Tuesday, April 23, 2024
Nauru travel guide - Travel S helper


travel guide

Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru and previously referred to as Pleasant Island, is a Micronesian island nation in the Central Pacific. Banaba Island in Kiribati is its closest neighbor, about 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the east. Additionally, it borders Tuvalu to the northwest, the Solomon Islands to the north, Papua New Guinea to the east-northeast, the Federated States of Micronesia to the southeast, and the Marshall Islands to the south. With a population of 10,084 people and an area of 21 square kilometers (8.1 square miles), Nauru is the smallest state in the South Pacific and the third smallest state in the world by area, after Vatican City and Monaco.

Nauru was seized and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late nineteenth century. It was settled by indigenous peoples from Micronesia and Polynesia. Nauru became a League of Nations mandate managed by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom after World War I. Nauru was held by Japanese forces during World War II, but was bypassed by the Allied push across the Pacific. Following the war’s conclusion, the nation was placed under UN trusteeship. Nauru achieved independence from the United Kingdom in 1968.

Nauru is a phosphate rock island with abundant resources near the surface that made strip mining very simple. It contains some residual phosphate deposits that are commercially unviable for exploitation as of 2011. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Nauru had the greatest per capita GDP of any sovereign state in the world. When the island’s phosphate deposits were depleted and the island’s ecology was irreparably damaged by mining, the trust created to manage the island’s riches lost value. To generate revenue, Nauru temporarily became a tax haven and money laundering hub. It received assistance from the Australian government in return for hosting the Nauru prison center from 2001 to 2008, and again in 2012. As a consequence of its reliance on Australia, many sources have classified Nauru as an Australian client state.

Nauru’s president is Baron Waqa, who leads a 19-member unicameral legislature. The United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the Asian Development Bank, and the Pacific Islands Forum all recognize the nation as a member. Additionally, Nauru competes in Commonwealth and Olympic Games. Nauru was recently admitted as a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In April 2016, the Republic of Nauru became the International Monetary Fund’s 189th member.

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Nauru - Info Card




Australian dollar (AUD)

Time zone



21 km2 (8.1 sq mi)

Calling code


Official language

Nauruan - English

Nauru | Introduction

Geography Of Nauru

Nauru is a 21-square-kilometer (8-square-mile) oval-shaped island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, 42 kilometers (26 miles) south of the Equator. The island is bordered by a coral reef that is visible at low tide and is studded with pinnacles. The existence of the reef has precluded the development of a harbor, but passages in the reef provide access to the island for small boats. Inland from the shore is a rich coastal strip 150 to 300 metres (490 to 980 feet) wide.

Nauru’s central plateau is surrounded by coral cliffs. The plateau’s highest point, known as the Command Ridge, is 71 meters (233 feet) above sea level.

Nauru’s only productive regions are along its short coastal strip, where coconut palms thrive. Bananas, pineapples, vegetables, pandanus trees, and indigenous hardwoods such as the tomano tree grow on the area around Buada Lagoon.

Nauru, together with Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia, was one of three major phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean. Nauru’s phosphate deposits are now nearly completely exhausted. Phosphate mining on the middle plateau has resulted in a desolate landscape of jagged limestone pinnacles up to 15 metres (49 feet) high. Mining has destroyed and ruined about 80% of Nauru’s land area, as well as the surrounding Exclusive Economic Zone; silt and phosphate runoff is believed to have killed 40% of marine life.

On Nauru, there are little natural fresh water resources. Rainwater is collected in rooftop storage tanks. The islanders rely on on three desalination facilities operated by Nauru’s Utilities Agency.

Climate In Nauru

Because of its closeness to the equator and the water, Nauru’s climate is hot and humid all year. Between November and February, Nauru gets affected by monsoon rains, although cyclones are rare. Annual rainfall varies greatly and is affected by the El Nio-Southern Oscillation, with many severe droughts documented. On Nauru, the temperature varies between 26 and 35 °C (79 and 95 °F) during the day and 22 to 34 °C (72 and 93 °F) at night.

