Matthew Islands lie 350 km SE of Aneityum.

The two cones were discovered in 1788.

The westernmost cone began erupting in the 1940's, tripling the size of the Island by the 1950's.


Hunter is the southeasternmost island of the Archipelago and is a composite cone.

The island was named after the discovery ship in 1798.

There was lava production on the volcano in 1895.


East Gemini lies halfway between Matthew and Tanna.


Matthew and Hunter achieved notoriety following the passage of the

United Nations Law of the Sea, granting ownership of the surrounding 200 miles of Ocean.

In December 1975 France despatched the warship La Bayonnaise from New Caledonia

to both Hunter and Matthews with plaques claiming the islands for France.

In 1982 the New Caledonian government recognized Vanuatu's control and

in March 1983 Vanuatu erected its flag on Hunter and removed the French plaque.

The stamp below shows the Vanuatu archipelago, the sheet underneath it, the Islands.

Stamp courtesy of Sheryll Oswald.

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