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Capital government offices in Yaren District
Currency Australian dollar (AUD)
Population 13,770 (July 2008 est.)
Electricity 240V/50Hz (Australian plug)
Country code +674
Time zone UTC +12

Nauru is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean, south of the Marshall Islands and is the world's third smallest country — only Monaco and the Vatican City are smaller. An off the beaten track-destination if there ever was one, Nauru is also the least visited country in the world. The remoteness, and the fact that much of the island is a charmless open phosphate mine, are two strong reasons for this.


Mining of Nauru's phosphate deposits, which occupied about 90% of the island, began in the early 20th century under a German-British consortium. During World War I, the island was occupied by Australian forces and became a dependent territory. Nauru achieved independence in 1968. In the 1980s, phosphate exports briefly gave Nauruans one of the highest per capita incomes in the Third World. As of 2008, most of Nauru's revenue comes from the export of phosphate to Australia, South Korea and New Zealand as well as other countries. The industry is controlled by the Nauru Phosphate Corporation (NPC). It is anticipated that the phosphate reserves will be completely exhausted before 2050. The sale of fishing licences is the other major revenue raiser. Countries such as Australia and Taiwan provide substantial development cooperation funding. Despite this, the unemployment rate currently stands at 90%.

In 2001 the container ship Tampa rescued several hundred asylum seekers from a sinking Indonesian vessel and attempted to deliver them to Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, which is an Australian Federal Territory. In what was labelled The Pacific Solution, the Australian Government established an Off Shore Processing Centre (OPC) on Nauru where these people were housed, pending assessment of their claims to be refugees. The OPC was closed in early 2008, but has since reopened.


The climate is tropical, with some rain occurring between November and February.


There are a few "sandy" beaches but most of the shallow area around the island is coral reefs. Most of the interior of the island is worked-out mining land, which is to be rehabilitated. There is a lagoon on the island, the only body of water there.

Get in[edit]

Map of Nauru

All foreign visitors require a valid passport, a 30 day tourist visa and proof of hotel booking or local sponsor in order to enter Nauru. Your visa must be obtained from your local Nauruan embassy before departure. There have been rumours on the Internet that you can get in for up to three days without getting a visa, but that is not accurate.

By plane[edit]

As of January 2010, Nauru's national carrier Our Airline flies once weekly to Nauru International Airport from Brisbane Airport in Australia with a stopover at Honiara International Airport on the Solomon Islands. Schedules change throughout the year; further details are available from the Our Airline website. [1]

Get around[edit]

Nauru is so small that it takes less than one hour to drive right around it. The airport runway cuts across three of the twenty kilometres of road. The only traffic lights on the island are used to stop the traffic and allow the plane to cross the road to the terminal! This is a favourite souvenir snapshot taken by visitors.

Traffic drives on the left. The 19km Island Ring Road circles the island. Drivers should be on increased lookout for animals and pedestrians while driving on the beltway. There is a community bus which travels around the island every hour or so during the day. Cars or bicycles can sometimes be rented from Capelle and Partners, the largest local supermarket.

Every year, there are on average 200 tourists in Nauru, so it has the honor of being the least touristy country in the world. Crowds aren't a problem at all.


The official language is Nauruan, a distinct Pacific Island language. English is widely understood, spoken, and used for most government and commercial purposes.


The Buada Lagoon
  • Anibare Bay where there are tropical beaches
  • Anibare Harbour, a 2000 project, was largely financed by the Japanese government
  • The Parliament House and other Government buildings in Yaren, the unofficial capital of Nauru
  • The Buada Lagoon, the only body of fresh water on the island, is a very picturesque spot in the lower middle of the island. The lagoon is surrounded on all sides by dense palm trees and other vegetation. However, the water is dirty and not suitable for swimming in. Still, a nice photo opportunity, and you can walk all the way around the lagoon, as the sealed road circles it. To get there, take the road opposite the Od-N-Aiwo hotel, follow it until it branches and then go left. The road will lead you straight there.