Demographics Of Nauru

As of July 2011, the population of Nauru was 9,378 people. The island’s population was once higher, but 1,500 people departed in 2006 as part of a repatriation of immigrant workers from Kiribati and Tuvalu. The repatriation was prompted by widespread layoffs in the phosphate mining sector. It is Oceania’s least populous nation.

Ethnic groups

Nauru has a population of 58 percent Nauruans, 26 percent other Pacific Islanders, 8 percent Europeans, and 8 percent Chinese. Nauruans are the descendants of Polynesian and Micronesian sailors. Two of the original 12 tribal tribes became extinct in the twentieth century.


Christianity is the most widely practiced religion on the island (two-thirds Protestant, one-third Roman Catholic). The freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Constitution. The government has limited the religious activities of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Jehovah’s Witnesses, the majority of whom are foreign laborers employed by the state-owned Nauru Phosphate Corporation. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tarawa and Nauru, with its see at Tarawa, Kiribati, pastorally serves the Catholics.

The original aboriginal people worshiped a female goddess named Eijebong and a spirit realm called Buitani.

There is also a sizable Bahá’ community (10% ) – the highest percentage of any nation in the world – as well as Buddhist (9%) and Muslim (2.2%) communities.

Economy Of Nauru

The Nauruan economy peaked in the early 1980s, when it was nearly completely reliant on phosphate resources derived from seabird droppings. There are few alternative resources, and the majority of needs must be imported. RONPhos, previously known as the Nauru Phosphate Corporation, continues to undertake small-scale mining. The government invests a portion of RONPhos’ profits in the Nauru Phosphate Royalties Trust. The Trust handles long-term assets that were created to assist people when the phosphate deposits were depleted.

Mismanagement resulted in significant reductions in the Trust’s fixed and current assets, which may never completely recover. Among the unsuccessful ventures was the funding of Leonardo the Musical in 1993. To pay debts, the Mercure Hotel in Sydney and Nauru House in Melbourne were sold in 2004, and Air Nauru’s only Boeing 737 was seized in December 2005. Normal flight service resumed in June 2006, when the aircraft was replaced by a Boeing 737–300 airliner. The company sold its Melbourne property asset, the empty Savoy Tavern site, for $7.5 million in 2005.

The Trust’s worth is believed to have decreased from A$1.3 billion in 1991 to $138 million in 2002. Nauru presently lacks the funds to carry out many fundamental government tasks; for example, the National Bank of Nauru is bankrupt. In 2005, the CIA World Factbook projected a GDP per capita of $5,000. According to the Asian Development Bank’s 2007 economic assessment for Nauru, GDP per capita ranges between $2,400 to $2,715. According to the United Nations (2013), the GDP per capita is $15,211, and it ranks 51 on the list of countries with the highest GDP per capita.

Personal taxes are not levied in Nauru. The unemployment rate is believed to be 90%, while the government employs 95% of those who have jobs. The Asian Development Bank observes that, despite the administration’s strong popular mandate to undertake economic reforms, the medium-term prognosis is for continuing reliance on foreign aid in the lack of an alternative to phosphate mining. Tourism does not contribute much to the economy.

Nauru became a tax haven in the 1990s and began issuing passports to foreign citizens for a price. In its battle against money laundering, the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) designated Nauru as one of 15 “non-cooperative” nations. During the 1990s, a regulated bank in Nauru could be established for as little as $25,000 with no additional criteria. Under FATF pressure, Nauru enacted anti-avoidance laws in 2003, prompting foreign hot money to flee the nation. FATF removed the non-cooperative status in October 2005, citing positive outcomes from the law and its implementation.

From 2001 until 2007, the Nauru prison center was a major source of revenue for the nation. The Nauruan authorities expressed their dismay at Australia’s decision to close the island. Dr Kieren Keke, the Foreign Affairs Minister at the time, said in February 2008 that the closure would result in 100 Nauruans losing their employment and would impact 10% of the island’s population directly or indirectly: “We have a large number of families who would suddenly lose their income. We are looking at methods to offer some welfare help, but our ability is extremely restricted. We literally have a huge unemployment problem on our hands.” In August 2012, the detention center reopened.

