Îlots des Apôtres

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Îlots des Apôtres
Nickname: Apostle Islets
Ilots des Apotres - Landsat 7.jpg
Satellite Image of Îlots des Apôtres (NASA - Landsat)
Coordinates 45°58′S 50°27′E / 45.967°S 50.450°E / -45.967; 50.450
Area 2.011 km2 (0.776 sq mi)
Highest elevation 289 m (948 ft)
Highest point Mont Pierre
Population Uninhabited

The Îlots des Apôtres or Îles des Apôtres (English: Apostle Islets or Islands) are a group of small and uninhabited rocky islands in the north-western part of the Crozet Archipelago in the southern Indian Ocean, 10 km (6.2 mi) north of Île aux Cochons. Their total area is about 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi).


There are two larger islands (Île Grande - Big Island, and Île Petite - Little Island), together occupying almost 90 percent of the area. The highest peak is Mont Pierre (289 m or 948 ft on Île Grande. In addition, there are about 20 rocks, with elevations between 15 and 122 meters (49 and 400 ft). The islands are very steep. Despite their small size, Île Grande reaches a height of 289 m (948 ft), and Île Petite 246 m (807 ft).


On the night of 1 July 1875, the Strathmore, a three-masted ship sailing between the United Kingdom and New Zealand, was wrecked in the vicinity after striking a reef. Of the 89 passengers on board, 44 survived on Île Grande until 21 January 1876, when they were rescued by another ship.[1]

Important Bird Area[edit]

The islets have been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by BirdLife International as a breeding site for seabirds, with at least 25 species nesting there. The birds include wandering, grey-headed, light-mantled, sooty, black-browed and Indian yellow-nosed albatrosses, great-winged, soft-plumaged, white-chinned and blue petrels, medium-billed prions, northern giant petrels, common diving petrels, Crozet blue-eyed shags and Kerguelen terns.[2]

The islets[edit]

# Island or Rock (English) Area
1 Rocher Nord (Northern Rock) 6.0
2 L’Enclume (The Anvil) 1.5
3 Grande Île (Big Island) 150.0
4 Le Clown (The Clown) 0.4
5 La Sentinelle perdue (The Lost Sentinel) 0.2
6 Les Jumeaux (The Twins) 0.5
7 Rocher Fendu (Split Rock) 3.0
8 Petite Île (Little Island) 30.0
9 Les Sentinelles du Diable (The Devil's Sentinels) 1.0
10 La Grande Aiguille (Big Needle) 1.0
11 La Petite Aiguille (Little Needle) 0.2
12 Le Hangar (The Hangar) 1.5
13 Le Donjon (The Keep) 2.5
14 (unnamed rock) < 0.1
15 Rocher Sud (Southern Rock) 1.5
16 Le Torpilleur (The Destroyer) 0.1
17 Le Caillou (The Stone) 0.4
18 L'Obélisque (The Obelisk) 0.3
19 Rocher Percé (Bored Rock) 1.0
Îlots des Apôtres (Apostle Islets) 201.1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ian Church, William Lesquin, John Nunn, Le naufrage du Strathmore en 1875 in Trois naufrages pour trois îles, Terres australes françaises au XIXème siècle, Éditions de La Dyle (1998), ISBN 90-801124-9-6
  2. ^ BirdLife International. (2012). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Îles des Apôtres. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 2012-01-09.

also see "This barren rock", by Silvie Haisman. ISBN 978-0-7333-2555-7, also a radio play on the ABC National radio - tell me a shipwreck

External links[edit]