The other main island groups located within the Polynesian Triangle are Samoa, Tonga, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Tokelau, Niue, Wallis and Futuna and French Polynesia.
There are also small Polynesian settlements in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, the Caroline Islands, and in Vanuatu.
Polynesia is characterized by a small amount of land spread over a very large portion of the mid and southern Pacific Ocean.
Most Polynesian islands and archipelagos, including the Hawaiian Islands and Samoa, are composed of volcanic islands built by hotspots.
At first, the Pacific plate was subducted under the Australian plate.