Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi Waterfalls (Faarumai Waterfalls)

Faarumai / Hitiaa District / Faaone District, Tahiti Island, French Polynesia

Rating: 3     Difficulty: 2
Haamaremare Iti (right) and Haamaremare Rahi (left)

TABLE OF CONTENTS



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INTRODUCTION

The Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi Waterfalls comprise the other two of the three Faarumai Waterfalls. These were essentially dual waterfalls almost falling side by side each other though showing that in one photo is as difficult as the awkward angled photograph you see at the top of this page.

Typically, I'd put all three waterfalls on the same page, but both times I've been at the Faarumai Waterfalls, the access trail for the last two falls had been taped off and closed. It was only after doing a little act of rebellion and seeing what lay beyond the tape barricades on the second time around did I realize that they closed the trail due to at least one of the bridges not being finished. However, it was possible for me (and another couple who did likewise) to see both waterfalls despite this bit of unfinished business. So given such uncertainty to its sanctioned visitation, I just decided to keep this page separate.

There's also a bit of uncertainty (in my mind at least) regarding whether I've correctly spelled the names of these waterfalls as well as whether I've correctly referred to the individual waterfalls themselves. You see, our 2002 LP book spelled these waterfalls as Haamarere Iti and Haamarere Rahi. However, I've basically gone with the spelling in our 2007 edition of Moon's Tahiti. I'd certainly welcome someone who's familiar with the Tahitian language to set the record straight on this one.

As for which waterfall is Haamaremare Iti and which one is Haamaremare Rahi, I've gone by the convention that the last waterfall on the trail gets the "Rahi" adjective while the "Iti" (I believe this is Tahitian for "little") adjective goes to the one seen before it.

The pool at the base of Haamaremare Rahi What I'm calling Haamaremare Iti was basically a taller but more slender sloping cascade that was very easily seen from a footbridge spanning its stream. I'm sure there were additional tiers above the visible ones seen from the trail, but without being able to see its whole context in one go (hard to do given its twisting nature), it would all be speculation.

What I'm calling Haamaremare Rahi was a shorter but much thicker and prettier waterfall (in my opinion) spilling into a plunge pool that looked very inviting for a swim. The only caveat with swimming in this pool was that it was practically surrounded by steep vertical cliffs, which meant that it would be prone to rock slides.

During my 2012 visit, it was the bridge just before reaching the base of Haamaremare Rahi that was unfinished. However, I had little trouble wading across the thigh-deep stream to access the misty base. The only thing keeping me from spending more time at this waterfall than I did was the presence of annoying little gnats that were swarming around me as I took photos.

From looking at the two waterfalls together, I suspect that they both come from the same stream. I think somewhere along the way, the main stream split into what appeared to be the two waterfalls pictured on this page. If this is true, then I suppose you could argue that it really counts as one waterfall instead of two. In fact, I thought I was able to see the merged upper tiers of these falls from the approach on the access road!

But semantics aside, I definitely found it worth my while to spend the extra 20 or 25 minutes each way to hike to both falls and back. The trail was neither as well-used nor as flat as that of Vaimahutu Falls as it had some slight elevation gain with steps and minor slopes while crossing over two bridges (one in front of each waterfall). However, it was still pretty straightforward to do the hike, and the only reason why they didn't seem to be as well-visited was the trail closure.

Given that I was 0 for 2 over a span of 10 years in seeing this trail when it was supposed to be open, it made me wonder whether those bridges tend to get washed out very easily thereby closing the trail (to try to repair or rebuild those bridges). Well whatever the case, in my mind, it seems reasonable to see both falls despite the closure infrastructure. It's just that good judgment would be required if the bridges weren't finished and it would also be required when crossing the streams. The same respect for the hazards here should also be observed when swimming at Haamaremare Rahi (I doubt Haamaremare Iti would be big or deep enough for swimming).




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PHOTO JOURNAL

Focused on just Haamaremare ItiFocused on just Haamaremare Iti
Focused on just Haamaremare RahiFocused on just Haamaremare Rahi
This was the Arohoho Blowhole, which was just beneath the old highway (it was still in use on our first visit in 2002, but bypassed by a tunnel on our next visit in 2012) walkable from the fallsThis was the Arohoho Blowhole, which was just beneath the old highway (it was still in use on our first visit in 2002, but bypassed by a tunnel on our next visit in 2012) walkable from the falls
On the way to the Faarumai Waterfalls, there was a short detour to the northern tip of Tahiti Nui at Point Venus, where there were calm inlets and black sand beaches suitable for playingOn the way to the Faarumai Waterfalls, there was a short detour to the northern tip of Tahiti Nui at Point Venus, where there were calm inlets and black sand beaches suitable for playing
Looking back at the arched bridge that I think crossed over the stream re-merging those from the two fallsLooking back at the arched bridge that I think crossed over the stream re-merging those from the two falls

Still closed at least since my first visit here 10 years ago?Still closed at least since my first visit here 10 years ago?

The trail beyond the short uphill past the closure tapesThe trail beyond the short uphill past the closure tapes

Trail still looked pretty well-developed and benign at this pointTrail still looked pretty well-developed and benign at this point

Trail briefly hugs the stream before climbing briefly againTrail briefly hugs the stream before climbing briefly again

The last bit of climbing was noticeably long but not too badThe last bit of climbing was noticeably long but not too bad

I could start to see both waterfalls as I approached Haamaremare ItiI could start to see both waterfalls as I approached Haamaremare Iti

The bridge leading to Haamaremare RahiThe bridge leading to Haamaremare Rahi

The unfinished bridge before the base of Haamaremare RahiThe unfinished bridge before the base of Haamaremare Rahi

Final clean look at Haamaremare RahiFinal clean look at Haamaremare Rahi

Final clean look at Haamaremare ItiFinal clean look at Haamaremare Iti


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VIDEOS OF THE FALLS


Triangular sweep panning downwards at Haamaremare Rahi then panning upwards at Haamaremare Iti


Right to left sweep starting with the unfinished bridge then panning up at the falls itself


The Arohoho Blowhole doing its thing


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DRIVING DIRECTIONS

These waterfalls share the same trailhead as that of Vaimahutu Falls. So see that page for directions.

The trail branches off from the Vaimahutu Falls trail to the left shortly after the arched bridge.

For context, the trailhead was about 25km east of the main part of Papeete or 36km east of Puna'auia (where we were staying).




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ITINERARIES

For more information about our itineraries involving this waterfall, check out the following links.




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MAP OF THE FALLS



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TRIP REPORTS

For more information about our experiences with this waterfall, check out the following travel stories.




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TRIP PLANNING RESOURCES




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NEARBY WATERFALLS




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