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Tuha'a Pae, or Austral Islands
, are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific. Geographically, they consist of two separate archipelagos, namely in the northwest the Tupua'i islands
consisting of the Îles Maria, Rimatara, Rūrutu, Tupua'i Island proper and Ra'ivāvae, and in the southeast the Bass Islands
composed of the main island of Rapa Iti and the small Marotiri. Inhabitants of the islands are known for their pandanus fiber weaving skills. The islands of Maria and Marotiri are not suitable for sustained habitation. Several of the islands have uninhabited islets or rocks off their coastlines. Austral Islands' population is about 6,300 on almost 150 km2
. The capital of the Austral Islands administrative subdivision is Tupua'i.
The Tuha'a Pae or Austral Islands (French: Îles Australes or Archipel des Australes) are the southernmost group of islands in French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France in the South Pacific. Geographically, the Austral Islands consist of two separate archipelagos. From northwest to southeast they are:
- The Tupua'i Islands (French: Îles Tubuaï), named for one of the main islands. It consists of:
- Îles Maria (21°48′00″S 154°41′00″W / 21.80000°S 154.68333°W / -21.80000; -154.68333) in the northwest, part of Rimatara municipality
- Rimatara (22°38′25″S 152°50′16″W / 22.64028°S 152.83778°W / -22.64028; -152.83778),
- Rūrutu (22°29′04″S 151°20′03″W / 22.48444°S 151.33417°W / -22.48444; -151.33417),
- Tupua'i (23°23′00″S 149°27′00″W / 23.38333°S 149.45000°W / -23.38333; -149.45000),
- Ra'ivāvae (23°52′00″S 147°40′00″W / 23.86667°S 147.66667°W / -23.86667; -147.66667),
- The Bass Islands (French: Îles Bass) comprise:
- the main island of Rapa Iti (27°35′00″S 144°20′00″W / 27.58333°S 144.33333°W / -27.58333; -144.33333),
- the small Marotiri island (27°55′00″S 143°26′00″W / 27.91667°S 143.43333°W / -27.91667; -143.43333) in the southeast, part of Rapa municipality
The islands of Maria and Marotiri are not suitable for sustained habitation. Several of the islands have uninhabited islets or rocks off their coastlines.
The chain is associated with the Macdonald hotspot. The only active volcano is the Macdonald seamount (40m depth).
In administrative terms, the Austral Islands (including the Bass Islands) constitute an administrative subdivision, the Tuha'a Pae or Austral Islands (subdivision administrative des (Îles) Australes), one of French Polynesia's five administrative subdivisions (subdivision administratives). Geographically, the administrative subdivision of the Austral Islands is identical with the constituency of the Austral Islands (circonscription des Îles Australes), one of French Polynesia's six constituencies (circonscriptions électorales) for the Assembly of French Polynesia.
The capital of the Austral Islands administrative subdivision is Tupua'i.
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