Nauru, officially the Republic of Nauru (formerly Pleasant Island), is an island country in Micronesia in the central Pacific region. Its nearest neighbour is Banaba Island in Kiribati, 300 kilometres to the east. It is the smallest state in the South Pacific, and the second smallest state by population in the world, behind only the Vatican City.
Settled by Micronesian and Polynesian People, Nauru was once annexed and claimed as a colony by the German Empire in the late 19th century. After the First World War, Nauru became a League of Nations mandate co-administered by Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. And while Nauru already gained its independence in 1968, its long history is still evident today.
What to see & do
Anibare Bay – The Anibare Bay is the top point of interest in Nauru. It is a large bay located in the east of the country, and is characterised by its beautiful waters. It is bordered by capes to the north and south, in Ijuw and Meneng districts respectively, and was formed by the underwater collapse of the east side of the volcano that underlies Nauru. The beach here (of the same name), is in excess of two kilometres long and is a popular surf site.
Moqua Caves – The Moqua Caves are a popular geological feature in Pacific Nauru. It is a series of caves that are popular to tourists, primarily those who wish to explore. The series of caves are located in the Yaren district, in the southern region of the island.
Moqua Well – The Moqua Well is a small, underground lake located near the Moqua Cave system. During the World War II, Moqua Well was the primary source of drinking water for inhabitants of Nauru. It is for this reason that the body of water is referred to as “well”, and not “lake”.
Topside – The Central Plateau, or locally referred to as the Topside, is the central plateau of Nauru. It was the area from which phosphate has been mined for fertiliser for more than 100 years, with some mining still going on. The mining resulted to a rough wilderness of limestone coral pinnacles that in many areas has been covered with regrowth (of vegetation). The Topside also contains war time remains (possibly from the Second World War during the Japanese Occupation), including guns, plane wrecks, and a gaol constructed in an old railway cutting.
How to get around within Nauru
Nauru is one of the smallest places in the world and one could literally go around here in an hour. Roads are pretty paved and maintained, however about three out of the 20 kilometres of road here are crossed by the runway of the country's airport – so be careful when crossing here. Traffic drives on the left, and animals are free to roam in the roads so watch out. Other means of transport meanwhile include a community bus (travelling around the island every hour, every day) and bicycles.
How to get there
The Nauru International Airport is the main airport serving Nauru. The national carrier, Our Airline, serves regular flights going to and from Brisbane (Australia), Tarawa (Kiribati), and Majuro (Marshall Islands). Schedules change from time to time throughout the year, so make sure to check out the carrier's website.