Nauru Photo by Winston Chen

Nauru Driving Guide

Nauru is a unique beautiful country. Explore all of it by driving when you get your International Driving Permit

2021-07-28 · 9 mins

Nauru is your next tropical destination - but don’t expect too much of it. If you prefer a secluded place to breathe and unwind, then this is your ticket to make it happen. With a limited land area, you can even tour around for a couple of hours, several if you’re not in a hurry. And certainly, there’s no need to rush and get to the attractions you want to go to as you have all the time you wish to earmark. Because in Nauru, it’s where you can unreel without a hitch.

How Will This Guide Help You?

If this is your first time hearing about Nauru, this guide will surely help you understand the country better. It contains the necessary information you need to know about the atoll, getting an International Driver’s Permit to legally venture the streets, driving in Nauru, its road rules and regulations that must be adhered to once you start hitting the uncomplicated routes. Also, there’s a compilation of must-visit attractions for your utmost convenience.

General Information

Nauru is an island country located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It is surrounded by coral reefs, making it harder to visit the region by sea. Nauru is a tucked away nation and one of the least visited places globally as tourists and travelers hardly notice this hidden gem on travel sites and other sources on the internet. The island might be a speck on the map, but you’ll be surprised by what it has in store for you to explore and discover.

Geographic Location

Nauru’s closest neighbor is the island of Banaba in Kiribati with about 200 to 300 km to the east. Northeast at about 1,300 km is where the Solomon Islands situate while Honolulu is 4,023 km southwest. This single-raised landmass is one of the three phosphate rock islands, including the Banaba and Makatea enclave in French Polynesia.

The country sits near the Equator, which explains the tropical and sultry vibe it exudes. It doesn’t offer many tourist attractions, but you’ll be amazed by the palmy beaches and vast white sands that locals and a few travelers get to experience themselves. Travel-wise, you’ll have to spend three hours of air travel from Brisbane, Australia, and less than two hours if you come from Tawara in Kiribati.

Languages Spoken

Nauruan is the official language in Nauru. 96% of the country’s population know and speak Nauruan as used in their day-to-day communication, especially the ethnic inhabitants. It is recognized internationally by the United Nations; however, the language is not well understood by the people outside the region like those of the Polynesia and Micronesia citizens.

English is the second most used as most of the visitors don’t understand Nauruan. The locals have adapted to learning the English language since it is taught in schools as part of the curriculum, not to mention it is also utilized in business transactions and the mainstream media. Moreover, some migrants speak Chinese for about 15% of the population. Marshallese and Kosraen are Micronesian languages that are spoken by less than 2% of the total count.

Land Area

The total land area of Nauru is 21 km² with over 10,000 inhabitants presently. It is a mix of sky-blue beaches with whooping waves from the Pacific Ocean and thick greeneries as you travel inside the island. Think of the place as a tiny ecology rising from a vast body of water, and further inland, there is a formed plateau composed of rock phosphate from guano or bird droppings. You will also see a few unique landscapes as you go driving around Nauru.


The first settlers of Nauru remained unknown in history, but it is believed that Polynesian and Micronesian voyagers were the first to set foot on the island 3,000 years ago. Later on, their descendants became chiefs and formed the 12 matrilineal tribes, namely Eamwit, Eamwitmwit, Ranobok, Irutsi, Iruwa, Eamwidara, Eaoru, Emangum, Deiboe, Eano, Emea, and Iwi.

In the early 18th century, a British whaling ship penetrated eastern Micronesia, including Nauru, which became a port for vessels that contain food and water supplies. The Germans were the settlers in 1886 until rich phosphate deposits were discovered in 1906. It was 1914 where the Australian force took over the place, and when the Second World War began in 1942, the Japanese occupied the land. The Australians recaptured Nauru in 1945, and after years of development passed, the country gained its independence in 1968.


Before Nauru became an independent state, the British colonizers called it Pleasant Island. Now, the Republic of Nauru follows a parliamentary democratic system. The President is the highest position in the government as part of the executive branch. Having it said, the President appoints the Cabinet from among the members of the Parliament. The legislative and judicial make up the three main branches that keep the law in balance and order.

Also, 14 districts make up the Regional Government. Since it gained its independence in 1968, the country was acknowledged and subsequently became a full member of the Commonwealth and United Nations (UN) in 1999. Presently, Nauru has built strong ties with Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom with its administered UN trusteeship.


