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NASA picture of Napuka Atoll
Napuka is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 14°10′12″S 141°13′52″W / 14.17000°S 141.23111°W / -14.17000; -141.23111
Archipelago Tuamotus
Area 18 km2 (6.9 sq mi)  (lagoon)
8 km² (above water)
Length 10.5 km (6.52 mi)
Width 4 km (2.5 mi)
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Tuamotus
Commune Napuka
Largest settlement Tepukamaruia
Population 299[1] (as of 2012)
Location of Napuka in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Location of Napuka in the Tuamotu Archipelago
Coordinates: 14°10′12″S 141°13′52″W / 14.17011°S 141.23106°W / -14.17011; -141.23106Coordinates: 14°10′12″S 141°13′52″W / 14.17011°S 141.23106°W / -14.17011; -141.23106
Country France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Area 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi)
Population (2012)1 360
 • Density 360/km2 (930/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 98730
1 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Napuka, or Pukaroa, is a small coral atoll in the Disappointment Islands, in the northeastern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago in French Polynesia. It is located only 15 km to the southeast of Tepoto Nord, its nearest neighbor, forming a small group. These two atolls are quite isolated, the nearest land being Fangatau Atoll 170 km to the south.

Napuka Atoll is 10.5 km long and about 4 km wide. Its reef is quite broad, completely enclosing the lagoon. The total dry land area of the thirty islands on Napuka's reef is 8 km². The surface of the lagoon is 18 km².

Napuka has 299 inhabitants according to the 2012 census. The main village is Tepukamaruia (Te Puka Maru Ia).


The first recorded European to reach Napuka Atoll was the British explorer John Byron, in 1765. He named Napuka and Tepoto "Disappointment Islands" because he found the natives to be of a hostile disposition toward him.

Napuka was visited by the historic United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842. This atoll was probably the one that Charles Wilkes called "Wytoohee" or "Wutoohee".

The airport on Napuka opened in 1977.


Napuka Atoll is the head of the commune of Napuka, which consists of the atolls of Napuka and Tepoto Nord.


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française. Retrieved 9 October 2014. 

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