Kiribati Holiday Planner
The independent Republic of Kiribati, an unspoiled spot in Micronesia where sea transport is still managed by canoe, consists of a large chain of islands in the central tropical Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. It includes three major island groups – the Gilbert Islands, the Phoenix Islands, and the Line Islands. Kiribati is about as close to being a land that time and progress forgot as you will find. There is not that much in the way of standard entertainment and distraction here … and the locals consider their country to be a destination for world travellers, people exploring the world, rather than your standard tourist.
Where in the South Pacific?
There are only a few hotels and lodges on Tarawa and Christmas Island. Guest houses can be found here and there on some of the outer islands are made of local materials in the traditional style. Kiribati is not a standard tourist destination, there are no resorts in Kiribati, and if you are looking for an idyllic holiday destination then Kiribati is definitely for you.
Kiribati Travel Guide
Kiribati offers you world class fishing (most notably bone fishing), excellent surfing, and the opportunity to hike through parts of the world that have never been seen by modern man. On the outer islands, the islanders live off of coconuts, fish, and breadfruit, just as they have done for centuries. On the main island of Tarawa, the majority of the islanders still reside in traditional raised thatched huts. Nothing happens fast here, so settle down, relax, and enjoy living on island time.
These isolated coral atolls (ring-shaped islets with a central lagoon) that make up the Kiribati Islands are actually the protruding tips of undersea volcanoes, and extend only a few feet above sea level. The republic consists of 32 atolls and one island (Banaba), and reaches into both the eastern and western hemispheres. Measured by land size, Kiribati is a tiny nation of just over 810 sq km, but its 33 atolls span 3.5 million sq km.
Tarawa Atoll is the centre of administration and government for Kiribati. The rural north is much like being on one of the outer islands – looking now as it must have for the last few hundred, possibly thousand years. South Tarawa is home to more than a third of Kiribati's population, most of whom live in open-sided huts on the Betio Islet, found at the western tip of the atoll
where there are a couple of small hotels and homestay guesthouses, world war II wrecks and some good diving. The Phoenix Islands in the centre of the group, are almost entirely uninhabited..
In the east are the Line Islands where the majority of tourists are drawn to. Christmas Island (also Kiritimati) is the largest coral atoll in the world measuring 388 sq. km and is rich in wildlife. But its greatest appeal is the fantastic game fishing, in particular bonefish.Christmas Island is the most popular holiday destination on Kiribati, comprising almost half of the nation's total land area. The atoll consists of iridescent salt flats, shallow lagoons, and windswept stretches filled with palm trees and salt bush. The island is also one of the most amazing sea-bird sanctuaries in the world, and millions of birds in more than a dozen species call this atoll home. The gorgeous lagoon looks like it's never been seen or touched by man, and holds an array of marine creatures. It's a tropical heaven where you can lie back and just watch unspoiled nature pass you by
Kiribati Travel Information
As isolated as Kiribati is, it should come as no surprise that it takes a little work and time to get there. But rest assured, the trip is worth the trouble. Kiribati has 3 International gateways. These are located on Tarawa, Kiritimati and Kanton Islands, the latter is a private air field only. Flights are available from Fiji and Honolulu only. Getting around the islands also takes a bit of planning and patience, especially between islands as travel is pretty much tide-dependent..
Kiribati Travel Highlights
- 1) Bonefishing, Christmas Is
- 2) Laid back life, outer Tarawa
- 3) Homestay, Tarawa
- 4) Scuba Diving, Christmas Island
- 5) Bird watching, Christmas Island
- 6) Tarawa WWII Battle Field
- 7) Kiribati dance
- 8) Salt Pans of Christmas Island
- 9) World Class Surfing Breaks
- 10) Fishing Villages on Betio Island
- Total islands: 33
- Total land mass: 811 km²
- Capital: Tarawa Atoll
- Main Island: Tarawa Atoll
- Int'l Airport: Bonriki, Tarawa
- Population: 85,000
- Language: Kiribati & English
- Tourists: 5,000 per year
- Accommodations: 10
- Money: A$
Islands to Visit
- Tarawa Atoll
- Christmas Island