Northern Tepoto, which is
one of the North-Eastern Tuamotu islands, is situated 16°48'
south and 144°19' west, 16 km to the north-west of Napuka.
This is one of the high atolls, or "makateas",
with a dry lagoon: the
solid ground thus forms an island 2.6 km long and 800 m wide.
Tepoto. is surrounded by a barrier reef. There is a road 5m wide
running round the whole atoll.
The village of Tehekega in the nord-west of the atoll can be
reached by taking one of the
whale-boats which call in at a
jetty 28 m
long and 4.5 m wide. This atoll has an area of 400 hectares.
Northern Tepoto, which was discovered by John Byron in 1765,
has had very few contacts with the Western world.
In 1988, the population of the island consisted of only 62
inhabitants (there were 67 in 1983).
Northern Tepoto belongs to the commune of Napuka.
Southern Tepoto is the smallest atoll in the whole of
Polynesia. It has
an elliptic shape, and measures 3 km by 2.4 km. A narrow channel
in the north-east links the lagoon to the open sea.
The emergent land on this atoll covers an area of 50
hectares, and the lagoon waters have an area of 250 hectares.
The situation of this island, which was discovered by
Bougainville in 1768, is
16°48' south and 144°19' west.
It has no inhabitants.
For administrative purposes, it depends along with several other communes
on the administrative center of Katiu.
des Archipels (1998), Les Tuamotu Gambier : recueil de données
essentielles, décembre 1998, Service de l'administration
et du développement des archipels, PAPEETE.
Douglas (1994), Pacific Islands Yearbook,
17° édition, Fiji Times Ltd, 767p.