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NASA picture of Rimatara Island
Rimatara is located in French Polynesia
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 22°39′0″S 152°49′12″W / 22.65000°S 152.82000°W / -22.65000; -152.82000
Archipelago Australes
Area 8.6 km2 (3.3 sq mi)
Highest elevation 83 m (272 ft)
Highest point Mount Uahu
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
Administrative subdivision Australes
Commune Rimatara
Largest settlement Amaru
Population 873[1] (as of 2012)
Density 102 /km2 (264 /sq mi)

Rimatara is the westernmost inhabited island in the Austral Islands of French Polynesia. It has a total surface area of 8.6 km2 (3.3 sq mi) and at the 2007 census had a population of 786. It is located 550 km (340 mi) south of Tahiti and 150 km (93 mi) west of Rurutu. The commune of Rimatara includes the small and uninhabited Maria Islands.

Rimatara is a circular volcanic plateau surrounded by a reef with a height of 8 to 10 meters (26 to 32 feet). The highest point, at the peak of Mount Uhau, is 83 meters (272 feet). The main villages are Amaru (the capital), Anapoto and Mutuaura.

Rimatara was one of the last Polynesia islands to welcome European visitors. Captain Samuel Pinder Henry discovered the island in 1821. Two missionaries arrived in 1822 and established a Protestant mission. France established a protectorate in 1889[2] and annexed Rimatara in 1900.[3][4]


Flag of Rimatara
Austral isl Rimatara.PNG
Coordinates: 22°39′S 152°49′W / 22.65°S 152.82°W / -22.65; -152.82Coordinates: 22°39′S 152°49′W / 22.65°S 152.82°W / -22.65; -152.82
Country France
Overseas collectivity French Polynesia
 • Mayor Georges Hatitio
Area1 9.13 km2 (3.53 sq mi)
Population (2012)2 873
 • Density 96/km2 (250/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 98743 / 98752
Elevation 0–83 m (0–272 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

The commune of Rimatara consists of the island of Rimatara, and the Maria Islets (Îlots Maria). Rimatara consists of the following associated communes:


  1. ^ "Population". Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française (in French). Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Annuaire des établissements français de l'Océanie pour 1892. Imp. du gouvenement. 1892. p. 112. 
  3. ^ Ch Mourey, Louis Brunel, ed. (1902). "Annexion de l'île Rurutu et dépendances". L'Année Coloniale 3. C. Tallandier. p. 232. 
  4. ^ Great Britain, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ed. (1904). British and Foreign State Papers, Volume 94. Harrison and Sons, London. pp. 1304–1305. 

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