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TX7W Raivavae Island Austral Islands

TX7W Team will be active from Raivavae Island, IOTA OC - 114, Austral Islands, 16 - 30 April 2024.
Team - K5WE, W5CCP.
Recent DX Spots TX7W
TX7W Log search They will operate on 160 - 6m, CW, FT8, FT4, SSB, RTTY.
Equipment will include 4 Elecraft & Yaesu transceivers with 500 watt amps, two 5 band hexbeams, a Crank-IR vertical, and various other antennas.
QSL via K5WE, ClubLog.

Raivavae Island. The calling card of French Polynesia


Once you're on the island of Raivavae, it will seem familiar. No wonder: the local scenery has inspired photographers and appeared on French Polynesia's tourist and advertising brochures. The small island - only 16 km2 in area, surrounded by snow-white motu (tiny pieces of land framing the atoll) - will amaze you with its picturesque scenery and the hospitality of the locals.

Raivavae is located in the center of the Tubai archipelago (second name - Ostral Islands), and it is not very difficult to get here, even if you do not have your own yacht. The nearest international airport is in Tahiti, a two-hour flight from Raivavae. To get to the island itself, you need to take a light-engine airplane. However, if you have a boat, you can get here directly.

TX7W Raivavae Island, Austral IslandsRaivavae Island, Austral Islands. Author - Nancy Webb.

A mysterious island in the heart of the Pacific Ocean

Raivavae may have been the place Jules Verne wrote about in his novel The Mysterious Island. Just like in the book, here you will find tropical vegetation, a blue lagoon and amazing mountain peaks drowning in greenery.

Europeans discovered the island relatively recently - in 1775. A Spanish ship under the command of Tomas Gayangos came across Raivavae. Only a hundred years later - in 1880 - the island was annexed by France. It remained part of France (or rather, French Polynesia, an overseas community of France).

Raivavae, like many other Polynesian islands, became a French colony, but its history began long before the arrival of Europeans. Back in the first centuries AD, ancient seafarers began to explore the Polynesian islands. How exactly, not having full-fledged sea navigation and large ships, Polynesians were able to settle throughout the Pacific Ocean, is still unknown. And they did not just settle, but survived to our days, preserving their culture and way of life.

Tiki and marae: artifacts of ancient Polynesian history

It's hard to find someone who doesn't know about Easter Island and its stone giants, the moai. On Raivavae, a similar artifact survives - the last tiki in the wild, a human-like statue carved from wood. It can be seen: guides are happy to take tourists to the carved statue.

Another surviving artifact of Polynesian culture is the marae. These are ancient "temples" in the open air - sacred places where rituals were held, sacrifices were made to gods and spirits, and important issues in the life of the tribe were decided.

With the arrival of Christian missionaries, many Polynesian marae were abandoned and even destroyed. Nevertheless, on Raivavae sacred sites have been preserved. Tourists will be able to look at three marae - Pua Pia Tiare, Mauna Oto and Vaimano.

The Pomaowao marae is worth a separate look. This is not a place, but a two-meter stone monolith set vertically. According to local legends, warriors were brought here to measure their height.

TX7W Raivavae Island, Austral Islands DX NewsRaivavae Island, Austral Islands. Author - Thomas Pesquet.

Landscapes worthy of an artist's brush

It's no coincidence that Raivavae is on the promotional brochures. This is an island that will make you fall in love with it at first sight. If you flew here for a few days, be sure to take a walk around it and don't forget to look at the most picturesque and significant places:

  • Mt. Hiro. Don't be intimidated and boldly go to conquer the square top of this mountain: despite its status, it is quite small and low - only 437 meters. Even unprepared people can climb it (with a guide, of course). This is the highest point of the island, which offers a stunning view of the entire atoll and the vast ocean;
  • Motu Wayamanu. "Motu" refers to the small islets on the edges of the atolls that seem to frame the center island. Waiamanu is the real gem of Raivavae. Despite its tiny size, it has a two-kilometer white-white beach with a magnificent gentle entrance to the sea. The island is surrounded by clear turquoise water. It is an ideal place for beach vacation and diving.

Raivavae itself should not be overlooked. It is immersed in tropical greenery, contrasting brightly with the infamous Easter Island: here are preserved both trees and its own fauna.

Incidentally, if you're traveling with diving equipment, Raivavae is the perfect place to dive. The island is surrounded by coral reefs, where you can get up close and personal with colorful tropical fish.

TX7W Raivavae Island, Austral Islands Tourist attractions spotParrot Fish, Raivavae Island, Austral Islands. Author - Nancy Webb.

Immerse yourself in local culture

Some islands and atolls are depressing for experienced travelers: the more popular the place, the more hotels and inns, stores, cafes, souvenir stores and the less identity it has. Developed tourist infrastructure, on the one hand, makes life easier for the traveler, but on the other hand - deprives him of the chance to see something new and unique. Of course, the complete absence of this infrastructure excludes the very possibility of a safe and comfortable vacation. On Raivavae there is a balance between comfort for tourists and originality.

On the one hand, the island can be reached by airplane. People live here and there is a small infrastructure. You can find a guide and lodging, have a good dinner and definitely don't miss breakfast. On the other hand, Raivavae has not turned into a typical resort: the locals here still lead a traditional way of life and fishing is still the main activity even now.

When you come here, get ready to try dozens of different fish dishes, exotic fruits and cocktails based on them. Don't worry: the locals love foreigners and sincerely welcome visitors.

When to fly to Raivavae and what to take with you

Raivavae, like the rest of French Polynesia, is characterized by a pleasant warm climate. There are neither cold nor sizzling heat: the average temperature ranges from +20 to +30 degrees Celsius. There are two seasons on the Polynesian islands - from November to May and from June to October.

In the period from November to May there is high humidity and temperature (+27...+30 degrees Celsius, humidity - 92%). At this time the island is regularly rained - often it is short powerful showers in the evenings, but sometimes a small drizzle, which lasts for several days.

Winter time is not the best time for travelers who prefer yachting. Hurricanes and storms often occur during this period, so it is worth to go here on a yacht, having previously familiarized with the forecasts.

The dry summer season is cooler and much drier. The temperature at this time is kept at +25 degrees Celsius, there is almost no rain, but there is a strong wind - up to 40-60 kilometers per hour. Evenings can be cool - up to +17 degrees, so you should bring a windbreaker.

You can go to Raivavae at any time of the year, as long as you are not afraid of winds and rains. Choose the season of your choice and start traveling!

Don't forget to bring swimming and diving equipment, light summer clothes and a hat. And be sure to have a good camera ready - you'll have some great pictures to take after your trip.

TX7W. Where is Raivavae Island located. Map.

TX7W Raivavae Island Austral Islands. Sunrise 02-29-2024 at 15:44 GMT sunset at 04:21 GMT
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