An abandoned Japanese pillbox
  • Walk round the islands interior. Do the circuit - A sealed road goes all the way around the island so you can drive, ride or walk around an entire country! A drive takes about 25 minutes non-stop. A pushbike ride would take 2-3 hours and a walk maybe 6 hours. There is lots of nice scenery if not much to do and, going from either hotel, Chappelle & Partner department store right at the top of the island in Ewa district makes for a welcome break at halfway around.
  • Explore World war relics in Yaren. Spot the remains of Japanese guns, bunkers and pillboxes left over from WWII.
  • Climb Command Ridge, Nauru's highest point.
  • Watch the local teams battle it out at an Australian rules football match. The national game is played all through Saturday at the Linkbelt Oval sports field.
  • Fish: Head out to sea and try your luck at game fishing
  • Shop at Capelle & Partner, the only department store and largest business on Nauru island.
  • Swim in Anibare Harbour, which is the best bet for swimming, as most beaches are too shallow and rocky.


Nauru uses the Australian dollar as its national currency. Cash transactions are the norm; credit cards are rarely accepted. There are no banks or ATMs in Nauru.


A pizzeria in the Aiwo district

Food is imported from Australia and arrives by ship, usually once every six to eight weeks. There are lots of small "eating places", selling Chinese food. There is also a fast food kiosk at Capelle's supermarket.

Dining in Nauru is a great experience. Since Nauru is an island nation, seafood is very popular in its restaurants. Cooked and smoked hams are also very popular, as meat is one of their main foods. Its cuisine is highly influenced by the cuisines of countries such as Germany, Australia, China and Britain.

Reynaldo's is a popular name in the list of restaurants and bars in Nauru. It is a local restaurant that offers authentic Chinese cuisines. There are many other restaurants and bars in Nauru. Nauru cuisine is very light because of the high temperature. Therefore, you will get to savor simple food items in the eateries of this country. The aroma and flavor of the delicacies of Nauru are unique to this country.


The Reef Bar at the Menen Hotel is the only public bar in Nauru. It is situated at a walking distance of 30 minutes from the Od-N-Aiwo, the only other hotel on the island. It serves Australian beers and international spirits. The barroom has a couple of pool tables, satellite TV and recorded music. It's lively at the weekends, as Nauruans are paid on Fridays, and quiet on weeknights. New faces will be enthusiastically welcomed by the locals and the expats will usually have a chat, too. No flip flops/thongs (enclosed sandals are OK) and men must wear a collar.


There are two hotels, the more expensive Menen on the east of the island and the budget Od'n Aiwo to the west.

  • Od'n Aiwo HotelPO Box 299, Aiwo District (On the coastal belt road, to the west side of the island, directly opposite the road inland to Buada),  (+674) 444 3701. The less expensive of the two hotels on Nauru. US$40-80.
  • Menen HotelPO Box 298, Anibare District (On the coastal belt road, to the east side of the island and south of Anibare Bay.),  (+674) 444 3300. The Menen is Nauru's largest hotel, boasting 119 rooms and conference facilities for up to 200. It possesses two restaurants and the island's only bar. US$80.

Stay safe[edit]

A coral reef on the Nauruan coast

Like many other Pacific Islands, Nauru is surrounded by a shallow reef with cut-outs through the reef providing access for boats and harbours, and there can be strong currents across the shallow water, moving boats in the harbours, and dangerous marine animals on the reef floor. Ask for advice before venturing into the water.

The trafficking of drugs and narcotics of any kind will be punished severely.

Homosexual acts are still technically illegal in Nauru and can lead to prosecution. Open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend some in Nauru.

Stay healthy[edit]

Water supply in Nauru is dependent on rainwater collected into tanks from the roofs of houses and from an aging reverse osmosis desalination plant.

  • Emergency: 118 or 117
  • Nauru General Hospital: 674- 555-4302



  • Cenpac Net - Internet provider
This country travel guide to Nauru is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!
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