Nuku Hiva - General Info

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This is the largest island and the capital of the Marquesas. Taiohae the capital is a popular spot for yachts to clear in as the harbour has a dock.  There are many great bays and landscapes.

Cruiser Highlights:

Facilities include fuel, a fresh market, 4G internet, hospital, post office, bank, some restaurants and various shops. There is also a very big tiki (Tuhiva) built on a hill at the edge of the bay, which is a nice meeting place with a beautiful view of the village and the bay.

There is a radio net on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30am on VHF Channel 68 hosted by Kevin from Nuku Hiva Yacht Services or April and Cain on the British sailing yacht Spirit of Argo.

If you happen to be here when a cruise ship visits, don’t miss the welcome program at the Arts Center and Tourism Office where you will be greeted by musicians and dancers. 

Entrance Notes and Cautions:

There is a defined – No Anchoring Zone – in the northern part of the bay.  There are penalties for anchoring here.  Reports about tensions between the yachting community and local residents have been confirmed as indeed correct.  A small minority of residents are reported to be quite vocal about not wanting many sailors around but the rest of the population who benefit (whether directly or indirectly) are not vocal enough according to a recent cruiser report. 


08°56.28’S, 140°06.12’W (entrance to the Taiohae Bay)

Last updated:  October 2022

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Nuku Hiva was last updated 5 months ago.

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  1. July 10, 2019 at 9:18 PM
    mariawadsworth says:

    Controller Bay – Hooumi Bay

    There is a small village with a shop that you can walk to from both bays. It’s nearer to the main bay than Hooumi. There is recycling in Hooumi Bay where you will need to beach your dinghy. There are two fresh water pipes. We walked from here to a waterfall, it was a 20k round trip but well worth it and a better water fall than at Daniel’s Bay.

  2. July 10, 2019 at 9:05 PM
    mariawadsworth says:

    Taioa ( known as Daniels Bay)

    We anchored here and it was still quite rolly. We anchored in sand.

    Part of the beach is rocky so we beached the dinghy near to the mooring buoys used for local boats. A man came over and explained that if we were going to walk to the waterfall then we needed to pull the dinghy right up to the grass because the tide would take the dinghy out later, he then helped us pull it up the beach. We think this may have been Daniels son.

    The path to the waterfall is on the left side of the bay ( looking towards the beach ) , if the tide is in you need to walk in the sea over the rocks to reach it. We had to do this when we came back from the walk. From here it took us 2 1/2 hours to get to the waterfall and my husband walks fast. You should wear walking shoes or trainers that you can wear in the water. This is because of the 3 small rivers that you need to cross. At the second river people have left walking sticks to use to help you across the river.
    Make sure you wear mosquito repellent as there are many mosquitoes on this trail.

    We were stopped by Koa just after the first river crossing. This is the lady who runs a restaurant in her home, she offered lunch on our way back from the waterfall. Telling us that it was a 2 hour walk. She speaks some English and is a lovely lady.

    We were stopped again ( just after the telephone box) by a lady who you need pay 1000 francs pp to go on the trail . They did seem to maintain the trail and she also gave us two Pamplemousse to take with us. Take a knife with you to cut them open!
    So 4 1/2 hours later we arrived back at her house for our “lunch”. ( around 15.30) .
    If you’re not a walker then this seems quite long but definitely worth doing. Although we were told by other cruisers who went after us that there was a dead goat in the waterfall and it had attracted many flies.

    No rubbish disposal here.

  3. July 10, 2019 at 9:00 PM
    mariawadsworth says:

    Taiohae Bay

    This is the main town. Even though the Gendarmerie is open morning and afternoon, they will only process yacht clearance in the morning before 11am, Monday to Friday. NB This is different to the Office in Hiva-Oa, although they have the same opening times, Hiva Oa process yacht clearance anytime, even Saturday. Even though we were told in Hiva-Oa that we must show our papers here this is definitely no longer a requirement as we tried to but they really weren’t interested.
    The anchorage is huge. We didn’t roll too much at first and we didn’t put out a stern anchor. We anchored near to the shore in 8 metres. On our second visit here after 10 days away it was very rolly. The dinghy dock or the stone wall, can be a bit of a lottery if the swell is bad. Two dinghies suffered damage when their outboards banged against the gendarmerie boat which is moored here but is only used once a month.

