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Papenoo Valley

Papenoo Valley
Papenoo Valley is a valley formed by the Papenoo River that runs north and south roughly through the center of Tahiti Nui (the big island).  The valley is surrounded on the east and west sides by tall mountains which have beautiful waterfalls the flow into the Papenoo River.  The river itself flows north into the Pacific Ocean near the community of Papenoo.

Although one could probably hike here, we did a 4X4 safari tour.  There is a road through the valley that is accessible by 4X4 and this allows you to see the most of the valley.  Also, since many of the waterfalls flow best during rain, a covered vehicle is a more comfortable way of seeing the valley.


Cascade Vaiharuru:

Cascade Vaiharuru is a waterfall on the west side of the valley a few kilometers after you enter the valley, around kilometer marker 6.  The approximate GPS coordinates of the falls are S17.569851 W149.434404.

Cascade Vaiharuru

Cascade Puraha:

Cascade Puraha is a waterfall on the east side of the valley that flows into a lake at a hydroelectric dam.  It is a few kilometers south of Cascade Vaiharuru between kilometer markers 10 and 11.  The approximate GPS coordinates of the falls are S17.585418 W149.419491.

Cascade Puraha


I don't know the name of this one, but it is right along side the road, a few kilometers south of Cascade Puraha near kilometer marker 12.  The approximate GPS coordinates are S17.60107 W149.41635.


Looking across the road, there are several parallel waterfalls.  Our tour guide told us that these only flow during the rain and were called the Princess' Hair.

Princess Hair Waterfalls

Cascade Vaimahuta:

Just outside of Papenoo Valley and to the east is Trou du Souffleur de Arohoho, a blow hole and black sand beach.  Across the street from the beach is a short road leading to the Faarumai Waterfalls.  A sign directs visitors to the right and a short five-minute walk to Cascade Vaimahuta.  The GPS coordinates of the falls are S17.53487 W149.39946.

Cascade Vaimahuta



Just outside of Papenoo Valley and a short ways east along the main road is Arohoho.  There is a small parking lot here.  The Trou du Souffluer de Arohoho blow hole is located here along the side of the closed road and there is also a beautiful black sand beach.

Waves Crashing at Trou du Souffleur

Arahoho Beach