Coordinates: 16°26′24.3″S 152°16′27.3″W / 16.440083°S 152.274250°W / -16.440083; -152.274250
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NASA aerial picture of Maupiti
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates16°26′24.3″S 152°16′27.3″W / 16.440083°S 152.274250°W / -16.440083; -152.274250
ArchipelagoSociety Islands
Major islandsMaupiti
Area11 km2 (4.2 sq mi)
Highest elevation380 m (1250 ft)
Overseas collectivityFrench Polynesia
Administrative subdivisionLeeward Islands
Pop. density109/km2 (282/sq mi)
Additional information

Maupiti is an island in the western Leeward Islands in French Polynesia. It is the westernmost volcanic island in the archipelago, 315 kilometres (196 miles) northwest of Tahiti and 40 kilometres (25 miles) west of Bora Bora. It has a population of 1,286 people.[1] The largest town is Vaiea.


Maupiti is a volcanic island, and lies on the Society hotspot. It is estimated to be 3.9 - 4.5 million years old.[2]: 4  The island is a "near atoll", consisting of a central volcanic peak surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef with four motu: Auira, Pa'ao, Tuanai, Tiapaa and Pitiahe.[2]: 3, 4  The lagoon has an area of 27 square kilometres (10 square miles) and the central island has an area of 12 square kilometres (4.6 square miles) and a maximum elevation of 372 metres (1,220 feet).[2]: 5 


There are ancient Polynesian archaeological artifacts dating from at least AD 850 in Maupiti. A burial site excavated in 1962 suggested early cultural links with New Zealand.[3]

The first European to arrive on the island was the Dutchman Jakob Roggeveen in 1722. Historically, the island has had strong cultural links with Bora Bora.


A Maupiti supply ship. The blue barrels on the dock are noni which is sent to Papeete for processing.

Maupiti Airport, located on the motu of Tuanai,[4] provides a connection to the rest of French Polynesia. The primary economic activity on Maupiti was noni production.[5]


Maupiti is administratively part of the commune (municipality) of Maupiti, itself in the administrative subdivision of the Leeward Islands. The main settlement is Vaiea.


  1. ^ "French Polynesia". City Population. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b c Kahn, J. G.; Dotte-Sarout, E.; Molle, G.; Conte, E. (2015). "Mid- to Late Prehistoric Landscape Change, Settlement Histories, and Agricultural Practices on Maupiti, Society Islands (Central Eastern Polynesia)". The Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology. 10 (3): 1–29. doi:10.1080/15564894.2014.1001922. S2CID 129352874. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  3. ^ Emory, Kenneth P.; Sinoto, Yosihiko H. (1964). "Eastern Polynesian Burials at Maupiti". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 73 (2): 143–160. Archived from the original on 11 February 2018. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Destination Maupiti : Infos clés & aéroport". Air Tahiti. Retrieved 10 August 2022.
  5. ^ "Maupiti – L'Économi en Berne Plombe le Heiva". La Dépêche de Tahiti (in French). 29 July 2016. Archived from the original on 4 August 2019.

External links[edit]

Media related to Maupiti (atoll) at Wikimedia Commons