Since their first installations in 2007, the gardens of Vaipahi are a magnificent park open daily to the public.
At the entrance, greet the sellers of fruits and vegetables before embarking on the hiking trails.
The site is recognizable among all: from the entrance a red sign in the form of a sail recalling those of the traditional canoes invites you to visit the water gardens of Vaipahi.
Located on the mountain side at PK49, in Mataiea, on the west side, this site offers visitors in the lower part the opportunity to observe, in a landscaped and fresh area, many botanical species and water plants while discovering the remains Of the past and the legend of the places. In the upper part, each one, from the smallest to the largest, can indulge in the pleasure of hiking in unspoilt and wild nature. The place, open daily and accessible free of charge, required new developments. These last started last July to secure the trails, build bridges and offer new rest areas.
3 hiking itineraries
Because the Vaipahi water gardens are also the starting point of a hike. The path begins before the first waterfall, practically in the middle of the garden. The beginning of the trail is rather steep, but although it is the most physical part of the hike, the tracking in laces facilitates the progress. The rest of the course is, on the other hand, very easy and adapts perfectly to a family walk. However, it is necessary to follow the indications and markings for the progression, to respect the basic rules of prudence and of course, to move at its own pace.
Three routes are possible. The average mouth with a course of 2736m for a course of 2736m for a walk of about 1h15. The large loop and its course of 5125 m for a walk of about 1 hour. However, the latter is for the moment closed because of the mountain and will benefit from the shade of the pines that clothe the forest. Two picnic areas are set up to enjoy sublime views of the lagoon and the pass.
The garden trail, which leads to a waterfall about 20 meters high, called Vaipahi, meanders between different specimens of the local flora, scattered in massifs around streams and ponds and springs of fresh and clear waters gushing from Earth. Well-documented signage identifies tabu wood. Makatea palm tree, elephant ears, pagoda tree or Burma pride
A sacred site The site of Vaipahi, was in ancient times, a site of religious importance because of the presence of sources to purifying actions. In the past, the spirits of the deceased of the Teva clan took this "path of purification of souls" in the course of their quest for paradise.
These souls were thus taken to the high priestess of death, Te'ura-i-Hamano, in spiritual waters, transcendent and saving. The powerful breath of the gushing waters of the Vaipahi cascade detached souls from the defilements that stuck to their skin. Having successfully completed an imposed ritual, they obtained the eternal rest offered in the garden of delights of the Rohotu-No'ano'a, paradise of the ma'ohi people.
The seafront is independent of the gardens on the mountain side and has been fitted out so that everyone can stop there. Several picnic tables are available for a family lunch during a tour of the island for example. This part of the site also offers the possibility of taking a tour on the lagoon with a rental of kayaks, paddles, pedal boats or sailing canoes.
Good to know :
Entrance to the gardens is free.
The site is open from 7 am to 5 pm every day.