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Comprised of Huahine Nui (big Huahine) and Huahine-Iti (little Huahine), the two islands are joined by a small bridge and are enclosed within a protective necklace of coral. Off-shore motu islets lie inside the barrier reef, providing efficient gardens for Huahine’s watermelon and cantaloupe industry. A road, mostly non-paved, winds 32 km. (20 miles) around the two islands, passing through small villages where the 5,411 inhabitants live in colorful, modest homes.
The word “Huahine” means pregnant woman in Tahitian. The island gets its name from the shape of the island. When viewed from a distance, it truly does look like a pregnant woman lying on her back.
Huahine is actually two islands, when viewed from the air. An arch bridge connect the two. It is believed that, at one time, Huahine was one island. Since all of these volcanic islands are sinking, ever so slowly, the two highest portions of the original island are what show above the surface of the ocean today.
Huahine is a tropical garden with gentle rolling hills and lush foliage, and at the same time, it is a garden rich in agriculture. The soil is excellent and everywhere you look there are plantations of taro, coffee, vanilla or melons.
Off-shore “motu” islets lie inside the barrier reef, providing luscious gardens for Huahine’s watermelon and cantaloupe industry.