About Haamaremare Iti and Haamaremare Rahi Waterfalls
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.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).
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.
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