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Niuafoou (meaning: new coconut) is the most northerly island in the kingdom of Tonga. Niuafoou is a volcano located on an underwater ridge 190 kilometres (120 mi) west of the line of all the other volcanoes of Tonga. The island contains a steep-sided caldera; the rim is over 120 metres (390 ft) high, rising to a height of 250 metres (820 ft) at Mokotu. The coastline is rocky and steep with only a few stony black sand beaches. The island ring encloses two lakes. The largest, Vai Lahi, is a crater lake 23 meters above sea level, 4 kilometers wide, and 84 meters deep. The lake contains three islands and a submerged island that appears when the water level drops. Vai Lahi is separated from the smaller Vai Sii (or Vai Mataaho) by a desolate landscape of sand hills. The island is covered by forest on the inner walls of the crater lake, and on the island's eastern and western slopes.
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