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Mata-Utu

Travel Guide Oceania Polynesia Wallis and Futuna Islands Mata-Utu

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Introduction

Mata-Utu is the capital of the Wallis and Futuna Islands and has a population of roughly 1,250 inhabitants. It is located in the Hahake district on the island of Wallis. Apart from being the administrative and political centre, it is also the cultural and tourism hub of the island nation. Downtown Mata-Utu is dominated by the Mata-Utu Cathedral, a French national monument. Other features include the palace of the King of Uvea and two important archaeological sites, Talietumu and Tonga Toto, are just outside the tiny town. Several restaurants and hotels cater to travellers.

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Weather

Mata-Utu has a tropical climate typical for the Pacific. Temperatures during the day average a pleasant 28 to 30 degrees Celcius and drop to around 24 degrees at night. Temperatures variations in Mata-Utu on Wallis are small. April to October is the driest period, although you can't really speak of a dry and a wet season, it is just a bit drier during these months with rain possible on 20 to 25 days a year, compared to 25 to 29 days from November to March, the wetter season. From January to March, the occasional hurricane (typhoon) might strike Mata-Utu, but years can go by withouth one.

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Getting There

By Plane

Hihifo Airport (WLS) is 5.6 km from Mata-Utu and Aircalin is the only airline operating in this airport, flying to Futuna Island, Nadi in Fiji and Noumea in New Caledonia.

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Sights and Activiites

  • Mata-Utu Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral built with blocks of cut coral. It is a French national monument.
  • The King's Palace
  • Talietumu, the remains of a fortified Tongan settlement established around 1450.
  • Tonga Toto, another set of ruins which are harder to get to and more overgrown.
  • Lake Lalolalo, an impressive circular lake with with sheer walls.

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This is version 5. Last edited at 9:40 on Feb 2, 09 by Utrecht. 2 articles link to this page.

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