Nauru is just slightly larger than Vatican and Monaco if you compare their land sizes. Yet, you might think that it’s another island of surreal beaches and tropical vibes, but it’s more than that. The country had a great economy due to phosphate deposits but was extensively exploited, which made a drastic downward impact on its economy after the deposits eventually depleted as years went on.

On average, Nauru is getting around 200 visitors annually and may get lesser if there’s an unpredicted weather shift within the year. The government doesn’t rely much on the tourism sector; however, they’ve made their major attractions accessible and danger-free to tourists and travelers. As phosphate mining continues, it is one of the components that keep Nauru afloat despite its lack of recent infrastructure developments and other possible enhancements.

International Driver’s Permit FAQs

In Nauru, while there are fewer travelers, the topic of public transportation and renting private vehicles isn't often discussed. This is because Nauru is a small island that can be explored on foot in just six hours. However, for those who prefer to drive, having an International Driver's Permit in Nauru is essential.

Unlike in larger countries, in Nauru, driving can give you more control over your schedule and allow you to visit places more efficiently. If you're considering driving in Nauru, it's important to know that the government requires an International Driver's Permit. Here's what you should know about the importance of having one in Nauru.

Is A Local Driver’s License Valid in Nauru?

Driving abroad means you are a holder of a home country driver’s license issued from the country of your origin. A common misconception that tourists and travelers have is that they need to acquire a new license in the country you’re visiting. Well, you should only get an International Driver’s Permit to support your local driver’s license. It means your IDP should go hand in hand with your local driver’s license for you to drive permissibly in the region.

Does an International Driver’s Permit Replace a Native Driver’s License?

An International Driver’s Permit will not replace your native driver’s license, and you are not required to obtain a Nauruan driving license upon arrival. Your IDP will serve as a translation of your native driver’s license that should resolve any language issue between the country you plan to visit and your country of residence. Furthermore, your local driving license would only be valid if you accompany it with an International Driver’s Permit.

When driving in Nauru, the city may not be the accurate term as they are commonly known as districts on the island. Even though they’re not as developed as what you usually see from places you’ve been, it is still imperative to bring an IDP along with the other necessary documents to assure an uncomplicated travel experience.

Who Can Apply for an International Driver’s Permit?

Any tourist or traveler can apply for an International Driver’s Permit as long as you meet specific requirements. One must be a holder of a local driver’s license that is legally issued from your designated government. You shouldn’t have an existing illness that will hinder you from driving abroad and old enough for car rental companies to give you access to hiring private vehicles once you’ve arrived in the country.

Who Needs an International Driver’s Permit?

If you’re planning on driving in Nauru now, processing an International Driver’s Permit is one of the documents you have to acquire. It is as important as your local driver’s license because the information printed on your IDP will be the same information seen on your driving license. Foreign drivers who are caught driving without an IDP will be arrested by the authorities and pay a considerable fine, among other charges pressed against you.

But you don’t need to worry about the hassle of purchasing an International Driver’s Permit. Aspiring drivers can apply online for 20 minutes and get their IDP shipped right to your doorstep. A common circumstance involves an IDP getting lost or misplaced when driving in Nauru. The zip code you provided on the form will be used if you wish to have a free replacement of IDP or send a copy to you via email.

How Long is an International Driver’s Permit Valid?

An International Driver’s Permit can last for one to three years, depending on how long you expect to use it. You must also take your local driver’s license’s validity into consideration before processing an IDP. The local driver’s license you’re holding should be at least two years away from its expiring date to get a one-year valid IDP. You can head to the website’s pricing page and see the best option for you for more information.

Renting a Car in Nauru

Driving around the island is much easier compared to other booming nations. With a land area of onl 21 km², you can expect less to no traffic at all. May it be a motorcycle or a private vehicle, there’s an option waiting for you once you're there. And if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find yourself a better deal for your three or one-week vacation getaway.

Renting a car and driving in Nauru has requirements that need to be prepared before your expected travel date. Ensure that you have made initial plans on what car type to rent to prevent delays on your itinerary. Now, here’s what you need to know about renting vehicles and what to expect from car rental companies in the region.

Car Rental Companies

There are several car rental companies stationed at the airport and major districts in Nauru. If you’ve been driving abroad a couple of times already, these companies have been the go-to places for foreign drivers, even first-time testers. Some of them are Avis, Europcar, Budget, Sixt, Hertz, and Thrifty.

