Geography of French Polynesia – The Ultimate Free Guide 2021

Learn facts and Geography of French Polynesia including Major Geographical Features, Natural resources, Region, area, Capital, Border countries, rivers in French Polynesia.

  • French Polynesia is an overseas collectivity of France and its sole overseas country. It comprises 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls stretching over more than 2,000 kilometres in the South Pacific Ocean.
  • French Polynesia is divided into five groups of islands:
    1. The Society Islands archipelago, comprising the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands.
    2. The Tuamotu Archipelago.
    3. The Gambier Islands.
    4. The Marquesas Islands; and
    5. The Austral Islands.
  • Hundreds of years after the Great Polynesian Migration, European explorers began traveling through the region, visiting the islands of French Polynesia on several occasions.

Geography of French Polynesia

Geography of French Polynesia

Sovereign state:



4,167 km2 






3,521.2 km2

Geographical Coordinates:

17°34′S 149°36′W

World Region or Continent:


General Terrain:

There are 118 islands in French Polynesia (and many more islets or motus around atolls).The terrain consists of a mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs. It is made up of six archipelagos. The largest and most populated island is Tahiti, in the Society Islands.


The country has a tropical, but moderate climate.

Major cities:

  • Faaa
  • Papeete
  • Punaauia
  • Pirae
  • Mahina
  • Paea
  • Papao
  • Arue
  • Afaahiti
  • Vaitape
  • Otutara
  • Paopao

Major Land forms:

French Polynesia comprises 118 islands and atolls divided into five archipelagos: the Society Archipelago, Tuamotu Archipelago, Marquesas Islands, Austral Islands and Mangreva Islands. The Windward and Leeward Islands, collectively called the Society Archipelago, are mountainous with coastal plains.

Major Rivers and Lakes:

Major Rivers :

  • Papenoo River
  • Vaitepiha River
  • Fautaua Valley
  • Atitara River

Major Lakes:

  • Lake Vaihiria
  • lac vaihiria
  • Lake Fa’una Nui
  • Lake Tema’e
  • Lac Temae
  • Lake Roto Rahi

Natural Resources:

Timber, fish, cobalt, hydropower

Major Geographical Features:


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. The terrain consists of a mixture of rugged high islands and low islands with reefs. It is made up of six archipelagos.


South Pacific Ocean


  • Bora Bora
  • Mo’orea
  • Tahiti
  • Raiatea
  • Huahine-Iti
  • Taha’a
  • Fakarava Atoll
  • Rangiroa
  • Maupiti Island
  • Rurutu
  • Hiva Oa
  • Nuku Hiva

Mountain Ranges:

  • Mount ‘Orohena
  • Mount Ronui
  • Mount Tohivea
  • Tekao
  • Temetiu
  • pito iti
  • Meheti’a

See Also:

World Map



Naveed Tawargeri

Hi, I'm Naveed Tawargeri, and I'm the owner and creator of this blog. I'm a Software Developer with a passion for Programming.