Gambier Showcase with Wayne Part II

In our last blog we start to showcase Gambier with our dear friend Wayne.  We tour around Totegegie, Puaumu, Taravai, Tauna, and Akamaru.  Did you miss it, check it out!


We pop in and out of Mangareva (the main town) a few times.  It is the main anchorage for the one and only town in Gambier (where the stores, police, few eateries, medical clinic and post office is located).  Each time we swing in we try to do a walk or hike.

We ease Wayne into our first walk right after a big lunch at Jojo’s.  We had flip flops, no water, and were ill prepared.  But we went anyway.  It is a pretty flat walk (until the end) and for the most part on a road.  The walk takes us to the Look out Point / Queen’s Throne at Pointe Mataiutea.  This hike was not difficult or challenging except that it was far and we were ill prepared.  Stats:  17k steps, 7.6 miles, 7 floors.

Queen's Throne

Queen’s Throne

The next day we do the ridge line trail.  We do the majority of the ascension on a paved street, then cut across to the ridge and do a series of up, down, up, down.  Some using climbing ropes, some rocks, but most over pine needles making it pretty darn slippery.  Just as we were nice and sweaty and stinky, we got a massive rain shower.  Free laundry services while you hike.  This hike was not that far, but it was strenuous with the many ups and downs (51 floors).  Stats: 7,200 steps, 2.8 miles, 51 floors climbed. 

Check out the birds (lower left photo) checking me out!

Hike of the Highlights

On the “highlight” hike we hit the weather station (Meteo France), the Convent (Convent de Rouru), the Princess bath (baignoire de princesse), and the 12 Apostle trail.  On the way up the hill we have several beautiful views.  The photo below shows the half way view of the anchorage (top), Mt Duff (with Wayne), and the view from the top.

The first stop is the Convent de Rouru.  We’ve been here several times and it always amazes me how vast the property is.  There are 3 or 4 old ruins that used to be buildings or facilities.  None with roofs. Some of the old brick walls still have the cross visible (middle top photo).

If you continue to walk behind the convent you will find the princess bath (Baignoire de Princesse). It looks like it could have been beautiful at one point, but now it is overgrown and the water inside really gross. (Bottom right two photos in above photo)

Next, we come to the weather station, Meteo France.  As you might recall we came here to see the weather balloon fly away.

Meteo France

Meteo France

We finally make it to the 12 Apostles hike which takes you down by the water and then back up to the road.  It is a really pretty hike through the forest, over the dried leaves and pine needles and next to the water.

One day hike was a good one!  This hike was sort of the middle ground in that it was not too strenuous (only 30 floors elevation) and not too far (only 5.6 miles).  Stats: 15,301 steps, 5.8 miles, 30 floors.


Aukena is located directly across from Mangareva and has a population of less than 100 people.  It is a small island that is only accessible by boat.  At the corner of the island is a small, broken down lighthouse.  The build of the lighthouse is unknown.  The focal plane was 18m to alert the locals of danger.

We head to shore and discover a beautiful small church that is still in use.  Along the path, heading toward the lighthouse we come across several ruins, an old seminary (middle photo), and an outdoor oven (lower right corner).

About a half a mile down along the coast we finally come to the beautiful lighthouse situated on the tip of Aukena.  It has beautiful views of Mangareva.  The photos below are from each window facing different directions.

On the way back we encounter a few of the local pigs.  They startled the heck out of us as they blend into their surroundings.

Time to Leave

It’s been 18 days and Wayne needed to head back so we bring him back to Totegegie for his last day.  We were able to show him 11 anchorages on 9 different islands!  It was a lovely time spent with great company!

Beautiful sunset to end a spectacular trip with Wayne

Part I of Gambier Showcase with Wayne can be found on our last blog.  Events from this blog post occurred in February.  Our blog posts run 10-12 weeks behind our adventures.

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1 thought on “Gambier Showcase with Wayne Part II

  1. Rowan

    Hi Matt and Christine, we are on a Catana 53, heading to the Gambiers next year, and wondering whether they would be a viable place to stay for cyclone season…any thoughts?

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