Wallis Island Map
Wallis is the capital island of the French South Pacific territory of Wallis and Futuna. The administration, cathedral, royal palace, and most large stores are at Mata-Utu, where the supply ship from Noumea ties up to a wharf. Monumental Catholic churches are also at Mu'a in the south and Vaitupu in the north. Most of the 9,000 inhabitants of Wallis are of Tongan descent.
Wallis consists of a main island Uvea, plus 10 small volcanic islands in the eastern half of the lagoon and about a dozen smaller coral islands on the barrier reef. Uvea is rather flat, rising to only 145 meters at Mt Lulu Fakahega, and lakes have formed in circular volcanic sink holes.
Wallis was settled by the Polynesians 3,000 years ago. Around the year 1400, seabourne invaders from Tonga conquered the island and established the royal line which still governs traditional affairs. English explorer Samuel Wallis discovered Wallis in 1767. France declared a protectorate in 1887 and in 1961 Wallis and Futuna became a French overseas territory.
Sightseeing on Wallis consists of walking past the colonial buildings in Mata-Utu, hiking or driving up Mt Lulu Fakahega, peering at flying foxes swooping over Lake Lalolalo, and exploring the ruins of a 15th century Tongan settlement at Talietumu. The beaches of Uvea aren't that good but Faioa Island on the southern reef has a perfect white sand beach.
A few small hotels are found at Mata-Utu, Liku, and Alele. Hihifo Airport, built by the Americans during World War Two, receives flights from Futuna, Nadi, and Noumea. Large ships can enter the Wallis lagoon through Honikulu Pass. Few tourists visit Wallis.
Malo si'i lava