Last updated
Eretoka retouched.jpg
Eretoka Island in 2006.
Map of Chief Roi Mata's Domain EN.svg
Location Pacific Ocean
Coordinates 17°39′00″S168°8′00″E / 17.65000°S 168.13333°E / -17.65000; 168.13333 Coordinates: 17°39′00″S168°8′00″E / 17.65000°S 168.13333°E / -17.65000; 168.13333
Archipelago Vanuatu
Highest point90 m
Province Shefa Province

Eretoka (also Hat Island, Érétoka, Retoka, Artok) is a small uninhabited island in Shefa Province of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean. The island lies off the western coast of Efate Island. [1] [2] There is a lighthouse built in the 1960s.



Eretoka spans 2.3 kilometers in northeast-southwestern direction and has a maximum width of 670 meters. The center of the island forms a cap of coral lime over stratified pumice and is 90 meters high. Around the island center extends a wide and flat area of sand and limestone, which was lifted over the water surface during the last elevation of the seabed. Most of this area is no higher than five meters above sea level.


Roy Mata, a powerful 16th-17th century Melanesian chief, was buried in the island. His elaborate grave was proclaimed a taboo [3] and is supposed to contain the bodies of over 25 members of his retinue. The grave was studied by French archaeologist Jose Garranger in 1967, who analyzed the local folklore. In 2008, three sites associated with Roy Mata on the islands of Efate, Lelepa and Eretoka, were made UNESCO World Heritage Sites. [4] [5]

Related Research Articles

Vanuatu Island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean

Vanuatu, officially the Republic of Vanuatu, is an island country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago, which is of volcanic origin, is 1,750 kilometres (1,090 mi) east of northern Australia, 540 kilometres (340 mi) northeast of New Caledonia, east of New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands, and west of Fiji.

Geography of Vanuatu Overview of the geography of Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a nation and group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It is composed of over 80 islands with 2,528 kilometres (1,571 mi) of coastline and a total surface area of 12,189 square kilometres (4,706 sq mi). It's a small country with a total size of 12,189 km2 (4,706 sq mi). Due to the spread out islands it has the 39th largest Exclusive Economic Zone of 663,251 km2 (256,083 sq mi).

Port Vila Capital of Vanuatu

Port Vila, or simply Vila, is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu and is on the island of Efate.

Bauerfield International Airport

Bauerfield International Airport is an airport located in Port Vila, Vanuatu. The airport is relatively small in size, but its runway has the capability and length to accept jets up to the Airbus A330. It serves as the hub for Vanuatu's flag carrier airline, Air Vanuatu.


Efate is an island in the Pacific Ocean which is part of the Shefa Province in Vanuatu. It is also known as Île Vate.

Hashima Island Abandoned island about 15 kilometres from Nagasaki, Japan

Hashima Island (端島), commonly called Gunkanjima, is an abandoned island of Nagasaki, lying about 15 kilometers (9 miles) from the center of the city. It is one of 505 uninhabited islands in Nagasaki Prefecture. The island's most notable features are its abandoned concrete buildings, undisturbed except by nature, and the surrounding sea wall. While the island is a symbol of the rapid industrialization of Japan, it is also a reminder of Japanese war crimes as a site of forced labour prior to and during the Second World War.

Shefa Province

Shefa is one of the six provinces of Vanuatu, located in the center of the country and including the islands of Epi and Efate and the Shepherd Islands.

Ambae Island

Ambae Island, also known as Aoba or Oba and formerly Leper's Island, is an island in the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, located near 15°30′S167°30′E, approximately 165 miles (266 km) NNW of Vanuatu's capital city, Port Vila.

Shepherd Islands

The Shepherd Islands are a group of islands lying between the larger islands of Epi and Éfaté, in the Shefa province of Vanuatu. The aggregate land area is 88 square kilometres. They were named by Captain Cook after Anthony Shepherd, a British astronomer and friend of Cook.

Emae Island in Shefa Province, Vanuatu

Emae is an island in the Shepherd Islands, Shefa, Vanuatu.

Roi Mata

Roi Mata was a powerful 13th century Melanesian chief from what is now Vanuatu. His elaborate grave, containing the bodies of over 25 members of his retinue, was discovered by French archaeologist José Garanger in 1967 and inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2008. Garanger was able to locate the grave on Eretoka island by analyzing local folklore. According to legend, when Roi Mata conquered the land, his first goal was to unite the tribes to form an army.

Nguna Island in Shefa Province, Vanuatu

Nguna Island is an outer island off the north coast of Efate, Vanuatu in Undine Bay.

Lake Letas

Lake Letas is the largest lake in Vanuatu, located in the center of the volcanic island of Gaua of the Banks Islands in northern Vanuatu. The place submitted an application to be considered an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

Outline of Vanuatu Overview of and topical guide to Vanuatu

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Vanuatu:

Australian Convict Sites

Australian Convict Sites is a World Heritage property consisting of 11 remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips at Sydney, Tasmania, Norfolk Island, and Fremantle; now representing "...the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts."

Lelepa Island

Lelepa is an island in the southwestern Pacific island nation of Vanuatu. It is located off the northwest coast of the island of Efate.

Ifira Island in Shefa Province of Vanuatu

Ifira is an offshore island of efate located in Shefa Province of Vanuatu in the Pacific Ocean.

Naval Advance Base Espiritu Santo World War 2 base

Naval Advance Base Espiritu Santo or Espiritu Santo Naval Base, most often just called Espiritu Santo, was a large United States Navy Naval base built during World War II to support the many naval ships fighting the Pacific War. Espiritu Santo Naval Base was located at Espiritu Santo in New Hebrides, now Vanuatu in the South Pacific Ocean. The base also supported the United States Army Air Forces, United States Coast Guard, US Marine Corps and US Army. Espiritu Santo Naval Base was the first large advance base built in the Pacific. By the end of the war it had become the second-largest base in the Pacific. To keep ships on the flighting front there was a great demand for bases that could repair and restock ships in remote ports, rather than bring the ship back to the United States.Before the war, in 1940 The U.S. Navy's only fully equipped advanced base was Naval Station Pearl Harbor. The base could do fueling, loading transports and cargo ships and preparing amphibious assault ships. It became a major repair depot, with auxiliary floating drydocks that were able to repair battle damage and wear maintenance in the field. These ships otherwise would have returned to continental bases or Pearl Harbor. The base became a major resting place for troops and a regroup spot. Much of Espiritu Santo bases were built by the Seabees of the 40th Naval Construction Battalion in 1943.


  1. "Eretoka Island". Geoview. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  2. "Eretoka Island: Vanuatu". Geographic Names. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  3. Troost, J. Maarten (June 13, 2006). Getting Stoned with Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu. Crown / Archetype. p. 30. ISBN   9780767924931 . Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  4. "Chief Roi Mata’s Domain", UNESCO
  5. "World Heritage Status set to ensure protection of Vanuatu's Roi Mata domain". Radio New Zealand International . July 9, 2008. Retrieved November 6, 2011.