    Yacht Services on the quay provide laundry service at 1500f and they will refill your (small) gas for 2000f, if you need diesel in cans or petrol they will drive you around to the petrol station for 1000f . Car hire is also available here but Kevin ( the owner) likes you to stick to the main roads. You can pay for WiFi , the password is changed each day. Kevin will also help with delivery of spare parts etc . Yacht services are not open on Saturday or Sunday and it says they close at 3pm during the week but we found they were open later than that.
    There is also a book swop here.

    A road Island trip for 2 people cost us 15000 F. But that was the lowest the driver would take because they usually charge 6500F each for 4 people. We booked our trip through the Tourist Information office. If you go on the tour then take mosquito repellent. The no no flies are terrible and it took four weeks for my bites to go.

    Most cafes have WiFi, all the speeds vary and it doesn’t seem to matter how many people are using it. Passwords are usually changed daily. The Pizza restaurant WiFi is good ( at times) and we sat outside when it was closed and had “super fast” internet, they don’t change the password everyday. There is car hire available here too.

    There are 4 supermarkets here, prices are all very similar.
    If there is no bread left in the supermarkets then you can walk to the bakery and they always have baguettes. They maybe frozen but there doesn’t seem to be any difference in taste once defrosted.

    Recycling bins for glass, plastic, aluminium cans, other plastic , tins , batteries ( big and small , oil . They ask that you wash your recycling. The recycling bins are just past the tourist information office across the road in the large car park.
    Everything else ( including paper and cardboard) goes to landfill.

    There is a fruit market open nearly all day, although the best produce gets taken very early. If they don’t have something you want then ask and they can get it for you for the next day. E.g Capsicum Peppers, courgettes

    The hardware store is past the second supermarket up the main road, keep walking until you come to a bus stop then it’s turn left over the small bridge and walk for a minute or 2 and it’s on your left.

    There are toilets at the tourist office -100 francs to use or use the cafe toilets , the same price but free if you buy a drink there.

    Bringing alcohol, tobacco etc into French Polynesia , you can bring as much as you like but you must declare it on your clearance form.

    There is a cruisers net which runs each day at 8am, start on ch 72 and they usually moves to 68.

  4. March 27, 2019 at 1:50 AM
    Lynda Lim says:

    I just wanted to put a good word in about Yacht Setrvices Nuku-hiva, Kevin has gone out of the way more times than I can count to assist us with so many things. He is kind and generous of his time in a way that is often somewhat selfless. I am so glad that he is on Nuku Hiva.

  5. August 23, 2018 at 8:21 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    lderamus says:

    Aug 20, 2018 11:42 PM
    Highly recommend making landfall in Nuku Hiva instead of Hiva Oa. Much better anchorage and dinghy dock in Nuku Hiva, shops, fruit and veggie market, and small restaurant right near the dock.

    Kevin and his lovely wife at YACHT SERVICES in Nuku Hiva are absolutely fabulous!! Their services are worth every penny and more. They help with check-in, paperwork and pretty much anything you need.

  6. October 16, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Response from Nuku Hiva Yacht Services:

    We are aware that this gentleman is not happy. However, I am a middle man between the marine stores on the island of Tahiti and the customer. The customer wants his sales tax refunded. Well, the marine store has not followed through in processing the paperwork, which has to be done by a freight forwarder, to get permission from the Custom’s officials to refund his VAT.

    I have tried and tried with no luck. I did not promise him he would get his TVA back. But they said he would and I passed on the message. This is the way things are in 2nd & 3rd world countries like here.

    We regret that we were not able to meet his expectations and have changed our policy when doing this type of transactions.

    Sincerely Kevin

  7. October 16, 2017 at 8:20 AM
    Data Entry5 says:

    Reported by Ulrich Kramer:

    I bought a new expensive Dinghy from Kevin at Nuka Hiva Yacht Services because he assured me that he would do the paperwork for the payback of the tax and that I would get the tax back for sure.

    I left French Polynesia, took the Dinghy out, Kevin had all the documents but never transferred the tax refund of more then €500 to me, what he had promised to do. He does not answer mails anymore. So, if you deal with him, be prudent if he promises you any tax refund…

    Uli Kramer
    SY Destiny