most successfull creations of the archipelago.More than 300 species of trees originating from all over the world have been planted on 17 hectares .A guided tour allows one to admire how different species have adapted to Marquesan soil, which opens large perspectives for local agriculture. The varieties which adapt easiest are used to reforrest the island which is constantly menaced by the 3000 horses and goats which populate the island.The collection of citrus fruits is one of the best collections of the whole world.

The road to Hane:

Arid and trodden by herds of wild horses , a plateau separates Vaipaee and Hane on which is built an airdrome with a far west look to it.The road leads along the coast line beaten by the swell and offers a facinating show constantly renewed by changes in light which characterise Marquesan scenery.


Four kilometers after Hane , the little village Hokatu and its little natural port can be found.At the end of the valley, a paepae can be visited . Facing the sea , the houses represent original works of art.


The capital of the island is found at the end of a very narrow valley, around one kilometer from the small quay where the small cargo ship's tenders offload.
In the municipal museum found at the post office on the ground floor, one can admire evidence of ancient life : tikis, carvings, reproduction of old photos.
Some objects (found in museums abroad) took Joseph,carver and curator of the museum more than six months to copy.Numerous Tohuas and Me'ae are visible in the village.
The most beautiful is Upahaka, situated 4 km from the beach on the side of the road.

Around Vaipaee

The archaeological site Vaiki can be found after one and a half hour's walk from Vaipaee.Around fifty carved petroglyphs have been discovered here , including a sailing outrigger canoe which is one of a kind in all of French Polynesia.In a hired speedboat, one can visit the bird islands on the south west point of the island.These two spectacular islands, one red and the other white offer shelter to thousands of terns. Many manta rays are found in the sheltered waters of these islands.In the "footstep cave" , close to bird island, one can observe footsteps which are never wiped out by the swell.Numerous petroglyphs can be found on magnificent Haavai and Hatuana beaches , not very far from bird island .

Hane's beach


The pleasant, open valley of Hane is found in the centre of the sunken crater of the volcano which forms the island of Ua Huka .

The entrance of the bay is protected by an imposing island giving the bay a particular character. At the site Tehavea , situated a half an hour from the beach on the ridge , one can observe a few ancient tikis.
Joseph, the museum curator is working on building outrigger canoes from all different eras, which will be the principal objects of the marine museum .

An exhibition , sales centre is situated near the beach.


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