A pro tip here, since Nauru is a small state that has limited information on what car rental company to choose, you can head online and go to websites such as Wotif, Cheapoair, Skyscanner, or Orbitz. These sites partner with popular car rental companies that let you compare prices from one rental to another. They can also give you tips and locations of the company for a smoother transaction.

Documents Required

When driving in Nauru, an itinerary would be an excellent way to maximize your time on the island. Aside from that guide, there are documents that you have to obtain as you get behind the wheels throughout your stay. You’ll need an International Driver’s Permit to support your local driver’s driver’s license, passport, and visa. The car insurance papers should be issued by the car rental company you choose at the same time.

Vehicle Types

Vehicle types differ from company to company. If you’re looking for a vehicle that could fit four to five people inside with extra space for luggage, then opt for a bigger one such as SUVs and compact cars. Typically, economy cars are well suited for solo travelers at the lowest price offered but not sacrificing the comfort and convenience of operating one. There are others such as:

  • Mini vehicle
  • Standard vehicle
  • Intermediate vehicle
  • Full-size vehicle
  • Exotic vehicle
  • Oversize vehicle
  • Minivan vehicle
  • Premium vehicle

Now, there is an advantage of booking your preferred type of car online rather than getting it in central districts, which tend to be more expensive. From Economy to Midsize, even SUVs and pickup trucks, you can inquire through their official websites and see the best deal waiting for you. Moreover, there are some days where booking your car at the airport can give you low rates, but it depends on the season you’re visiting.

Car Rental Cost

Every car rental company has different price ranges for their car rentals. Some of them are known for their quality and affordable vehicles while others are more expensive due to the period you rented them. All the more, you should do your research and get the information you need from your options. Car rental costs depend if it is included in your travel package. You can get more information from agencies that cater to hotel and car bundles online.

If you try to search on Nauru’s available car rental company, most of the website will redirect you to either get one at the airport or head to Yaren district, where most of the legal trade and transactions happen. Having it said, tourists and travelers are advised to stock up paper bills with you before boarding the plane as, most of the time, the ATM in the region runs out of cash.

Age Requirements

Driving around Nauru can be effortless for foreign drivers if they follow the specific standards of the government. The legal age requirement is you have to be 25 years old and a holder of a local driver’s license for at least two years. While Nauru doesn’t have rampant car collisions and other road-related accidents, it pays well only to let responsible drivers roaming in major districts and rural communities.

Some car rental companies would allow drivers to rent a car even if they don’t meet the age requirement. An underage surcharge fee is applied on top of the car rental fee when you agree with the company’s terms and conditions. If you’re undecided, you can check with the car supplier about more details to brush off any existing confusion on your part.

Car Insurance Cost

The car insurance cost relies on the vehicle type you choose. You’re issued standard insurance coverage, but it’s up to you if you wish to add and remove certain contents that you think you wouldn’t benefit from at all. Typically, car rental suppliers are the ones who issue car insurance papers, and that you should understand the content before signing the agreement.

Coverages such as the Roadside Assistance Cover (RAC) are $10 to $15 per day. The Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) is $20 to $30 per day and a Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) with additional Theft Protection. But if you have the budget, one can acquire Full Protection coverage, which can be arranged directly to your car rental company.

Car Insurance Policy

For tourists and travelers who are driving in Nauru, the schedule you planned is as essential as getting the idea of a car insurance policy. Remember that your car insurance safeguards you should there be unwanted accidents in which you are involved. However, you might want to think about the coverage you need for your travel.

As mentioned above, you can choose from Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), Personal Accident Insurance (PAI), or Full Protection for maximum security as you hit the road alone or with your family and friends. An International Driver’s Permit should be with you at all times when driving in Nauru. Updates and other information about your order can be raised as one of the International Driver’s Association’s representatives can accommodate your query.

Road Rules in Nauru

Specific rules and regulations are needed to be followed to look after the citizens’ safety and welfare. As a traveler, you want your trip to Nauru to be an exciting and worthwhile experience, and along with it, adhering to what the government has implemented should be respected at all times. It’s one of the things that you must keep in mind.

The road rules in Nauru are straightforward and quick to understand. It is unlikely for tourists and travelers to get lost on this small island as you can familiarize the road through internet sources and other materials you can find online. Plus, the locals will gladly lead you should you venture the inner routes, away from the main pathways where most people take daily.

