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Geography of Easter Island

Rapa Nui is a tiny volcanic island, with an area of 163 km2 (63 sq mi), or barely twice the size of Manhattan. It emerged from the Pacific Ocean after the eruptions of its three now extinct volcanoes: Poike, 370 meters high and with a crater 150 meters in diameter, Rano Kau, at 300 meters high with a 1600-meter wide crater including a fresh water lagoon within and Terevaka, which at 511 meters is the island's highest point.


There are several patches of eucalyptus and other mixed forests dotting the island, but for the most part the undulating hills are covered in grassland.


The island can be hot and humid in summer, changeable in spring and autumn and cooler than you might expect in winter.


The islands’ only good beach is Anakena on the northern coast, but should be avoided on extremely windy days as sand storms can occur. If it is raining the ascent to Rano Kau in a car can be difficult on the mud roads and if you have little 4x4 driving experience, try to visit the volcano and park on drier days.

By Zenan Delaney

Screenwriter, producer, actor, director, radio host, travel journalist and writer, Zen's a permanent tourist with years of social...

19 Jun 2009

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