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Encyclopedia > Austral Islands

The Austral Islands are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, sometimes also called the "Tubuai Islands", after one of the main islands. They progress from the uninhabited Îles Maria at 155°W-21°40'S in the northwest to the small island of Marotiri, at 144°22'W-27°41'S in the southeast. Several of the islands have uninhabited small islets or rocks off their coastlines. The main islands, from northwest to southeast are, Îles Maria, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai, Raevavae, Rapa and Marotiri, of which Îles Maria and Marotiri are uninhabited (and not capable of sustaining permanent habitation). Marotiri is a common placename in Polynesia. ... Tubuai is an island of the Pacific Ocean, in the Austral Islands, a part of French Polynesia. ... Rapa or Rapa Iti as it is sometimes called in more recent years (to distinguish it from Rapa Nui, one name for Easter Island), is the largest of the Bass Islands. ...

Note that Rapa and Marotiri are technically not part of the Austral Islands, and are included only for matters of political and geographical expediency. They are actually more accurately a separate group, the Bass Islands. The Bass Islands (French: Îles du Bass) consist primarily of Rapa and Marotiri. ...



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