Tahiti is the highest and largest island in French Polynesia lying close to Moorea island. It is located 4,400 km (2,734 mi) south of Hawaii, 7,900 km (4,909 mi) from Chile and 5,700 km (3,542 mi) from Australia.
The island is 45 km (28 mi) across at its widest point and covers an area of 1,045 km2 (403 sq mi). The highest peak is Mont Orohena (Mou'a 'Orohena) (2,241 m (7,352 ft)). Mount Ronui (Mou'a Rōnui) in the southeast rises to 1,332 m (4,370 ft). The island consists of two roughly round portions centred on volcanic mountains and connected by a short isthmus named after the small town of Taravao, situated there.
The northwestern portion is known as Tahiti Nui ("big Tahiti"), while the much smaller southeastern portion is known as Tahiti Iti ("small Tahiti") or Tai'arapū. Tahiti Nui is heavily populated along the coast, especially around the capital, Papeete.
The interior of Tahiti Nui is almost entirely uninhabited. Tahiti Iti has remained isolated, as its southeastern half (Te Pari) is accessible only to those travelling by boat or on foot. The rest of the island is encircled by a main road which cuts between the mountains and the sea.
A scenic and winding interior road climbs past dairy farms and citrus groves with panoramic views. Tahiti's landscape features lush rainforests and many streams, including the Papenoo River on the north side.