French Polynesia (Polynésie française) is a set of islands that is an overseas country attached to France.
Located in the South Pacific Ocean, it is halfway between California and Australia.
Tahiti and her islands cover four million square kilometers of ocean which is the same area as the European Union. However the land above sea level accounts for some 7,000 square kilometers consisting of 118 islands, grouped into five archipelagoes (4 volcanic, 1 coral).
Makatea in French Polynesia is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean - the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Nauru.
Archipelagos of French Polynesia:
- Marquesas Islands - northeastern archipelago, a group of high islands near the equator, whose steep mountains are inhabited by wild horses, goats and pigs. Nuku Hiva and Hiva Oa are outstanding.
- Tuamotu Islands - vast central archipelago of coral reefs. It is a collection of low islands or atolls. Rangiroa is outstanding.
- Society Islands - most-inhabited western island group, a group of high tropical islands encircled by coral reefs and lagoons (divided administratively into Windward Islands and Leeward Islands). Among the Leeward Islands Bora Bora is outstanding, Huahine, Maupiti and Raiatea are especially remarkable, in the Windward Islands Moorea is outstanding and Tahiti with the capital Papeete is especially remarkable
- Austral Islands - small southern archipelagos (includes Tubuai Islands and Bass Islands. Last inhabited islands of the South Pacific, these ancient volcanoes with soft relief are far off the beaten track
- Gambier Islands - to the south-east, rarely visited, consisting of the high island of Mangareva and its fringe of islands which are the eroded remains of its former gigantic crater, is situated in the far eastern corner of French Polynesia.