Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Nauru


Nauru Location
Now, not many people have heard of Nauru. Most Australians have probably heard of it but possibly are unaware of where it is. This tiny island country was used for years as the "Processing Centre" of refugees who attempted to illegally enter Australia by boat. This is where refugees were housed while their refugee status was investigated prior to either being allowed into Australia or deported back to their own countries (they were mostly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Sri Lanka).
The island is only is only 21 square kms and with the world's second smallest population makes it also the smallest Republic. During the 1960's & 1970's, Nauru enjoyed the highest per capita income of any sovereign state in the world due to its rich phosphate deposits. Unfortunately when the countries phosphate deposits were diminished so did the country's wealth. Many Nauruans have now emigrated to either Australia or New Zealand leaving a population of less than 10,000 people. 

The Australian Government brokered a deal that offered aid to Nauru in exchange for use of the island as a processing centre for refugees as mentioned above. This ended in 2008 however there are now talks of re-opening the centre after other re-location solutions to the "boat people" have been unsuccessful.

Beach on Nauru
A beach on Nauru with your very own Japanese WWII bunker
Rock formations on Nauru
Rocky beach  formations
Local Nauruan children
Local Nauruan children
WWII Japanese gun emplacement
WWII Japanese gun emplacement
Phosphate mining has created a lunar landscape on Nauru
Phosphate mining has created a lunar landscape on Nauru
Well, that's a bit of history about the island. Needless to say, very very few travellers or tourists visit Nauru, which is a shame because the island is worthy of a visit. You certainly will get most of the beaches to yourself and the locals are extremely friendly. There are also some Japanese WWII bunkers & gun emplacements on the island which attracts a few veterans and historians. The fishing is stupendous here and it is extremely easy to organise a fishing trip with a local. You can also do an interesting drive across the island and see the bizarre lunar landscape as a result of the years of phosphate mining.  All in all its a great place to visit to get away from it all but expect to mostly create your own entertainment.

You can get to Nauru from Brisbane, Australia flying with 'Our Airline'. The airline currently flies Brisbane - Nauru - Marshall Islands - Kiribati (Tarawa) - Nadi . So if you are island hopping then it is a great way to see some of the more remote islands of this part of the Pacific. Accommodation is available at the Menen Hotel, which is where we stayed however it is a little isolated. Nearer to the main town is the Od-n Aiwo Hotel - nothing  flashy but if you want to be not far from the town centre and facilities then this may be your best bet.

For more information on Nauru please visit the Nauru Tourism website. Most of the images on this site were taken by us when we were commissioned by the SPTO (South Pacific Tourism Organisation). 

Ever been to Nauru? If so, would love to hear your comments. For more images of Nauru visit our website.

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