Important Regulations

Nauru is an oval-shaped island that is well suited for driving and public transport use. It has established road rules that every tourist and traveler should follow at all times. There may be aspects to develop and improve, but is it entirely safe to roam around. Here are some of the regulations you need to keep in mind.


Drinking and drinking is still a big problem in island countries as well as prominent and established nations. It’s one of the causes of fatalities not just for drivers, but it also endangers the pedestrians’ welfare. If you’re driving in Nauru now, it is advised to refrain from drinking alcoholic drinks that will affect your focus on the road.

The Nauruan government did not specify any alcohol limit for local and foreign drivers. Still, the authorities discourage you from indulging yourself in any type of alcohol ingestion (beer, rum, whiskey). If you’re caught drinking and driving in the region, you will be arrested for violating Clause 69 of Nauru’s Motor Traffic Bill of 2014. Furthermore, the government can suspend your International Driver’s Permit, which will hinder you from driving hereafter.

Driving in Nauru

The outermost part of the island allows you to locate the country’s main road, known as the ring road. It is generally used by different drivers coming from the north or south part of Nauru. You can expect decent, paved streets that connect the outer districts to the region’s inner communities. There minimal chances of getting involved with road-related crimes, so you don’t need to worry about it.

The use of mobile phones

Being one of the least visited countries globally, Nauru doesn’t have any dilemma concerning its traffic rules. Most people living there follow them and don’t get into car accidents more than other neighboring countries. Even if the road is empty, the use of mobile phones is prohibited unless you’re in hands-free mode.

Documents needed

When driving in Nauru, a map is an essential tool to ensure a safe journey ahead, whether it be a small or a massive landmass. Aside from a map, you will need an International Driver’s Permit to accompany your local driver’s license issued by the country of your origin. You should also secure your passport, visa, and a credit card just in case you’ll run out of cash in the area, especially when paying for your rental car fees.


You could park your rented cars if you booked a hotel accommodation with a free parking space available for guests. Though there’s hardly any traffic in the vicinity, you should still park your vehicles properly in the designated public parking spaces. All your valuable things must not be left behind inside the car, so you don’t attract unwanted attention.

General Standards of Driving

Nauru has constituted the Motor Traffic Bill of 2014 that contains the road rules and regulations set to the public for safety and order. To minimize the chances of getting into car collisions and misunderstanding from your fellow drivers, tourists and travelers should adhere to these protocols. Here are the general standards of driving in Nauru city and other traffic rules to keep in mind.

Road congestion would be the least of your worries on the island. Before you hit the road, check the condition of your car: the tires, brakes, pedals, and door locks. It should be in good condition now that you’ll use it when traveling around the country. If you picked up the vehicle with a half-full tank, you need to bring extra gasoline in case you run out. Also, watch out for pedestrians crossing as you might not notice them if you don’t keep your eyes on the road.

Speed Limits

Speed limits help you regulate your driving speed. Whether you are using the highway, one-way roads, and even rural routes, a specific speed limit is imposed, so you don’t go around the area and over-speed whenever you like.

The standard speed limit is 30 mph. But there are other sources online that will tell you that you can go at 80 mph up to 110 mph when in major districts. Well, overspeeding can get you into serious trouble as the police are vigilant on the road, notably that there are fewer citizens to watch on two and a handful of travelers going in and out monthly. The best option here is to follow the recommended 30 mph speed limit since it’s unlikely to get stuck in traffic in Nauru.

Seatbelt Laws

Foreign drivers are advised to wear seat belts at all times. If you carry your children or kids under 12 years, then they’re not allowed to sit in front of the vehicle beside the driver. Ensure that the children sitting on the rear seat wear the installed seat belts correctly. Also, drivers and passengers should not unbuckle their seatbelts while the vehicle is moving.

Driving Directions

Driving around Nauru is much simpler due to its limited land area. You might need a map or access to Google Maps for first-timers, but if you’re a seasoned driver already, the ring road is something to look forward to and the routes that will take you further inside the island. The streets are decent for you to use, but you need to watch out for unpaved roads, especially when you go to a secluded spot in the region.

Traffic Road Signs

Traffic signages are installed on the roadside to warn, inform, and guide you on the road you’re currently taking. Road signs may not be abundant in Nauru, but they have them in major districts where tourists and travelers often visit, including the locals. And don’t worry, the signages are written in English, so it is convenient on your end when seeing one ahead.