Things To Know Before Traveling To Nauru


Nauru is a Christian nation, therefore Christian ideals and standards of behavior apply.

  • Importing pornographic material is prohibited, and the government also restricts access to Internet porn.
  • Male LGBT visitors should be informed that male homosexual activities are prohibited in Nauru and are punished by 3-14 years in prison (though the law is not always enforced). Some people in Nauru may be offended by open displays of love between same-sex couples.
  • Drug and narcotics trafficking of any sort shall be severely penalized.
  • There is one location on the island where photographs are not permitted: the Australian “procession facility for illegal immigrants.”


Nauruan, a Pacific Island language, is the official language. However, about half of the island’s population speaks Nauruan fluently, and English is widely understood, spoken, and utilized for most government and commercial reasons.

Festivals & Events

These are the most significant events of the year:

  • Independence Day (31 Jan)
  • Easter (late March or early April)
  • Constitution Day (17 May)
  • Angam, the Day of the Return Home (26 Oct)
  • Christmas (25 Dec)

Internet & Communications


On the island, there are a handful of post offices where you may send mail.


There are just two embassies in Nauru; most other nations’ embassies are in either Australia or New Zealand.


There are public telephones as well as a mobile phone network. If your home operator does not have a roaming contract with Nauru, you may need to purchase a SIM card from the local operator Digicel.


CenpacNet inc. is the only Internet service provider, as well as the owner of the national domain.nr. Furthermore, it runs Nauru’s sole Internet café:

  • Cenpac’s internet café, Civic Centre, Aiwo district (along the Ring Road). 

Aside from that, hotels provide laptops where you may go online, but you should check the prices beforehand!

Entry Requirements For Nauru

Because of the Australian offshore detention center on the island, there will be a large number of Australian government personnel staying at the island’s two tiny hotels and occupying seats on flights to and from Nauru (especially the direct flight to and from Brisbane). This, along with the visa requirement, implies that you should definitely plan and schedule your trip a few months in advance.

To enter Nauru, all international tourists must have a valid passport and evidence of a hotel reservation or a local sponsor. Citizens of the Cook Islands, Fiji, Israel, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu are eligible for a free visa on arrival. Citizens of other nations must get a visa in advance. There have been Internet rumors claiming you may enter for up to three days without a visa, but this is not true.

Because visa applications may take a long time to complete, you should submit your application well in advance of your planned travel. A tourist visa is said to cost AUD 100. If you are a journalist and want to work in Nauru, you will require a journalist visa, which costs AUD 200. However, if you want to report on the Australian detention center on the island, you may have to pay AUD 8000 due to a 2014 decision by the Nauruan government. Journalist visa applications should be sent to Joanna Olsson, Director of the Government Information Office, at [email protected].

You will be given a card, which you must fill out and submit together with a copy of your passport. The visa cost is paid in Nauru upon arrival. To get registered, you must provide your passport to the authorities at this time. Your passport will be returned to you the following day.

Depending on your country, you may need a transit visa or an ESTA if you are transiting via American territory (for example, Guam) on your way to Nauru.

Customs regulations

Passengers may carry the following items into Nauru:

  • 400 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 450g of tobacco
  • three bottles of spirits
  • a small quantity of perfumes for personal use
  • a small quantity of audiovisual products

Drugs, explosives, firearms, and porn are not permitted to be imported.

How To Travel To Nauru

Get In - By plane

Nauru Airlines (previously known as Our Airline and Air Nauru) flies to Nauru from Brisbane, Nadi, and Honiara as of March 2016. Flights are sporadic, with each destination serviced one to three times a week.

The island’s main airport, situated in the Yaren region in the southwest, is where almost everyone comes and leaves from Nauru.

The hotel may or may not send a vehicle to meet you at the airport; in the worst-case scenario, you will have to walk.

Get In - By boat

Neither of the two ports at Aiwo or Anibare can handle passenger traffic or yachts; they are only utilized for phosphate exports or by local fisherman. Because the water along the shoreline is shallow, bigger ships must anchor off shore.

