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Moorea island, Windward Islands, French Polynesia
Cook's Bay, Moorea island, Windward Islands, French Polynesia.
Image: Adam Reeder
Location map of French Polyneisa. Where in the world is French Polynesia
Location map of French Polyneisa

French Polynesia Flag
Flag of French Polynesia
Travel destination French Polynesia, five tropical archipelagoes in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, about 6,000 km east of Brisbane, Australia and 7,700 km west of Lima, Peru.

The group of 118 islands and atolls are geographically scattered over an area of more than 4,500 sq. km. They are an overseas collectivity of France with partial autonomy. French Polynesia includes the Society Islands, the Gambier Islands, the Tuamotu Archipelago (the largest chain of atolls in the world, with a lenghts of about 1,570 km), the Marquesas Islands, and the Austral Islands (Tubuai Islands and Bass Islands).

All islands together cover a total land area of 4,167 km², this is somewhat smaller than 2 times the size of Luxembourg, or slightly less than one-third the size of Connecticut. Highest point is Mont Orohena 2,241m on the island of Tahiti.

French Polynesia has a population of 270,000 inhabitants. Regional capital city is Papeete on Tahiti island. Spoken languages are French (official) Tahitian and other Polynesian languages.

Other Polynesian islands: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn, Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

French Polynesia | Territoire de la Polynésie Française

Country Profile

French Polynesia a collection of 118 islands covers a vast area of the southeastern Pacific Ocean, just about the size of Europe. Divided among five archipelagoes: the volcanic Society Islands, also called the islands under the wind (in the west) and the wind islands (in the east), with the well known island of Tahiti, the Tuamotu Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas Islands, and the coral Tubuai Islands (Austral Islands).
In the time of 1000 B.C. Southeast Asian immmigrants arrived in the Samoan islands and from there they settled the rest of Polynesia.
First sparsely contacts with Europeans began in the early 1700s, intensified with the arrival of English missionaries and traders in the 1830s.
After a few decades of Franco-British competitions, France establishes its protectorate in 1842.
Despite of modern influences the Polynesians could preserve the essential elements of their culture and in particular their language.


Official Name:
collectivité d'outre-mer de la République française
short form: Polynésie Française
int'l long form: Territory of French Polynesia
int'l short form: French Polynesia
former: French Colony of Oceania.

ISO Country Code: pf, PYF

Local Time = UTC -10h
Actual Time: Wed-May-22  20:34

Country Calling Code: +689

Capital City: Papeete on the island of Tahiti, Society Islands.

Type: parliamentary democratic dependency.
Overseas territory of France since 1946, it became a French overseas collectivity in 2003.
Chief of state: President of France

Location: Oceania, archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii and east of Australia.
Area: 4,167 km² (118 islands and atolls).
Terrain: Volcanic rugged high islands and low islands with coral reefs.

Climate: Tropical; dry season (May to October), rainy season (November to April).

Nationality: French Polynesian(s)
Population: 270,000 (2014)
Ethnic groups: Polynesian 78%, Chinese 12%, local French 6%, metropolitan French 4%
Religions: Protestant 54%, Roman Catholic 30%, other 10%, no religion 6%
Languages: Tahitian and French (official)
Literacy: 98%

Natural resources: Timber, fish, cobalt, pearls, hydropower.

Agriculture products: Coconuts, vanilla, vegetables, fruits; poultry, beef, dairy products, coffee.

Industries: Tourism, pearls, agricultural processing, handicrafts, phosphates.

Exports - commodities: cultured pearls, coconut products, mother-of-pearl, vanilla, shark meat

Exports - partners: Japan 35%, USA 24%, Hong Kong 17%, France 9.1%, China 4.2% (2014)

Imports - commodities: fuels, foodstuffs, machinery and equipment

Imports - partners: France 24%, South Korea 10%, China 9.6%, USA 9.3%, New Zealand 8.5%, Singapore 8.2%, Australia 4% (2014)

Currency: Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc (XPF)

Presidential Palace of French Polynesia in Papeete
Presidential Palace of French Polynesia in Papeete.
Image: Présidence PF

Political system
French Polynesia is since 2003 a French overseas collectivity (COM), an overseas country inside the Republic of France, meaning, that the local government has a degree of autonomy, but has no competence in justice, university education, security and defense.

Official Sites of French Polynesia

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Présidence du Gouvernement de la Polynésie Française
The Presidency of the French Polynesian Government (in French).

Diplomatic Missions
Directory of French representations abroad (in French)
List of French diplomatic missions around the world.
Foreign Embassies and Consulates in France
Address list of Diplomatic Missions accredited in France.

Institut de la Statistique de la Polynésie Française (ISPF)
Statistical Institute of French Polynesia.


Map of French Polynesia
Political map of French Polynesia.
Google Earth Google Earth French Polynesia
Searchable map and satellite view of French Polynesia.
Google Earth Google Earth French Papeete
Searchable map and satellite view of French Polynesia.

Map of Polynesia
Map of the countries in Polynesia, the island states in the eastern part of Oceania.
profile Map of Oceania and the Pacific Islands
Reference map of Australia/Oceania.



Tahiti and French Polynesia News

Tahiti Pacifique
Tahiti news magazine (in French).

