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NASA image of Tureia Atoll.
NASA image of Tureia Atoll.
Location of Tureia in the Tuamotus
Location of Tureia in the Tuamotus
Coordinates: 20°46′16″S 138°33′53″W / 20.771228°S 138.564828°W / -20.771228; -138.564828Coordinates: 20°46′16″S 138°33′53″W / 20.771228°S 138.564828°W / -20.771228; -138.564828
Country France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
 • Land 8 km2 (3 sq mi)
Population (2012)
 • Population1 301
 • Population1 density 38/km2 (97/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 98755
1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Tureia (also called Papahena) is an atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia.

Tureia atoll is 15 km long and has a maximum width of 8 km. A very long island covers completely its eastern reef. The lagoon has no entrance.

The village of Hakamaru (or Fakamaru), population 261, is the only settlement on Tureia, at the northern tip of the atoll. Almost all of the arable land on Tureia is dedicated to growing coconuts. The population in this atoll has risen; in 1977 there were only 121 inhabitants.


The first recorded European to arrive to Tureia was Captain Edward Edwards in 1791, during his search for the Bounty mutineers. Edwards called the atoll "Carysfort", after John Proby, 1st Earl of Carysfort.

From 1966 to 1999, Tureia hosted an outpost of the Centre d'Expérimentation du Pacifique, the French authority supervising nuclear tests on the nearby atolls of Moruroa and Fangataufa, which lie about 70 miles/115 kilometres south of Tureia. There was also a weather station on Tureia during those years. Currently, both installations have been abandoned.

This atoll has a 3,000 feet (900 meters)-long airstrip (IATA: ZTAICAO: NTGY). Tureia Airport was inaugurated in 1985.


Administratively Tureia Atoll is the capital of the commune of Tureia, which includes the atolls of Fangataufa, Moruroa, Tematangi and Vanavana.

External links[edit]

Map of Tureia Atoll, Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia