Nauru Commonwealth Walkway

Nauru / The Pacific

NAURU Nauru Island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean is situated approximately 800 miles northeast of the Solomon Islands. It is about 4 kilometres across and 5 kilometres in length.  It consists of raised coral islands and there are no harbours or protected anchorages.  It was first settled by Polynesian and Melanesian groups about 3,000 years ago.  The first European visitors were British whalers in 1798.   Guns and alcohol were introduced, causing a decade-long war between the 12 clans there.  By 1888 Naura had been annexed by Germany.  At the start of the First World War, Australia occupied the island and administered it under a mandate from the League of Nations from 1920.  The island was occupied by the Japanese in 1942/43 and retaken by Australia in 1945.  Between 1947 and 1968 Nauru was administered by Australia.  It had become self-governing in January 1966.  On 31 January 1968, following a two-year constitutional convention, Nauru became the world's smallest independent republic.  It was led by founding president Hammer DeRoburt (1922-92), who had chiefly status.  In 1987 Nauru began proceedings against the Australian government for phosphate compensation, this being settled in 1993.  Nauru joined the Commonwealth in 1999 and the United Nations.   Most of the Island’s inhabitants are indigenous Nauruans.  There are also small numbers of I-Kiribati (Gilbertese), Australians, New Zealanders, Chinese, and Tuvaluans; many members of the latter two groups were recruited as workers by the phosphate industry.  Nauru’s national language is Nauruan.  No adequate written grammar of the language has been compiled, and its relationships to other Micronesian languages are not well understood.  English is widely spoken.  In addition, Nauru is considered one of the most Westernised countries in the South Pacific.  Capital Nauru has no official capital, but government offices are located in the district of Yaren, on the south of the island.  The district was created in 1968.  Its original name, Moqua, refers to Moqua Well, an underground lake and primary source of drinking water for Nauruan people. Fun Facts
  • For a brief period in the Sixties, it had the highest per capita GDP in the world, making Nauru one of the richest countries in the world (for a brief time). 
  • With such a small population, Nauru is the least populated member of the United Nations.
  • Due to its small size, the only commercial crop on Nauru is coconuts. 

6.8 miles / 11 kilometres

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