24 Fascinating Facts About French Polynesia

This beautiful country is a favourite romantic destination for Honeymooners, lovers and those looking to simply relax in incredible surroundings. Before you head off to this wonderful country, boost your local knowledge with these 24 facts about French Polynesia!

Geographical stats…

  1. French Polynesia is a French overseas territory and archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean
  2. It consists of 118 islands and atolls (including Tahiti and Bora Bora), 67 of which are inhabited.
  3. It is bordered by Kiribati and Hawaii to the north, Pitcairn Islands to the east and Cook Islands, Tonga, Niue, American Samoa, Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau and Tuvalu to the west.
  4. If you fancy heading off to paradise, follow the coordinates 17.5333° S, 149.5667° W to land yourself in French Polynesia!
  5. The terrain here is mixed throughout the different islands. Some are low-lying with stunning reefs, whilst others are higher and more rugged.
  6. The total land area of French Polynesia is 1,477 square miles (3,827 square kilometres)…
  7. …that’s around twice the size of West Sussex.
  8. French Polynesia’s population was 282,703 in 2015…
  9. …that’s less than half the population of West Sussex!
  10. Residents here are known as French Polynesians.
  11. The capital is Papeete; it covers an area of 6.7 square miles (17.4 square kilometres) and had a population of 133,000 in 2014.
  12. French Polynesians enjoy a tropical climate with warm weather all year round and a rainy season from December to February.
  13. Tahiti is one of the most exclusive holiday destinations in the world!
  14. If you’re not a fan of reptiles or creepy crawlies, you’ll be pleased to know that there are no poisonous snakes or insects in French Polynesia!
  15. The picturesque and iconic over-water bungalows that you see in many holiday brochures are thought to have been invented in French Polynesia!

Social intricacies

  1. The official languages of French Polynesia are French and Polynesian (consisting of various languages specific to individual islands)!
  2. The Tahitian language only has 14 letters. Interestingly, ‘b’ isn’t one of them, and thus Bora Bora is actually called ‘Pora Pora’, meaning ‘first born’. Early visitors misheard the locals and it has since been known as Bora Bora!
  3. CFP Franc is the official currency here.
  4. The average life span of French Polynesians is 77 years.
  5. Putting a Taire (the national flower of Tahiti) behind your ear reveals more about you than you might think! It is used as a symbol of your relationship status; if it’s behind your left ear you’re taken, behind your right and you’re single!

Industry insights…

  1. French Polynesia grows coconuts, vegetables, vanilla, coffee and fruits; they also rear poultry and cattle, produce dairy products and catch fish.
  2. Its industry consists of tourism, pearls, handicrafts, agricultural processing and phosphates.
  3. French Polynesia exports coconut products, pearls and vanilla.

Bonus Fact!

  1. Do you know someone lucky enough to live in French Polynesia? You can make cheap calls to French Polynesia with Cherry Call – you’ll also need to use the international dialling code of 00689.

For all the latest news in French Polynesia, head over to the la Depeche de Tahiti website, but be warned, it’s in French!

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