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Lagoon Island
Longitude Min 138 50 Latitude Min 18 35
Vahitahi Atoll is located in the eastern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, about 50 kilometres to the north of Nukutavake, and historically the most densely settled atoll in the eastern part of the archipelago.

250 hectares in area, Vahitahi is just under 5 kilometres from west and east, and 1½ kilometres from north to south. Apart from its southern side, where there is a low reef, the atoll has little vegetation.

It has a shallow lagoon with coral above sea level in many places and no entrance to the sea. It was this feature of the atoll that led to Cook naming it 'Lagoon Island'.

The first Europeans to see the atoll were the voyagers commanded by Louise-Antoine de Bougainville (1729-1811) in March 1768.

Today the atoll has around 70 inhabitants and is part of the Commune of Nukutavake in the Tuamou-Gambier administrative subdivision of French Polynesia.


Created: 14 April 2004

Published by South Seas, 1 February 2004
Comments, questions, corrections and additions: Paul.Turnbull@jcu.edu.au
Prepared by: Paul Turnbull
Updated: 28 June 2004
To cite this page use: http://nla.gov.au/nla.cs-ss-biogs-P000330

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