Some of these signages are rarely seen in the region, but here are the standard traffic road signages that you should keep in mind when driving abroad:

Regulatory Signs

  • Stop sign
  • Do not enter
  • No left turn
  • No U-turn
  • No trucks
  • No parking
  • On way road
  • Truck weight limit

Warning Signs

  • Sharp curve to the right
  • Left turn
  • Yield ahead
  • Merging traffic ahead
  • Pedestrian crossing
  • T intersection
  • Winding road left ahead
  • Crossroad ahead

Pedestrians and Bicycle Signs

  • No pedestrians
  • No bicycles
  • Yield here to pedestrians
  • Bicycle parking
  • Bike lane ahead
  • Bike lane ends
  • Slippery when wet (bicycle)
  • School crosswalk

Other Common Signs

  • Parking lot sign
  • Street bump "Camel Back"
  • Absolutely no parking and waiting
  • Road to nowhere
  • Prohibition to transport dangerous goods

Right of Way

Local and foreign drivers should give way to community buses that act as public transport, police, and emergency vehicles. Nauru is not your typical country where you get road congestion as early as 6 AM, but when an emergency vehicle is behind you, you should slow down and make way for it to cross before you. It’s a common courtesy and road rule on the island that is practiced and adhered to every time.

The minimum age requirement in Nauru or driving age limit years is 18 years old. Nauruan citizens can get a driver’s license from their local driving school and take the discussions and exam well, so you’ll pass the test afterward. It’s up to the local’s discretion if they want to get a driver’s license by the time they turn 18 years old or the succeeding years until they're ready. There is no maximum age requirement for driving in Nauru, as long as the driver is still capable.

For foreign nationals who are planning on driving in Nauru, the requirements include a particular driving age. You should be 25 years old and a native driving license holder for local car rental companies to let you hire a private vehicle. In some cases, companies allow renters below 25 years old to rent a car, but an underage surcharge fee is required to make it possible. Consult your car supplier before booking to avert any misunderstanding on the terms.

Laws on Overtaking

The government discourages you from overtaking when there are oncoming cars on the other side of the road. As a responsible driver, you should know when and when not to overtake, specifically if you’re driving abroad. It shouldn’t be taken lightly as it might cause future accidents between you and your fellow drivers.

Moreover, you shouldn’t overtake if the vehicles behind you intend to overtake first. The best tuning to do here is to let them execute it first, then when you’re able to do it, use your indicator lights to inform the driver in front of you that you’re going to overtake. If you’re in a hurry, the locals will understand and sometimes would politely give way for you.

Driving Side

If you’re driving in Nauru today, you should always use the left lane. It is intended for drivers who don’t want to overtake or operate at a slower pace. Foreign nationals who are used to driving on the left side may find it hard to adjust, but as you go along and consistently use the left lane, you’ll eventually get the hang of it.

The government mandates the driving side, so every road user should drive on the left side. If you’re caught using the wrong lane or violated the overtaking protocol, your license might get suspended, or worse; the authorities will revoke your privilege to drive anywhere in the country.

Driving Etiquette in Nauru

The way you drive in another country should be the same etiquette to observe when you arrive in Nauru. There might be some changes, but your positive attitude should be put on always. The police and residents are hospitable and would gladly give you directions if you get lost along the way. And if you’re hesitant about driving around the ring road, here are some common scenarios that you might get into and how to handle them professionally.

Car Breakdown

Car breakdowns can happen to anyone. It can occur when you’re going to work, when you stop by a grocery store, or when you’re traveling in a foreign country. Car breakdowns are rare scenarios, but they can happen in an instant. Typical issues here include battery failure and other mechanical problems that the car supplier might have overlooked.

Now, if your car suddenly breaks down in the middle of the road, try to stir the vehicle and maneuver to the side of the road with its remaining momentum. You can put the car in hazard mode to inform the other drivers about your situation. You can then call the car rental company to assist you with how to resolve your car problem.

Police Stops

There aren’t many police stops in Nauru, but if you see one, you should pay respect to them and politely comply if they need to inspect you and your documents. Even though there aren’t grave crimes in the region, the government has deployed its police force in every part of the island to ensure public safety for locals and tourists alike.

