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NASA picture of Apataki Atoll
Apataki is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 17°48′22″S 140°45′39″W / 17.80611°S 140.76083°W / -17.80611; -140.76083Coordinates: 17°48′22″S 140°45′39″W / 17.80611°S 140.76083°W / -17.80611; -140.76083
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 706 km2 (273 sq mi)  (lagoon)
20 km² (above water)
Length 34 km (21.1 mi)
Width 24 km (14.9 mi)
Overseas collectivity  French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Arutua
Largest city Niutahi
Population 350[1] (as of 2007)
Location of Apataki Atoll

Apataki[2] is a coral atoll in the South Pacific Ocean, territorially part of French Polynesia. It is one of the Palliser Islands, a subgroup of the Tuamotu Archipelago. Apataki is located approximately 370 kilometres northeast of the island of Tahiti, 17km east of Arutua and 24km northeast of Kaukura. The island is approximately rectangular; it is 34km long and 24km wide. It has a total area of approximately 706km2 with a land area of approx. 20km2. Its wide lagoon has two navigable passes to enter it.

As of 2012, Apataki Atoll has 350 inhabitants, down from 492 in 2007. The main village is called Niutahi.


The first recorded European to sight Apataki Atoll was Dutch navigator Jakob Roggeveen in 1722. It was visited by James Cook in 1774.

Apataki appears in some maps as "Hagemeister Island".

There is a territorial (domestic) airfield in Apataki which was inaugurated in 1977.


Administratively, Apataki Atoll is part of the commune of Arutua.

Images & Maps[edit]

Image Source: Landsat S-06-15_2000 (1:225,000) 
Map Source: EVS Precision Map (1:225,000) 
Image Source: ISS006-E-38475 


Apataki has an airport but no tourism industry. The only main industry of the island is cultured Tahitian (black) pearls. The coconut palm, which forms the basis for copra (dried coconut) production, used to be of special economic importance to the islanders. On a few islands, the residents cultivate vanilla. Agriculture is generally limited to simple subsistence. Pandanus leaves are traditionally woven together as roof thatch (although corrugated sheet metal is also used today), as well as for other items such as mats and hats.

Apataki's two large reef passes provide excellent diving and surfing, both of which are serviced by local boat-based charter companies. Land-based accommodations do not exist.


Fruit and vegetable staples include yams, taro, and breadfruit, as well as a wide range of tropical fruits.

Flora and fauna[edit]

The sparse soil of Apataki cannot sustain a great variety of vegetation.

The animal life on the islands consists mostly of seabirds, landcrabs, insects, and lizards. The underwater fauna, however, is rich and varied, making scuba diving a popular activity for tourists.


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known.". Journal of the Polynesian Society 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 

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