How To Travel Around Nauru

Nauru has the distinction of being the world’s least touristed nation, with an average of 200 visitors each year. Crowds aren’t an issue at all. There is little public transit, so renting a car, scooter, or bike is your best option for getting about. Other options include walking (which is unpleasant in the tropical heat and humidity) or hitching, which is very popular on the island.

Get Around - By public transport

During the day, a community bus goes around the island every hour or so. Locals also sometimes hang to the carriages of the freight train that runs between Aiwo and the interior mining region.

Get Around - By car

Nauru is so tiny that driving around island takes less than one hour. The 19km Island Ring Road surrounds the island and is paved; however, most of the interior roads are not. Three of the twenty kilometers of road are severed by the airport runway. The island’s only traffic signals are utilized to halt traffic and enable the aircraft to cross the road to the terminal! This is a popular souvenir photograph taken by tourists.

Drivers should be on the alert for animals and people when driving on the beltway, since traffic travels on the left.

Capelle & Partners, the biggest local grocer, sometimes rents cars or bicycles. Otherwise, you may inquire at your hotel or just ask a local. To drive in Nauru, foreigners must have an international driver’s license. Also, keep in mind that gasoline shortages are not uncommon!

Accommodation & Hotels in Nauru

There are two hotels on the island, the more costly Menen on the east and the cheaper Od’n Aiwo on the west. In addition to this, the store offers guest accommodations in the island’s north.

  • Od’n Aiwo Hotel, Aiwo District (On the west side of the island, on the coastal belt road, right opposite the route inland to Buada.),  +674 444 3701, e-mail: [email protected]. The least costly of Nauru’s two hotels. It has fewer rooms than Menen but is still the highest structure on the island, making it popular with travellers. There are two restaurants in the hotel. US$40-80.
  • Menen Hotel, Anibare District (On the coastal belt road, on the island’s east side, south of Anibare Bay.),  +674 444 3300, e-mail: [email protected]. The Menen is Nauru’s biggest hotel, with 119 rooms and meeting space for up to 200 people. It has two restaurants and the lone bar on the island.AUD 95-160, suites AUD 255-500. 
  • Capelle & Partner Ewa Lodge (Capelle & Partner),  +674 557 1000, e-mail: [email protected]. In Ewa, northwestern Nauru. In the northern Nauru town of Ewa. The grocery complex has seven self-catering flats and five rooms for guests. AUD 95. 

Things To See in Nauru

  • Anibare Bay, is located in the Anibare district (along the Ring Road). Nauru’s most beautiful beach, with fine, white sand and palm trees, may be found here. The bay is deep enough for swimming, the water is clearer than on the west coast, and you get to swim amid fascinating coral pinnacles. Anibare Bay is Nauru’s closest match to most people’s perception of a South Pacific island, and it’s also popular with locals. It’s also a wonderful location to watch the dawn; at 166°E, Nauru is one of the world’s earliest nations to witness a new day. Anibare Harbour, the smaller of Nauru’s two ports, is situated near the bay’s southern end. You can see local fisherman bring their catch to shore here, which was built in the early 2000s using Japanese money.
  • Aiwo Harbour, District of Aiwo (along the Ring Road). The bigger port, which is utilized by large cargo ships to export phosphate and import other commodities such as food and gasoline. It was constructed in 1904 to handle the phosphate industry at the same time as the narrow-gauge railway that connects the mining region in the island’s center to Aiwo. Plants for refining phosphate before it is loaded onto ships along the two spectacular conveyor belts on pylons protruding into the sea are located at the end of the railway and across the road from the port (as a curiosity, tubes along these structures are used to offload fuel from tankers). The place isn’t as vibrant as it once was in the 1970s and 1980s, and most of it looks run-down. Still, phosphate mining has characterized Nauru for more than a century, and together with the mining landscape inland, it’s perhaps the biggest draw of the whole island – particularly if you’re interested in industrial tourism.
  • Government buildings, Yaren district government buildings (On the strip between the runway and the coast). Nauru, like many of the world’s smallest nations, lacks a “capital city.” The administration and the president are based in Yaren, close to the airport. The parliament building, although not as ostentatious as many others throughout the globe, is a significant landmark on the island. You may also attend a legislative session, which is typically accessible to the public.
  • Buada Lagoon, is located in the Buada district. (To reach there, follow the road opposite the Od-N-Aiwo hotel until it forks, then turn left.) The route will take you directly there.) The sole body of fresh water on the island is located in the lower center of the island in a very beautiful location. The lagoon is bordered by thick palm trees and other vegetation on all sides. However, the water is filthy and unfit for swimming. Still, it’s a great picture opportunity, and the paved road surrounds the lagoon, so you can stroll all the way around it.
  • The interior of the island (Topside). As a consequence of phosphate mining, the heart of the island has become a “moon landscape,” which residents refer to as Topside. This was the island’s source of riches, but most of the phosphate has since been extracted (though there is still mining going on but on a much smaller scale). The surviving limestone pinnacles have been partly covered by vegetation, producing a habitat that you would not expect to see on a South Sea island. Some people believe the scenery is unique and fascinating, while others say it’s terrible because mining destroyed the ecosystem literally from the ground up, and then “decorated” it with old cars and mining equipment lying about and rotting away. In addition, items left behind by the Japanese during WWII, such as weaponry, an aircraft crash, and even a tiny improvised prison, may be found on the Topside. Finally, the interior of the island has the notorious Australian offshore detention center, which you are not permitted to photograph.

