Paul Gauguin lived in a bamboo hut (long-since gone) on the banks of the Vaihiria River in Mataiea between 1891 and 1893. A museum in his honor is located in nearby Papeari (PK51.2). Two decades later the English poet Rupert Brooke arrived in the town, fell in love with the local chief's daughter, wrote some of his best work, but returned to England after WWI broke out in 1914, after only a three-month sojourn in Tahiti. Mataiea has a calm, black-sand beach and a pleasant
white chapel, Eglise Jean-Baptiste, built in 1931.