Hakatea Bay also known as “Daniel’s Bay” is just around the corner from the main village of Taihoe in Nuku Hiva. But it might as well be another island as it is so different. There are about 10-12 people that live in this little piece of paradise. A small white sandy beach is surrounded by towering mountains that glitter in the sun. It was so hard to capture on camera, but the trees were truly golden against the deep black crevices of the hillside.
The top photo is of one side of the bay, the center is the golden hillside and the bottom is the actual palm tree lined beach where the locals live.
There is no dinghy landing so we had to get creative with “Sweetie.” The first time we went to shore we dragged her on the beach. Always a challenge as she is heavy and has a 25hp outboard on the stern which makes it even more difficult. We had Wayne and a fender which helped. Basically, we slipped the round fender under the dinghy and rolled it under Sweetie to get her up the sand dune.
Beauty of Daniel’s Bay
We were blown away by how unique and beautiful this village is. Tropical flowers, plants and trees line the single dirt road from the beach to each house. Tons and tons of fruit trees are all around, pomplemouse, avocado, mango, lemon, breadfruit, noni and more.
There is a freshwater stream that runs along the “town” that enables them to bring their boats in during high tide. A super small, but efficient church, a cemetery on the hillside and very practical homes.
Each home had a sign indicating the address of the inhabitant. Either carved in stone or etched in a piece of wood.
Daniel’s Bay (Hakatea Bay) is known for the tallest waterfall in French Polynesia. The locals told us that the falls would be “dry” because it is summertime. However, it is still a pretty nature walk so we forged ahead. The trail continued down the main dirt road lined with beautiful and colorful flora and fauna. At one point, it looked like it was covered in snow from the pods that fell and littered the walkway with white fuzz.
The road turned into forest and became more of a small path. Lots of rocks, boulders and ruins could be found here. You could certainly find remnants of an old village which was fascinating.
After 1.5 hours we arrived at the “waterfall” or what I like to call a “trickle fall” since there was truly very little water coming down the mountain. It sure was pretty and we could imagine how breathtaking it was.
At the bottom of the “falls” is a fresh water pool, but it was stagnant and not too appealing. However, when you turned your back to the falls you were surrounded by lush greenery and mountains.
Hike to Waterfall in Hakaui was 6 miles, 15,838 steps and up 14 floors. A good workout.
Lunch Local Style
On the way to the waterfall, we ran into Kua and Tieki who are known for their tasty cuisine. We told them we would be back for lunch around noon. Matt and Wayne are part goat and practically ran up and back from the falls. We finished the hike in just over 3 hours so we had time to kill before lunch.
When we arrived, two other cruisers were seated under the awning and little table was set up in their garden for Matt, Wayne and I. It so pretty to be in the middle of the fruit trees, flowers and plants. They grilled lobster for me and goat for the boys. It was pretty darn tasty and not bad for a total of $40.
We needed to walk off our large lunch so we took the dinghy to a neighboring beach. We found lots of crabs and had fun playing with a rather large one and a stick. The poor thing must have been traumatized because he hid in my footprint after we left.
To our great surprise, our neighbors from Ua Pou, Peneque showed up and anchored next to us. They were the super nice French people who heled us out and never squawked at us for bumping fenders for 3 weeks during the festival.