French Polynesia#

Report by H. Maurer mainly based on pictures by H. Horizonte and added with a few personal experiences and information from books.

French Polynesia is an overseas part of the French Republic. It is consists of almot 200 dispersed islands and atolls (only 67 are inhabited) in an area of some 2.000 km radius, with just a total land area of 4.200 square kilometres. Much of the water area inbetween is indeed international area outside the jurisdiction of France.

French Polynesia consists of five groups of islands: the Society Islands Archipelago, composed of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; the Tuamotu Archipelago; the Gambier Islands; the Marquesas Islands and the Austral Islands.

Tahiti is the most populous island. Its main town Papeete is the seat of the capital of the "collectivity of Tahiti".

Here is a summary of the most important islands.

  • Note: Links shown in bold lead to substantial verfiedied entries. Other links lead to external information, that has not been verified in detail.

Society islands - the by far largest (population wise) group#

Winward islands#

Leeward islands#

Tuamotu Archipelago - a chain of almost 80 islands and atolls. #

It is the largest chain of atolls anywhere but has only a total area of 850 square kilomeres. The main islands are:

Gambier Islands#

A small (30 square kilometers) group of island, many of volcanic origin or small atolls. The most important island is Mangarewa island already far to the East i.e. direction Pitcairn.

Marquesas #

A group of volcanic islands close to the equator (just 9° S). Some of them are:

Austral Islands#

They are the southermost group of French Polynesia. In addition to some isolaed unihabitalbel rocks and volcanic phenoman the main grousp of islands are the