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Loyalty Islands

Islands information
NameLoyalty Islands
Native nameÎles Loyauté
LocationPacific Ocean
ArchipelagoLoyalty Islands
Major islandsLifou Island, Maré Island, Tiga Island, Ouvéa Island, Mouli Island, Faiava Island
Geography information
Area1981 km2 (764.9 mi)
Elevation452.8 ft (138 m)
Administration information
Overseas territoryNew Caledonia
Largest city
Administration information
Population17436 as of 2009
Density8.80 km2

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The Loyalty Islands ( ) are an archipelago in the Pacific. They are part of the French territory of New Caledonia, whose mainland is 100 km (62.1 mi) away. They form the Loyalty Islands Province (province des îles Loyauté), one of the three provinces of New Caledonia. The native inhabitants are the Kanak people and the Tavu'avua' people.

The first Western contact on record is attributed to the British Captain William Raven from the London trading ship Britannia, who in 1793 was on his way from Norfolk Island to Batavia. It is very likely however that the discovery and naming of the islands goes back to the London ship Loyalty (also Loyalist, Jethro Daggett master), being on a South Sea trading voyage from 1789 till 1790.

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