Straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, the Austral Islands, 600 mi/966 km south of Papeete, enjoy a cooler climate than the rest of French Polynesia. For those looking to get away from the tourist hustle and bustle, this is the place to go.
The islands have a few family pensions, but there are no big resorts or hotels. They have little to offer in the way of activities but compensate with the friendliness of their people and the beauty of their lush mountains and emerald lagoons. It's worth two or three days for those looking to really get off the beaten track.
Air service to Raivavae, Rurutu, Tubuai and Rimatara is available from Tahiti. Of the islands with air service, Rurutu and Raivavae hold the most interest to visitors.
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