Tahitian press agency.
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Paul Gauguin painting: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?
Paul Gauguin painted this picture in 1897, oil on canvas, 139 × 375 cm (55 × 148 in), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Image: Paul Gauguin

Arts & Culture

Pacific Islands Radio
Music from the South Pacific islands.

Polynesian Cultural Center
A portal to Polynesian culture.

Tahiti Tatou
Polynesian tattoos, designs, meaning and origins of tattooing in Polynesia.


Tahiti Pearl Regatta
A sailing festival for 4 days in Leeward Islands of French Polynesia.

Tahiti Pearl Regatta

Tahiti Pearl Regatta.
Tiki in Tohua valley on Hiva Oa of the Marquesas
Hidden Tiki statue in Taaoa Valley, Hiva Oa.
Image: American

Business & Economy

Service du Commerce Extérieur
External Commerce Service.
Foreign Trade Service of French Polynesia
General Federation of Trade


Air Tahiti
The principal domestic scheduled airline in Polynesia.
Air Tahiti Nui
Tahiti based South Pacific airline, serves the island groups of French Polynesia and offers flights to LA, Tokyo, Paris, direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand and connecting flights to Sydney, Australia.

_Maritime Shipping
Port autonome de Papeete - Le Port internationale de la Polynésie française
The International Harbour of French Polynesia.

Tahitian Brands
Pacifique Sud Cosmetique
Beauty product lines made in Tahiti, based on old traditions.

La perle de culture de Tahiti
Tahiti tourism office about Tahiti cultured pearls.


Bora Bora island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands
Bora Bora, an island in the Leeward group of the Society Islands.
Image: The TerraMar Project

Travel and Tour Consumer Information

Destination French Polynesia - Travel and Tour Guides

Discover French Polynesia: Tahiti, Society Islands, Bora Bora, Huahine, Taputapuatea, Raiatea, the Marquesas, vulcanos, coral reefs, beaches.
Island vacation.

Find accommodation, hotels, attractions, festivals, events, tourist boards, fishing, sailing, cruising, diving, tours and much more.

Tahiti Tourisme
Official site of the Office of tourism of Tahiti and its islands.

Tahiti Tourisme (North America)
North American site with information on the islands of French Polynesia: Tahiti, Rangiroa, Fakarava, Moorea, Nuku Hiva, Huahine, Manihi, Tikehau, Raiatea & Taha'a, Hiva Oa, and Bora Bora.

Bora Bora island
A guide to the famous island of Bora Bora.
Finding Tahiti
South Pacific explorer David Stanley's information on Tahiti.
l'excursion bleue
Small guide to the islands of Raiatea and Taha'a.
The first guide about Tahiti and her Islands designed by a Tahitian local style.

Marquesas Islands
Les îles Marquises
A portal to the islands of the Marquesas Archipelago: Fatu Iva, Hiva Oa, Nuku Hiva, Tahuata, Ua Huka and Ua Pou.
Hiva Oa, Comite de Tourisme
Information about the Marquesas provides the site of the committee of tourism of the island of Hiva Oa.

OCEANIA PROJECT French Polynesia
Another point of view on Tahiti and "French" Polynesia.

Ville de Papeete
Official visitors site of the French Polynesian Capital Papeete (in French).
Complete Guide to Tahiti and her Capital City, Papeete
Site with travel and tourism information for Tahiti and Papeete.

South Pacific
South Pacific Tourism Organisation
Inter-governmental body for the tourism sector in the South Pacific Islands, find information on: accommodation, activities, online bookings and news.

Travel advice
Travel advice for French Polynesia
Travel advice for French Polynesia by Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia.

UNESCO World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site Taputapuātea
Taputapuātea marae complex, a Polynesian political, ceremonial and funerary center.

Taputapuatea, Ra’iatea Island
Taputapuatea, Ra’iatea Island.
Image: © SCP - A. Wickel, GIE Océanide
Fakarava - Hirifa Beach
Fakarava - Hirifa Beach
Image: Julius Silver

French Polynesian Girls
Native girls with their traditional means of transportation
© Tahiti Tourisme

Tohua on the Marquesas
Tohua on the Marquesas, a traditional place for special events like dancing and feasting.
© Hiva Oa Comite de Tourisme

Island of Moorea
© Tahiti Tourisme


Université de la Polynesie Francaise
Founded in 1987, the French University of the Pacific has two university centers, one in New Caledonia, the other in French Polynesia.
Marea mit Tikis on Hiva Oa, Marquesas
Marea mit Tikis on Hiva Oa, Marquesas
Image: American

Environment & Nature

Société d'Ornithologie de Polynésie
The Ornithological Society of Polynesia "MANU" - Birds, habitats and biodiversity of French Polynesia.

South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
The Pacific region's major intergovernmental organisation charged with protecting and managing the environment and natural resources.


History - French Polynesia
Brief history of Polynesia and Polynesian culture and art.

The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS)
How Polynesian seafarers discovered and settled nearly every inhabitable island in the Pacific Ocean before European explorers arrived in the 16th century.

Sources and additional Information on French Polynesia:

BBC Country Profile: French Polynesia

OEC: French Polynesia

Wikipedia: French Polynesia

The World Factbook -- French Polynesia
 Support UNICEF

Other island territories and states in the South Pacific:
American Samoa | Fiji | Kiribati| New Caledonia | Papua New Guinea | Samoa
Solomon Islands | Tonga | Tuvalu | Vanuatu