Little Rapa, “Rapa Iti” in Tahitian,is the little sister of Easter Island (Chile), the legendary Rapa Nui. Rapa is the most far-flung of the Austral Islands, some 1,420 km to the south of Tahiti. With 600 meters of the mountain Perehau, it stands alone in the middle of the ocean, more than 500 km from any human habitation.
Its isolation from the rest of the world, makes it easily accessible. The cargo Tuhaa Pae II anchored in the bay of Haurei about once a month. If you have a boat you can get there, but beware, the turnaround time is limited. Indeed, being a French military zone, stops are granted only short periods. Just in time to restock.
The authenticity of Rapa also comes from its particularly moderated climate, is not warm enough for corals to grow, nor for coconut trees because of the temperatures which can go down as low as 5°C in southern winter (in July and aout). The climate and its fertile soils allow however to cultivate numerous fruits and vegetables of moderated regions such as apples, pears, peaches, radish or artichokes.
The 521 islanders live mainly in the village of Aurei are very good fishermen and hunters, which enables them to enhance their daily menus with salmon, sea urchins, lobsters and goats and wild cattle living in the mountains.
Rapa, with its many ancestrals ruins and fortresses, which the best preserved is Morongo Uta testimony to a rich past and has not yet revealed all its secrets. Many questions remain unanswered, including the links with Easter Island.