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LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
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M-le-mot-dit: Location of Rapa Iti within Austral Islands; 14 April 2008

Little Rapa,"Rapa Iti" in Tahitian, is the largest inhabited island of the Bass Islands in French Polynesia. It should not be mistaken by for its elder sister "Easter Island", Rapa Nui (big Rapa), situated more to the west. Little Rapas main town, Ahurei (pronounced Ha'urei) is located on the south side of that bay.

Rapa's temperate climate is not warm enough for corals to grow, nor for coconut trees which are not to be seen on its shores and where the Australs' winter temperature in July and August can go down as low as 5°C.

The 521 inhabitants of Rapa are incredible fishers and hunters. They are also farmers. As owners, all holding common title to the island, they live mainly at Aore, which has a Mayor's office, a church, a post office, a school, an infirmary and a cooperative. Some families live over at Area, a very tiny village.

The only way from Rapa to the outside world is by catching the cargo boat Tuhaa Pae III which stops in Haurei Bay and operates every two to three weeks.

Entry permits are only granted for a very short period of time.



NASA: Rapa Iti; 2008

Southernmost island in the Austal Group, Rapa offers excellent exposure to SW swell trains transversing the Pacific. Difficult to reach but well worth the search, the passes and points of Rapa will reward the brave.

where to stay

H; Simple Tent; 21.06.2006

There are no hotels or resorts at Rapa or indeed any of the Austral Islands and accommodation choices are precious few. This is because this remote group of islands is off the conventional tourist track, a good place to go looking for unridden breaks then methinks!! However, although it is possible to arrange to a stay at a guest house or home stay on the main Austral Islands of Rurutu and Tubuai you'll be very hard pushed to find anywhere on Rapa itself, though I'm not saying it's impossible. Do a web search for 'accommodation Austral Islands' and you will be presented with a very small number of options to start looking for your digs.

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