Asking Directions

Nauru has its dialect, but the citizens have adopted the English language as their second language for a better and smoother transition between tourists and travelers. You will not have a hard time asking for directions as they can correctly converse in English and point you in the right direction if they know the way.

The locals are pleasant to foreign nationals, which is why you can take the option of driving in Nauru. Detention centers are built in the region, and tourists and travelers might also question it to the residents. All the more, tourism may not bloom yet, but you can inquire about it from the locals as they know some shortcuts you can take to relieve some of your travel time.


Checkpoints are installed for police officers to oversee what’s going on on the road. They are not there to threaten road users, but they’re tasked to maintain order and call out reckless drivers if the police need to. One of their tasks is to examine the documents of driving travelers and see if they have appropriately complied with the mandated papers.

If you’re asked to present your papers, let them inspect your native driver’s license, International Driver’s Permit, and other supporting IDs such as your passport. They will also check your car insurance documents, and they’ll signal you when you’re OK to proceed ahead. Foreign drivers need to secure an IDP when driving in Nauru. Updates and other information you need for your order can be accommodated through chat or direct phone call.

Other Tips

The scenarios above are meant to help you out should you experience the same or related situation on the road. You get to know the essence of installing checkpoints and what to do when your car breaks down. Now, laid out below is additional information as you further navigate the Nauruan roads.

Are There Gas Stations in Nauru?

The gasoline price in Nauru can be high, so you have to allot a specific budget now that you’re hiring a car. Prices differ from one gas station to another, and if you can fill your vehicle to a full tank, then much better. There are stations located in Arijenjen and Aiwo, and tourists and travelers can acquire gasoline for their travel.

What Is the Importance of Indicator Lights?

It is imperative to check your indicator lights before you get behind the wheels because they should be working, so it’s easier for you to communicate with other cars. You should use them if you need to inform drivers behind you that you’re turning left or right, executing a U-turn, or planning on overtaking a vehicle in front.

Indicator lights are the set of lights installed on the vehicle that you use to inform drivers behind you that you are about to turn left or right. Locals don’t do hand signals; that’s why it is imperative to know the importance of utilizing indicator lights as you maneuver your way ahead from daytime to nighttime.

Driving Conditions in Nauru

The driving situations and road conditions in Nauru are probably different from the country of your origin. They have decent roads for you to use, and you should be familiar with the road conditions before you hit the primary routes. It doesn’t cost you anything if you educate yourself, so here’s what you need to know about the region’s driving situations and road conditions.

Accident Statistics

Nauru is facing a significant problem which is the capacity to register births, deaths, and marriages. The Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages is in close coordination with the Government Registration Office, Department of Health, Bureau of Statistics, Information Technology and Communication (ICT), and the Planning Aid Division Office to legally record all the inhabitants of Nauru for the succeeding years to come.

With this initiative, there haven’t been any concrete statistics for road-related accidents in Nauru. One factor contributing to the accident is the less organized roadside assistance and the unpaved roads the moment you drive from the ring road. Moreover, pedestrians and animals that are abruptly crossing the road make it unsafe to drive without headlights, especially at night when you can’t see the street.

Common Vehicles

If you’re planning on driving in Nauru today, there are diverse types of vehicles used by locals and foreign drivers. If you’re on a tight budget, you can go to an Economy car where you can rent it for an affordable price per day. Compact and SUVs are more suited for travelers as they can accommodate 4 to 5 people inside. Should you need information about it, you can directly inquire to the car rental company and let them explain it further for you.

Toll Roads

Presently, there aren’t any toll roads in Nauru. Because of the country’s structure, the government hasn’t installed any toll road as it doesn’t add any benefit to the region. Furthermore, there are no reports about a toll road being planned to build, but the locals would be the first to know if the authorities would implement it.

Road Situations

As mentioned earlier, Nauru has a ring road built for its oval-shaped land area. The ring road is a modest paved road used by resident drivers and travelers renting cars for their trip. However, past the primary road is the gravel route, especially if you head inside the island. Watch out as it gets slippery when the rain pours and you’re driving your way to your preferred destination.

Visitors and tourists should be vigilant of unnoticed bumps and potholes on the road. Ensure that your vehicle can withstand the situation to prevent any delay on your road trip. Also, ask for recommendations from the car rental company on how to take care of the car you’re planning to hire for your vacation period.

