Beyond The Guidebooks: Exploring Nauru, The Remote Pacific Island

Nestled in the azure expanse of the Pacific Ocean lies Nauru, a tiny island nation often overshadowed by its larger neighbours
Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of Australia
Nauru is a tiny island country in Micronesia, northeast of AustraliaPrasanna Vee

Formerly known as Pleasant Island, Nauru is the world's smallest island nation. With a population of approximately ten thousand, Nauru is so tiny that you could jog around the entire country. If you're unfamiliar with Nauru, chances are you'd have difficulty pinpointing it on a map. Nauru is just a speck in the middle of the Central Pacific and holds the odd title of The Least-Visited Country on The Planet. According to our friendly taxi driver, one of the only two taxi operators on the island, he had not met more than 4-5 tourists in the last couple of years. I usually trust a local cabbie more than any other guidebook to get a feel for the tourist impact on a destination, and knowing this fact made this trip even more exciting and unique. 

Due to the limited number of visitors to the island, there is scarce information available online about it. Booking a hotel online could be challenging, as searches on most online booking platforms yield no flight options, and even Google might need help to provide relevant search results. This island does not attract much attention from adventurous travellers, let alone the typical tourists.  But then, the lack of crowds and visitors adds an extra dose of magic and seclusion to a place. It's not just the serenity of the place but also the purity of the people (especially the localised refugees) that captured our hearts. Everyone we interacted with here was sweet and helpful—offering us rides, helping with logistics, etc. Also, it was pretty amusing to see the lost expressions on the faces of the locals—who couldn't believe that we were here just for tourism and not attached to any "departments."

Meal With A View

Enjoy meals with stunning ocean views
Enjoy meals with stunning ocean viewsPrasanna Vee

Our first meal on the island was at The Bay restaurant, and it was an absolute delight—both in terms of the food and the mood. Imagine enjoying a Pacific Island Breeze, savouring Spicy Pakistani curry and roti, and sipping on Fine Craft Ale from Australia at a table with a breathtaking view, far from the crowds of tourists and selfie sticks. For a traveller seeking new experiences, this is the perfect refuel.

Party Time

The 4 B's of Bliss: A cold Beer, a comfortable Bench, a beautiful Beach, and a soothing Breeze—what more could an island visitor ask for? Hotel Meneñ's Reef Bar is the place to party. There's live music or DJs on Friday and Saturday nights, attracting local and expat crowds.

Refuel Time

Most shipping containers scattered around the island have been converted into exciting utility structures—from shops to storage sheds and offices. Some have even been repurposed to set up cool cafes and delis.

Lost In A Lagoon

One of the must-see spots on the island is Buada Lagoon. It's an ideal place to disconnect from time and direction and relax in a serene, unique setting compared to other tourist-frequented Pacific islands. Here, we lounged on creatively transformed old tyres resembling mini couches.

A Different Kind Of Ruins

Some of the best sights of ruins can be spotted on the beach
Some of the best sights of ruins can be spotted on the beachPrasanna Vee

The beautiful island is strewn with gigantic rusting structures and old shipping containers carelessly left behind like disposable garbage by foreign corporations that pillaged this island of its rich resources during its glory days. While it's quite sad to see this, they were all great candidates for killer Instagram shots.

Some of the best sights can be spotted on the beach, close to the main road you would hit when you return from Buada Lagoon. Giant tyres from mining equipment are a common sight all around the island. Seeing how the locals converted this industrial garbage into cute artwork was quite interesting.

Bowled Over By The Beaches

Nauru's beaches are clean and pristine
Nauru's beaches are clean and pristine Prasanna Vee

Based on the pictures I saw—from the limited number of coverage and blogs about Nauru on the web—I expected Nauru to be surrounded by very shallow, rock-filled, and visually unappealing beaches. But I was shocked to see stunning oceanfronts with turquoise waters and thundering waves that could rival some Caribbean or Hawaii beaches.


Nauru has some amazing sunset views
Nauru has some amazing sunset viewsPrasanna Vee

Travelling to way off-the-beaten-track destinations can be a lot more fun because of many surprises that might happen since you need to know what to expect, thanks to the lack of coverage in guidebooks or blogs. Jules on the Deck was one such magical surprise. Even locals didn't know much about this place, and there was barely any information on the internet about this bohemian bar. But, my oh my, what an excellent venue for a stunning sunset this watering hole turned out to be. And we could savour the daily ritual of the great ball of fire while sipping on Victoria's finest!

The Information

Getting There

Nauru is a tiny, isolated island nation in the Pacific Ocean, making it quite remote and difficult to access. There are no direct flights from India. The most common route is to fly to Australia or Fiji and then take a connecting flight to Nauru operated by Nauru Airlines or Air Pacific. You can get flights from Brisbane or Melbourne to Nauru's tiny Nauru International Airport from Australia. From Fiji, flights depart from Nadi International Airport. Flight times are 4-5 hours from Australia and 3 hours from Fiji. Alternatively, you can fly to other Pacific island nations like Kiribati or the Marshall Islands and then take a limited regional flight service to Nauru.

Visa Requirements For Indians

Indian citizens require a visa to enter Nauru. You must apply for a visitor's permit or visa upon arrival before travelling. You can apply online through Nauru's eVisa system or the Nauruan High Commission in your nearest location. You must submit your valid Indian passport, travel dates, proof of accommodation, return ticket, and yellow fever vaccination if you are transiting certain countries. 

Best Time To Visit

Nauru has a hot tropical climate year-round, with temperatures averaging around 28°C to 35°C. The weather is split into two seasons—a wet season and a dry season. The best time to visit is during the dry season, between November and April. This is the sunniest time, with lower humidity and minimal rainfall. February is considered the best, with warm temperatures around 30°C. The wet season is from May to October, with higher rainfall and an increased risk of tropical storms. Humidity levels are also exceptionally high during this period. While travel is still possible, the wetter conditions are less ideal for a beach holiday.

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