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For other places with the same name, see Tarawa (disambiguation).

Tarawa is an atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, and the location of the capital of Kiribati.


Tarawa was the site of the Battle of Tarawa, one of the most brutal battles in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. It was previously the capital of the former British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.

For a full understanding of this atoll you should pick up a book called "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" by J Maarten Troost. This is a very informative insight to the everyday life on Tarawa. (The title is only catchy as there was nothing naughty inside the book.)

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Tarawa airport, Bonriki International Airport(IATA: TRW), is on South Tarawa.

  • Fiji Airways with a 737 aircraft operates flights from Nadi on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • Our Airline operates a weekly flight from Brisbane, Australia via Nauru leaving on a Sunday and then interlines with Air Kiribati who fly a 737 aircraft onto Nadi and returns on a Monday.

By boat[edit]

Supply boats leave Fiji every now and then. No use giving schedules or details here, because there are none. Just ask around in Suva, Nadi or Lautoka harbours. Captains usually accept hitchhikers for a small fee. Prepare for the worst: no comfort, bad food. And for the best: great company, Polynesian and Micronesian hospitality, adventure. Private Yachts cruising the Pacific sometimes also take passengers. Ask around in yacht clubs, marinas, slipways. Good luck! There's just one way to travel (and it's not by plane...)

Get around[edit]

See[edit][add listing]

Do[edit][add listing]

Buy[edit][add listing]

South Tarawa has a few international ATM's through the Bank of Kiribati.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Drink[edit][add listing]

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Dreamers Kiribati, Banraeaba (A few hundred meters before the parliament building), 0068622606 (), [1]. checkin: Flexible. A family run eco guesthouse. Has three self contained rooms with kitchen. This place is right on the beach with one of the best views on the island. Family that run it also runs an NGO. 60AUD. (1.356475,173.045145) edit
  • Otintaai Hotel, (686) 28084 (, fax: (686) 28045), [2]. checkin: Flexible around flight times; checkout: 10am. This government run hotel is the best and most pricey in Kiribati. However, it is at most a three-star hotel, and some people only give it two stars.  edit
  • Mary's Motel, Po Box 12, Bairiki Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati, (686) 22227 (, fax: (686) 21362), [3]. A small private motel on Bairiki next to the causeway to Betio. Clean Rooms with hot water. Restaurant on-site and Wifi Internet  edit
  • Utirerei Motel, (686) 22530, [4]. Utirerei guest house is a self catering accommodation located in Ambo village facing the Lagoon Club and about 20minutes drive from the Bonriki International Airport. It is also within a walking distance to the lagoon side which is ideal for swimming and water sport activities during high tide.  edit

Get out[edit]

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