Matthew and Hunter Islands

The Matthew and Hunter Islands are a small, consisting of the uninhabited islands of Matthew and Hunter islands of volcanic origin in Melanesia. They are claimed by both France for New Caledonia and Vanuatu.


The islands of Matthew and Hunter are in the South Pacific Ocean east of the main island of the French overseas territory of New Caledonia and 279 km ( Matthew ) and 329 km (Hunter) southeast of the southernmost island vanuatischen anatomist. Distances to New Caledonia amounted to 444 km ( Matthew ) and 518 km (Hunter).

The island of Matthew ( 0.7 km ²) is located at 22 ° 21 ' S, 171 ° 20' O 22.346944444444171.34138888889, the smaller island Hunter ( 0.6 km ²) 72.6 km further east to 22 ° 24 ' S, 172 ° 3 ' O- 22.396388888889172.05694444444.


Matthew was discovered in 1788 by the Englishman Thomas Gilbert, who named the island after the owner of the ship. In the 1940s, there were eruptions by which the size of the island tripled to 1950.

Hunter, the südöstlichere island of the group, was discovered in 1798 by John Fearn, the captain of the British merchant ship "Hunter" on the trip from Sydney to Hawaii and named after the ship name. In 1903 there was the last lava eruption here.