Things To Do in Nauru

On land

Nauru is one of the few nations in the world where you can walk around its whole perimeter in a reasonable amount of time. A sealed road around the island, and the trip takes approximately 25 minutes nonstop. A bicycle trip takes around 2-3 hours, while a walk may take up to 6 hours. There is plenty of beautiful scenery but not much to do, and the Chappelle & Partner department store at the top of the island in the Ewa area provides a pleasant respite halfway around the island.

Walking around the island, you may see relics from the Second World War, when Japan controlled the island, such as Japanese weapons, bunkers, and pillboxes. These may be found mainly along the shore, but also atop 1 Command Ridge, Nauru’s highest point. If you’ve always wanted to see a national high point, it’s a rather simple walk up to this peak, which is 65 meters above sea level. There may also be possibilities for urban exploration of abandoned phosphate mining and transportation infrastructure in the island’s center and west.

If you like sports, you may watch local teams compete in an Australian rules football match. The national game will be played at the Linkbelt Oval sports field all day Saturday.

In the sea

Many of Nauru’s beaches are shallow and rocky, making them unsuitable for swimming. Anibare Bay (mentioned in See above) is your best option, and it’s also a wonderful location to watch the fisherman bring in the day’s catch to Anibare Harbour.

Food & Drinks in Nauru

Food in Nauru

The majority of the food is imported from Australia and comes by ship or plane once every six to eight weeks. There is Western and Asian (mainly Chinese) cuisine available. Dishes may not be as substantial and hearty as the original counterparts due to the tropical environment. Because not all components are always accessible, meals are often kept basic.

Seafood is extremely popular in Nauru’s eateries since it is an island country. As beef is one of their primary meals, cooked and smoked hams are also extremely popular.


  • Fast food kiosk. Capelle’s store on the island’s north. It specializes on western quick food.
  • Kasuo. Near the Aiwo hotel, there is a Chinese restaurant. Mostly serves seafood, fried rice, and noodles.

In addition to this, there are a few tiny cheap “dining establishments” that serve Chinese cuisine.


  • Reynaldo’s formal name is Reynaldo Reynaldo (next to the airport terminal). Reynaldo’s is a well-known name among Nauru’s restaurants and pubs. It is a neighborhood eatery that serves genuine Chinese food. It is also one of the few locations in Nauru that serves alcohol.
  • The Bay Restaurant (Anibare Bay). Specialising on seafood dishes, but also serving pizza and Indian cuisine. Actually, it is in Anibare, where the local fishing boats dock. Review sites rate this as the finest restaurant on the island, and it is popular with both tourists and residents.
  • Anibare (at Menen Hotel). Seafood and foreign cuisine.
  • Oriental (at Menen Hotel). Various Asian cuisines (Thai, Indian, Chinese).


