Nauru travel guide
If you’re travelling to Nauru, chances are you’re on business, ticking off every country in the world or visiting out of sheer curiosity – for this Pacific island is hardly your archetypal holiday destination.
Although ringed by a beautiful coral reef, the island's interior has been ravaged by decades of phosphate mining, extracted to supply Australia with fertiliser. The sea is also subject to strong currents and rocky pinnacles jut up immediately offshore, meaning swimming and diving are limited.
Tourism has never featured highly on Nauru's agenda, but there are a couple of dilapidated hotels and a handful of attractions: remnants of the Japanese WWII occupation, small beaches, a Chinatown of sorts and the lunar-like landscape of the mined centre. Buada Lagoon is worth checking out too, but swimming here isn’t recommended. You can also organise a deep-sea fishing charter and try your hand at hooking yellowfin tuna, marlin and wahoo.
Nauru’s main road stretches 19km (12 miles) round the country, so it doesn’t take long to see everything, and the climate is stiflingly hot and humid, so flopping under a palm tree is about as much as you can usually manage anyway.
This tiny island republic has gone from being one of the world’s richest nations (in terms of per capita income) to a country on the edge of economic ruin. When the phosphate began to run out, the economy took a downward turn. Consequently, Nauru has been forced to look to other means to keep the country afloat, most recently housing a controversial detention centre for Australia-bound asylum seekers in return for Australian aid.
Nauru’s airline runs a regular service from Brisbane, locals are as upbeat as they can be about the future, and signs of vegetation are beginning to appear inland, but the chances of increasing numbers of intrepid travellers visiting look slim.
21 sq km (8 sq miles).
10,263 (UN estimate 2016).
454.3 per sq km.
There is no capital. Government offices are in Yaren district.
President Lionel Aingimea since 2019.
President Lionel Aingimea since 2019.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Nauru on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Commercial flights to and from Nauru remain very limited. Check with your travel company for the latest information.
Entry and borders
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Nauru.
Return to the UK
When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in Nauru
If you’re resident in Nauru, you should be aware of the potential impact of the border closures.
Healthcare in Nauru
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
View Health for further details on healthcare in Nauru.
See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Nauru
As information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.
British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more information about the COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organization COVID-19 vaccines page.
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
Keep up to date with local events and avoid any demonstrations.
Internet services are available in Nauru, but some sites may be legally blocked.
Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in Nauru, attacks can not be ruled out.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time. .
There are heavy penalties for all drug offences.
Same-sex relations have been decriminalised, however, Nauru society is conservative and open displays of affection between same-sex partners may offend. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.
Pointing is considered rude and may cause offence.
The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.
The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.
Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)
Entry to Nauru
The only scheduled flight to Nauru is now a fortnightly service, on alternate Fridays, Brisbane-Nauru-Brisbane
Nauru authorities are requesting all persons to consider whether travel to Nauru is necessary and all persons are asked to cancel or postpone any non-essential travel to Nauru.
All passengers must present evidence of a negative PCR COVID test, undertaken not more than 3 days before travel to Nauru.
Only passengers who have spent at least the previous 14 days in the following countries will be considered eligible to enter Nauru:
Australia (NOT including Victoria), Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.
Travellers wishing to enter Nauru from a country not listed above must apply for an exemption from the Nauru government. Passengers who have transited through, or have been in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macao, Iran, Italy, Korea, Europe, USA or Asia (except Taiwan) in the past 21 days, will not be allowed to enter Nauru.
Testing / screening on arrival
All persons travelling to Nauru need to undergo pre-travel screening.
Effective from 16 March 2020, all persons arriving in Nauru will need to spend up to 14 days in “Government Transition Accommodation” in Nauru.
Travel via Australia and New Zealand
The government of Australia has announced that from 9pm Australia Eastern Standard Time on 20 March, entry to the country will only be permitted to Australian citizens or permanent residents. This follows a similar announcement by New Zealand from 19 March. As many flight connections to and from Nauru connect in Australia and New Zealand, options to depart Nauru are likely to reduce.
Regular entry requirements
British passport holders need a visa before travelling to Nauru. For details on how to apply contact:
Nauru High Commission
Ratu Sukuna House
PO Box 2420
Suva, Republic of Fiji
Tel: + 679 331 3566/331 2032
Fax: + 679 331 2032/331 8311
Nauru Consulate General
Level 3, 99 Creek Street
Tel: +61 7 3220 3044
Director of Immigration
Customs and Immigration
Department of Justice
Republic of Nauru
Tel: + 674 444 3152 / 3162
Fax: + 674 444 3832
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 3 months from the date of entry into Nauru.
UK Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents (ETDs) are accepted for entry to, and exit from Nauru. You should consult the immigration authority in Nauru to confirm before travelling and you should be aware that there is no British High Commission in Nauru to issue replacement travel documents once in country.
Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Nauru on the TravelHealthPro website
See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Nauru.
At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or bought in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) .
Medical facilities in Nauru are very basic and medical evacuation by air ambulance to Australia is necessary in most cases. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Nauru is subject to periodic outbreaks of typhoid.
There have been reports of visitors being bitten by stray dogs. Be vigilant, particularly on the beach. If you’re approached by a dog, do not run. Reaching down as if to pick up something off the ground can be enough to scare dogs away. If you’re bitten seek medical attention immediately.
Medical personnel and related flight crew, travelling to and entering Nauru for the purposes of a medical evacuation, are exempt from the travel restrictions, provided the appropriate protective equipment is utilised during the journey and in public spaces and the personnel or crew member is not displaying any symptoms.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 117 or 118 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you’re referred to a medical facility for treatment
Being so close to the equator, Nauru does not experience tropical cyclones. However, during the wet season, which normally runs from November to April, strong winds and sea swells are sometimes experienced.
Nauru is subject to periodic spells of drought. These can be severe. During times of drought water restrictions may be put in place.
During the wet season from November to April, strong winds, sea swells and tropical cyclones sometimes occur. Monitor regional and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the Fiji Meteorological Service, and checking local newspapers and local radio.
Nauru uses the Australian dollar. There is one ATM on the island located at the Menen Hotel, but it is often out of cash. Make sure to take enough cash with you to cover your trip. Credit cards have very limited acceptance in Nauru.
If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).
Foreign travel checklist
Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.
The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can not provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.
When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.
Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.
Refunds and cancellations
If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can not offer a refund to their customers.
For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Registering your travel details with us
We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.
Previous versions of FCDO travel advice
If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can not find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice Team a request.
If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry.We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.