Mangareva, Gambier Islands, French Polynesia
Mangareva is the central and main island of the Gambier Islands in French Polynesia. It is surrounded by other smaller islands: Taravai in the southwest and Aukena and Akamaru in the southeast and other smaller islands, lying also in the north. The largest village on the island, Rikitea, is the chief town of the Gambier Islands. The highest point in the Gambiers is Mt. Duff, on Mangareva, rising to 441 m along the island's south coast.
The main village, Rikitea, has the imposing St Michael's cathedral dating from 1848; its altar is richly decorated in pearls and mother of pearl. There are also hundreds of stone buildings from that era, including churches, convents, schools, and watch towers.
Mangareva has the biggest and most famous pearl farms in the area, and fine quality black pearls can be purchased. Other activities may include nature walks or snorkelling and diving in the surrounding reef with its dramatic coral formations.
Things to See and Do
* St Michael’s cathedral
* Pearl farm tour
* Nature walks
* Black pearls
* Diving & snorkelling
Cruise Season – Jan - Dec
Currency – CFP franc (XPF)
Language – French, Tahitian
Land Area – 18 km²
Population – 1,000 approx
Electricity – 2 angled flat pins and 1 round pin centred below Australian style
Time – GMT minus ten hours
International Country Telephone Code – + 689
Port Location – The port is located at the main town of Rikitea.
Transport Links –Air Archipels offers inter island travel in the French Polynesian islands. Air Tahiti offers services from Tahiti.
Inter island ferries and boat transportation is available. Two cruise ships/luxury liners currently ply the islands: the Paul Gauguin, which does a regular 7-day trip around the Societies, with occasional trips out to the Tuamotus, Marquesas and Cook Islands; and the Tahitian Princess which does similar itineraries.