Driving Culture

Nauruan drivers adhere to road rules implemented by the government. When driving in Nauru, an itinerary would be an excellent idea to maximize your time in the region. Due to less traffic, getting behind the wheels isn’t stressful on your part, and at the same time, you can relish the moment and admire the natural greeneries of Nauru. Having it said, the island would be a perfect place for a quick escapade from your strenuous and heavy workload in the city.

Other Tips

Educating yourself with these things will help you know Nauru better and the circumstances you’ll face later on. There are other helpful tips out there to broaden your knowledge about the country. The information below will tackle driving at night in the region and what not to do for your and your belongings’ safety.

Is it Safe to Drive at Night?

The government does not encourage you to drive at night. Roads can be poorly lit, which will make it hard for you to see the route you’re taking. You might not see the animals and pedestrians crossing and could cause an unwanted accident. Furthermore, your valuable things should not be left inside the vehicle unattended. As much as possible, bring them with you if you go inside your hotel room or where you are staying in the area.

Things to Do in Nauru

There are limited things to do in Nauru, but you can maximize your time throughout your stay. With its cerulean beaches and historical sites to visit, it has something to offer as you can check the significant destinations within days. But at the back of your mind, have you thought of working in the region?

Drive as a Tourist

When driving in Nauru, a schedule of the things you want to explore and discover should be a priority. Along with it, you have to bring the essential documents such as your local driver’s license, International Driver’s Permit, passport, and car insurance papers. Your IDP should accompany your native license if you’re driving in Nauru. Updates can be accessed through the website by leaving a message specifically on your order.

Work as a Driver

Working as a driver in Nauru can be a challenge. Due to the country’s economic downfall, driving jobs are scarce compared to renting cars from local car rental companies. There might be other job opportunities if you browse online, but if you get one, you must surrender your local driver’s license and acquire a Nauruan driving license as part of the requirement.

The complete requirements can be checked on their official website, or you can ask your employer how to convert your local driver’s license. You need to confirm if you need a resident for you to apply for a Nauruan driver’s license, or you’ll only need a working visa. Address these concerns before you decide to refrain from doing the opposite of what you truly want.

Work as a Travel Guide

With the country’s current situation, it’s hard to tell if you can land a decent job in Nauru. Working as a travel guide might not be possible as they haven’t focused resources on their tourism sector. But the government is making its best effort to make the tourists and travelers feel at home when visiting the attractions and the quality of service in their hotel accommodations.

Apply for Residency

Traveling to Nauru can be a unique experience for those travelers who wish to be on a secluded island far from bustling streets and heavily crowded places. Applying for a residency means you have to apply for a Nauruan visa. To make it easier for you, here are the requirements that you need to comply with and submit:

  • A completed visa application form
  • A letter from the employer where you’re stating the reason for your trip
  • A scanned copy of your passport
  • Passport photo with a white background
  • Criminal record and medical certificate
  • Media visa application fee of AUD 8,000

Other Things to Do

You can think of other things that will occupy your time while you stay in Nauru. As long as you don’t violate the country’s rules and do not harm the environment, you’re free to do whatever you want. Even though the country has limited attractions for you to explore, you can always improvise and make the most out of what the island offers you.

What Can You Bring Back from Nauru?

The island may not be as famous as other tropical countries, but it sure has its unique touch, mostly the souvenirs you get to collect while touring and driving in Nauru. Detention centers may ring a bell to you, buy, and do better things in the region aside from that facility. The country is associated with Micronesia as they have adopted the local resources used by the locals there.

You can purchase a tapas cloth which is made from tree bark. There are hand-woven baskets and fragrances from distilled essential oils, local flowers, and spices that can be mixed in candles. Nauruans love to make pieces of jewelry out of seashells and a dyed pareo which can be used as a skirt, scarf, or even pants on some occasions.

Which Delicacies Can You Try in Nauru?

The majority of the food in Nauru is shipped every six weeks. Most of the imports come from Australia, and the residents would wait for the boat’s arrival to have their grocery stores restocked with new goods.

An everyday Nauruan food consists of fried fish, hamburgers, french fries, pizza, and Chinese food. It can be unhealthy, but it’s the typical food in the region. On the other hand, if you want to know more about authentic Nauruan cuisine, it comprises seafood and coconut, which can be harvested from the surrounding ocean waters. Here are some local dishes that you should’ve eaten at least once in your stay in the region.