  • Yaren district, Antinas (near the southern end of the runway). A somewhat upmarket seafood restaurant that also serves alcohol.

Drinks in Nauru

Reef Bar is a bar located on the reef (at the Menen Hotel). Nauru’s sole public bar. If you stay at the other hotel on the island, Od-N-Aiwo, it’s approximately 5.5 kilometers distant around the ring road. It offers Australian beers as well as foreign spirits. There are a couple of pool tables, satellite TV, and recorded music in the barroom. It’s busy on weekends since Nauruans get paid on Fridays, but it’s quiet on weeknights. The locals will gladly greet newcomers, and the expats will typically strike up a conversation as well. There are no flip flops or thongs allowed (enclosed sandals are OK), and males must wear a collar.

Aside from that, restaurants and stores sell soft drinks and, in certain cases, alcoholic beverages.

Money & Shopping in Nauru

The Australian dollar is the official currency of Nauru. Credit cards are seldom accepted; cash purchases are the norm. Nauru has no exchange offices, and the sole bank, Bank of Nauru, is generally closed. However, in April 2015, the Capelle & Partner established the island’s first ATM. You should still carry enough Australian dollars to cover your expenses throughout your trip.

On Nauru, there is no bargaining or tipping.

Culture Of Nauru

Angam Day, celebrated on October 26th, commemorates the recovery of the Nauruan people after the two World Wars and the 1920 influenza pandemic. The indigenous culture has been significantly displaced by colonial and modern Western influences. Few ancient traditions have survived, although certain kinds of traditional music, arts and crafts, and fishing continue to be practiced.


On Nauru, there are no daily news outlets, however there is one weekly newspaper, Mwinen Ko. Nauru Television (NTV) is a state-owned television station that transmits programs from New Zealand and Australia, while Radio Nauru is a state-owned non-commercial radio station that broadcasts programs from Radio Australia and the BBC.


Australian legislation Football is the most popular sport in Nauru, and it, along with weightlifting, is considered the national sport. There is an eight-team football league. Volleyball, netball, fishing, and tennis are all popular in Nauru. Nauru competes in both the Commonwealth Games and the Summer Olympics.

Rugby sevens has grown in popularity in the past two years to the point that it now has its own national team (Nauru national rugby union team.

Nauru took part in the Oceania Sevens Championship in New Zealand in 2015.

Stay Safe & Healthy in Nauru

Stay Safe in Nauru

Nauru is a tranquil island where crime of any sort is very uncommon. In an emergency, contact the emergency numbers (117 or 118) or proceed to the police station near the airport.

While earthquakes are not a danger in Nauru, it may be hit by tsunamis caused by earthquakes around the Ring of Fire, which surrounds the Pacific Ocean.

There is no record of a cyclone ever striking Nauru, and they are very uncommon exactly near the Equator. However, if you come during the rainy season, be prepared for severe rain and thunderstorms.

Swimming and surfing

Nauru, like many other Pacific islands, is bordered by a shallow reef with cut-outs allowing access for boats and harbours. There may be strong currents over the shallow sea, moving vessels in the harbours, and hazardous marine creatures on the coral bottom. Before diving into the sea, get guidance.

Stay Healthy in Nauru

Nauru’s water supply is reliant on rainwater collected in tanks from house roofs and an outdated reverse osmosis desalination facility. You should stay away from tap water.

Considering its small size and isolated location, Nauru has an adequate healthcare system. Aside from the widespread issue of obesity in the population, infant mortality and life expectancy rates are comparable to those of developed countries. Nauru General Hospital and RON Hospital are the two hospitals on the island, both situated in the Denigomodu area in the island’s west. If you have a more severe infection, you may need to be transported to Australia. Needless to mention, while visiting Nauru, it’s essential to have excellent travel insurance!

Tropical illnesses common in equatorial nations provide less of a danger in Nauru, but a hepatitis B vaccination is advised. However, there is a danger of dengue fever, so you should avoid mosquito bites.

You must provide evidence of yellow fever vaccination if you are from a country where yellow fever is prevalent or if you have visited such a country within the previous six days.



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