This high island is the furthest west of all the Austral Islands. It is located at 29°39’ south latitude by 152°49’ west longitude. Rimatara covers an area of 8.6 square kilometers (3.32 sq. miles). Its tallest point is Mt. Uahu (83m, or 274 ft.).
Rimatara has a small, very fertile and wooded volcanic plateau surrounded by a fringing reef that rises 8-10 meters (26-33 ft.) high, much like Rurutu.
Rimatara was one of the last islands to welcome its first European visitor. That honor went to Captain Samuel Pinder Henry, who spotted the island in 1811 and dropped off two native missionary teachers in 1821. That led to the creation of a Protestant mission. France established a protectorate on Rimatara in 1889 and annexed the island in 1900.
Female parrots, which, it is said, cannot be exported, are found on Rimatara. There also is an abundance of wild ducks in the marshes.
The 1996 census set the island’s population at 929. These people, who essentially earn a living from food crops, are divided up among three villages. They are Amaru, the island’s main village (pop. 322), Anapoto (pop. 273) and Mutuaura (pop. 334).