Total duration (RT): 2h
Total distance (RT): 5.5km
Positive elevation: 280m
Trail by the river and forest trails very well marked and maintained.
Fords secured by ropes on the river trail.
The Water gardens of Vaipahi are located on the mountain side between Mataiea and Papeari, at PK49 on the west coast of Tahiti.
This site, which is a sacred place because of its purifying sources, offers a nice walk in the botanical gardens on the lower part,
but also two hiking loops as well as a path to go up the river.
The indicated track offers an alternative trail that combines parts of the two official loops.
Start by taking the garden path to see the Vaipahi waterfall and to enjoy the various plant specimens in the botanical garden.
Come back on the trail that goes up then take the river trail. This pleasant little path winds its way up the stream. Some river crossings are well signposted and secured with ropes. Go up the stream and enjoy the multiple basins and waterfalls along the path.
After about 1km, you reach the end of the small loop. Take the trail to the western part of the big loop.
You arrive at a wide, clear track, in the shade of the pines. Continue to smoothly ascent on this trail. Less than 2km later, you arrive at the highest point (about 300m) which offers a nice point of view.
Go back down, continuing to follow the track. Leave the path of the small loop on your right then, a few minutes later, take the small path on your left to access a pleasant picnic area offering a superb panorama over the peninsula and the Rautirare pass.
Come back on the main track, and go back down to the botanical garden.