Santa Cruz Islands
The Santa Cruz Islands are a group of islands belonging to the province Temotu of the island nation of the Solomon Islands. They are located in the western Pacific Ocean, among Melanesia and about 400 km south-east of the main group of the Solomon Islands. In fact, they form geographically rather a unit with the southern island state of Vanuatu. The Santa Cruz Islands are a geological perspective rather young; they originated less than 5 million years ago by the collision of two continental plates under the seabed.
The archipelago has an area of approximately 815 km ² and includes
- Nendo, the main island, 519 km ²
- Utupua, 69.0 km ²
- Vanicoro, 173.2 km ²
- Tinakula, 8 km ²
The islands were discovered in 1595 by the Spaniard Alvaro de Mendaña de Neyra for the European world. The French explorers, Jean -François de La Pérouse capsized his ship Astrolabe in 1788 off the island of Vanicoro, one of the Santa Cruz Islands. Jules Dumont d' Urville in 1828 was part of the wreck of La Perouse ship off the island. As part of the battles for the Solomon Islands during the Pacific War in World War II, the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands found northwest of the island group held on 26 October 1942.