Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tahiti, the chief of the Society Islands, is in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles N.E. of New Zealand, and 3,400 S.W. of San Francisco. The whole group extends 200 miles N.W., and S.E., and Tahiti itself contains 600 square miles. Many of the islands are mere atolls, and half of them uninhabited. The formation is volcanic, and behind the fertile shores rise well-wooded mountains, to a height of 7,300 feet in Mount Owhena. On the coast are coral reefs, inside of which are some good harbours. The temperature is moist and hot, but healthy, and the climate fine. Mother-of-pearl, cocoa-nut fibre, and trepang or objects of commerce, other productions being oranges, vanilla, fruit, cotton and sugar; and the exports are considerably in excess of the imports. The sweet potato, bread-fruit, and yam are largely cultivated; and the people, who are of the usual South Sea type, have reached a fair degree of civilization. Captain Cook discovered the group, naming it in honour of the Royal Society. Tahiti is now a French possession.