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TX5W Raivavae Island Austral Islands

KK6BT will be active from Raivavae Island (IOTA OC-114), Austral Islands 5 - 11 January 2015 as TX5W.
He will be active on 40-10m SSB.
QSL via KE8G.

Raivavae Island

A Pearl in the Pacific Ocean

The beautiful island of Raivavae, meaning ‘at the dawning of the world’, covers an area of 16 kms long and 8 kms wide, 195 kms south east of Tubuai Island, and is located in French Polynesia forming a part of the Austral Islands. The Island discovered in 1775 by a French naval officer by the name of Tomas Gayangos. The Spaniards had named the island as Santa Rosa, however the inhabitants of the island called it by the name of Oraibaba. In 1880 this beautiful island, with a shape like that of a giant whale, was annexed by France as a part of their colony. The island is protected from the vagaries of the open sea by reefs that act as a natural barrier and rings the island around the outer perimeter a few kilometers into the sea.

Geographical location

Raivavae island with a population of less than 1000 people, a part of the Austral Islands, is located hundreds of miles south of Tahiti on the Tropic of Capricorn and is located at the top a quiet volcanoe with its highest end at 437 meters. The Austral Islands having a population of roughly 6300 people encompasses an area of 165 square kms, with its administrative subdivision capital located at Tubuai. The islands consists of two separate archipelagos, with the northwest consisting of Tubuai Islands – namely Maria, Rimatara, Rurutu, Tubuai island, and Raivavae; The south east Archipelago consisting of the Bass islands – namely Rapa and Marotiri. The islands attract a colony of whales who are found in huge numbers during November and December months of the year. The island with almost little traffic provides a healthy and peaceful environment to enjoy ones vacation. With availability of abundant sunlight it provides a sunbathing experience that will be cherished for a long time.

The main island of Raivavae, also known by the name of Raivavae, measures 8.5km by 2.3kms and sits on a shallow lagoon, the terrain of the island is very rugged and has a deeply contoured land scape that rises to 427 mts at Mount Hiro. The island is also home to several important endemic plant species and is thickly draped with rain forest giving it a grandeur that is beyond comparison.

The People

The inhabitants of Raivavae, and the entire Austral Islands are of the Polynesian race, basically evangelists, and have been open to outsiders, this has enabled them to embrace modernity and keep in tune with modern living. The citizens of this island are highly warm, expansive and hospitable people and ensure that they keep their society and civilization alive, on or after hat and storage bin weaving to making jewels out of porcelain shells. The islands are well electrified, have good roads, telephone service and Television, however internet connection is restricted. The island is linked with the outside world with an airport and runway built on the edge of the coral reefs.

The island consists of five rural communities which are Anatonu, Vaiuru, Matotea, Mahanatoa and Rairuam. What is very striking about all these villages are its uniqueness as each of the villages has its own allurement with an array of colorful houses that greet an itinerant traveler?

Economic activity

Due to the cool climate and rich soil, the inhabitants are able to grow a variety of vegetable and fruits such as taro, manioc, potatoes, sweet potatoes, cabbage, coffee, apples, peaches, oranges and strawberries. Basically the people are dependent on cultivation as their main basis of income. The island lagoon provides an excellent source for fishing and acts as another source of income for the natives, besides a source of good diet.

A Paradise on earth

The island is enlisted as one of the most stunning islands which dot the globe. One can access the island by air and also by sea through the reef and reach the port. It is the ideal place for people who would love to leave the bustling town life and seek out a more tranquil surrounding that is encompassed with exotic wildlife. The lagoons of the island are home to a number of seabirds who nestle in its idyllic surrounding giving it a very dreamlike atmosphere.The natural beauty of the island is further enhanced with the fern covered mountain slopes.

A Shangri-la for Tourist

Located in the Pacific Ocean, the island represents a picturesque, exuberant and refreshing change to the hustle and bustle of normal living; connected by air and sea, the island offers a few good Hotels to stay in, not of the 4star or 5star category. As a place with little traffic, it offers enough opportunities to go on cycling trips around the island, which costs around 1000 FCP per day for renting a cycle. Kayaking is another important activity that one can indulge oneself in. Those who prefer to do hiking would find the climb to Mt. Hiro a highly pleasurable experience which consumes almost 4 hours of climb. The visit to the Motu, though a little expensive, is highly enthralling as it is like a once in a life time experience where one can enjoy the sandbank that is just a few meters above the sea. There are about three Motus located on the southern and eastern sides of the reef that surrounds the lagoon, namely, Motu Mano, Motu Vaiamanu and Motu Haaamu. The beaches surrounding the island provide the ideal place for a good sunbath. A long walk along the stunning beaches and the tree covered areas around the islands provides one those peaceful moments of bliss and a feeling that one is in paradise.

People who are interested in culture and environment would find their visit to a tiki which lies hidden among Bairua and Mahanatoaroads as a very productive activity; here, they are able to get a firsthand knowledge of the Polynesian people and their culture after visiting the Gauguin Museum and the Raivavae’s remains.

What makes this paradise on earth a place to be visited again and again is the exotic and tranquil setting in which it is located coupled with the hospitable and warm people that inhabit the island. The blue lagoon, the exotic wild life, the peace, the greenery of the mountains, the motu finished up of white sand , the traditional life style of the inhabitants weave a spell binding magic around the travelers who come visiting.

Video Raivavae Island Austral Islands