Rimatara is the westernmost inhabited island in the Austral Islands of French Polynesia. It is located 550 km (340 mi) south of Tahiti and 150 km (93 mi) west of Rurutu. The land area of Rimatara is 8.6 km2 (3.3 sq mi), and that of the Maria islets is 1.3 km2 (0.50 sq mi).[1] Its highest point is 106 m (348 ft).[1] Its population was 872 at the 2017 census.[2]

NASA picture of Rimatara Island
LocationPacific Ocean
Coordinates22°39′0″S 152°49′12″W
Area8.6 km2 (3.3 sq mi)
Highest elevation106 m (348 ft)
Highest pointMount Uahu
Largest settlementAmaru

Rimatara is a circular volcanic plateau surrounded by a reef with a height of 8 to 10 m (26 to 33 ft). The main villages are Amaru (the capital), Anapoto and Mutuaura.

Rimatara was one of the last Polynesian islands to receive European visitors. Captain Samuel Pinder Henry discovered the island in 1811. Two Tahitian missionaries from Bora Bora arrived in 1822 and established a Protestant mission. France established a protectorate in 1889[3] and annexed Rimatara in 1901.[4][5]

Notable people

  • Tamaeva IV, queen of Rimatara
  • Tamaeva V, queen of Rimatara


Location of Rimatara
Coordinates: 22°39′S 152°49′W
Overseas collectivityFrench Polynesia
SubdivisionAustral Islands
  Mayor (20202026) Artigas Hatitio[6]
9.9 km2 (3.8 sq mi)
  Density88/km2 (230/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC−10:00
INSEE/Postal code
98743 /98752
Elevation0–106 m (0–348 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

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

  • Amaru
  • Anapoto
  • Mutuaura


  1. Environnement marin des îles Australes, p. 205
  2. Répartition de la population en Polynésie française en 2017, Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française
  3. Annuaire des établissements français de l'Océanie pour 1892. Imp. du gouvenement. 1892. pp. 112.
  4. Ch Mourey, Louis Brunel, ed. (1902). "Annexion de l'île Rurutu et dépendances". L'Année Coloniale. Vol. 3. C. Tallandier. p. 232.
  5. Great Britain, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ed. (1904). British and Foreign State Papers, Volume 94. Harrison and Sons, London. pp. 1304–1305.
  6. "Répertoire national des élus: les maires" (in French). data.gouv.fr, Plateforme ouverte des données publiques françaises. 13 September 2022.

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