Manihi, or Paeua, is a coral atoll in the Tuamotu Archipelago, part of French Polynesia. It is one of the northernmost of the Tuamotus, located in the King George subgroup. The closest land to Manihi is Ahe Atoll, located 14 km to the west. The population is 650 inhabitants (2017 census).
Manihi is a relatively large elongated atoll. Its oval-shaped lagoon measures 27 km in length and 8 km in width, and is ringed by innumerable islets. The lagoon is well-known among snorkelers for its beautiful and diverse marine fauna, including, among other species, the manta ray. There is only one pass to enter the lagoon, located close to the atoll's southern end. It is known as Passe de Tairapa.
The chief village is Paeua. Another important village, Turipaoa, is located in the south-western part of the atoll, and is home to about 400 inhabitants. Several of the islands are inhabited, by populations ranging from single individuals to as many as 400.
Change in population of Manihi atoll.
|Sources ISPF, Mairie de Manihi|
* : estimation
There are two ancient Polynesian ceremonial platforms constructed of blocks of coral (marae in Tuamotuan) on Manihi. The first recorded Europeans to arrive to Manihi were Dutch explorers Jacob le Maire and Willem Schouten on their 1615–1616 Pacific journey. They called this atoll "Waterland Island". British explorer John Byron, who reached Manihi in June 1765, called the atoll "Prince of Wales Island".
There was a five star resort on Manihi, called the Pearl Beach Manihi resort, which has overwater bungalows in the lagoon. This resort closed in late 2012.
The commune of Manihi consists of the island Manihi and Ahe, that are both associated communes. The seat of the commune is the village Paeua. The current mayor of the commune is Jeannot Mataoa (mandate: 2008–2014).
- Répartition de la population en Polynésie française en 2017, Institut de la statistique de la Polynésie française
- Young, J.L. (1899). "Names of the Paumotu Islands, with the old names so far as they are known". Journal of the Polynesian Society. 8 (4): 264–268. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- ISPF, Démographie Archived 2014-12-16 at the Wayback Machine
- Mairie de Manihi,
- Décret n°72-407 du 17 mai 1972 portant création de communes dans le territoire de la Polynésie française, Légifrance
- Les Communes (in French)[permanent dead link] Publisher: Ministère du logement, de l'aménagement du Territoire de la Polynésie Française. Accessed 21 February 2010