Local time : 8:01 AM
Tahiti Tourisme Network :
As large as Europe
Tahiti & Her Islands span four million sq Km of ocean and cover an area as large as Europe. However, the land above sea level only account for some 4,000 km square consisting of 118 islands, grouped into five different archipelagoes: the Marquesas (to the north), The Society Islands and the Tuamotu (in the center), the Austral Islands (in the south) and the Gambiers (to the south-east).
Declared in 2004 as an "Overseas Country" attached to France, people often only knows of Tahiti the largest and most populated islands (over 1000 Km square with 127,000 inhabitants) and Bora Bora (in the Leeward Islands). Aside from these two populous islands, the rest remain largely a mystery to most people.
"Each island posesses its own unique personality"
However, they each possess their own unique personality, based on their location (5 degree to 10 degree South of the equator for the Marquesas and all the way to the Tropic of Capricorn for the Gambiers); and whether they consist of high volcanic islands (accounting for some 35 islands in the Society, Marquesas and Australs), or Coral atolls (the 83 islands of the Tuamotu and Gambier.
This vast spread of small islands seems even more mysterious because of its remote location far out in the Pacific Ocean. Tahiti and Her Islands are over 5,700 km from the nearest big land mass (Australia) - and alsmost at the Antipodes of Mainland France, some 17,000 km away! Sprinkled like a handful of stardust in space, Tahiti & Her Islands are easily characterized by their isolation. Most islands are only sparsely populated and forty of them remain uninhabited to this day.
This geographic isolation has always been a major attraction for tourists seeking the exotic and romantic allure of these unspoiled natural environments.