Coconut Crusted Shrimp

The main ingredients here are shrimp and coconut oil, wherein the shrimp is dipped in egg and drenched through coconut breadcrumbs. It is then fried in boiling oil for a few minutes. If you overcook the shrimps, it will get too tough, but you want the crust to have started turning a lovely golden brown.

Mango Papaya Sherbet

Mango Papaya Sherbet is a popular dessert in Nauru. Since the island is abundant with diverse fruit-bearing trees, mango and papaya are just some of the fruits harvested in the area. It is a mix of sugar, milk, lemon juice, mango, and papaya. The dessert is perfect for hot weather that can be refreshing once you bite this healthy snack.

Banana Pineapple Bread

Nauruans can also bake, and the Banana Pineapple Bread is living proof that they can do anything as long as they have the right ingredients to execute it. Though you can use different fruit combinations, by far, the banana and pineapple taste better. You can eat this in the morning or have it as a tasty snack in the afternoon.

Pandanus Tea

Pandanus tea is one of the most famous drinks found in Nauru. It tastes great and has excellent benefits for your body since it’s made organically. You just need boiling water, pandanus leaves, fresh ginger root, and sugar. It’s best paired with the Banana Pineapple Bread while sipping your aromatic tea any time of the day. Its health benefits include:

  • Relieves fever
  • Alleviates stomach cramps, headache, and arthritis
  • Helps you with your bowel movement
  • Makes your gums stronger

Top Destinations in Nauru

Nauru photo

Hiring a car is recommended in the region. When driving in Nauru, a map can be useful for your travel as it can help you navigate the island’s roads. The island is a great getaway trip for solo travelers and group visitors from the Pacific Ocean’s splashing waves to the historical sites further inland. Procuring an International Driver’s Permit is substantial when touring around, so here are some of the top destinations that you should explore right now.

District of Yaren

Yaren is the de facto capital city of the country, Nauru. When tourists and travelers arrive at the airport, Yaren will be the first to explore and tour around. Major establishments and administration offices are situated there. It is by far the largest community on the island and is home to more than 1,100 inhabitants.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Nauru International Airport, head southeast.
  2. Take a turn left.

Things to Do

You can do many things in the Yaren district, but here are a few of the most popular activities you can do in the area.

  1. Go sightseeing

    Since the airport is located in Yaren, you can tour around the village or just sit back and relax as you soak up the light atmosphere. Its natural wonder will never fail tourists and travelers - you’ll find it has a lot to offer.
  2. Visit the Parliament

    The Parliament is where the government members convene and discuss important matters for the betterment of the nation. You can check it out, and you might even get a chance to sit in the President’s chair.
  3. Go to nearby shops

    If you’re the type of traveler that purchases good stuff like handicrafts made by the locals, then Yaren has got you covered. From handmade clothes to accessories, you can find anything you want that fits your budget.
  4. Try out the local restaurants

    As an acting de facto capital, Yaren has the view, local shops, and restaurants that you can try for yourself. When touring around and your stomach starts to grumble, you can pick your food at the establishments to satisfy your cravings.

Buada Lagoon

Buada Lagoon is the only inland body of water found in Nauru. It is a freshwater lagoon, but the government doesn’t advise locals and tourists to swim in its unclean waters. However, you can do other things like afternoon picnics or admire the thick trees surrounding the area if you’re wondering—the lagoon’s depths range between 78 to 256 feet.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Nauru International Airport, head northwest.
  2. Take a turn right.
  3. Turn right again.
  4. You can continue straight ahead.
  5. Turn right once more.

Things to Do

Relaxation is the theme when you visit Buada Lagoon. Below are some relaxing activities you can do in the lagoon.

  1. Outdoor picnic

    Who doesn’t love an outdoor picnic? Tourists and travelers can take their blankets in Buada Lagoon along with their favorite finger food and colas. Just don’t forget to clean as you go and never leave your trash in the area.
  2. Take pictures

    Since it’s the only known inland lagoon on the island, the place has a great view which you can take advantage of. Bring your smartphone or DSLR, and you can pose anywhere and take snaps of the greeneries around the vicinity.
  3. Walk around

    It doesn’t take too much of your time to stroll around; take the opportunity to admire this natural piece of wonder. You can check out the area by yourself or with family and friends.

Anibare Bay

Since the Pacific Ocean surrounds Nauru, you can expect sandy beaches and palm trees lining the shores. Anibare Bay is located on the east of the island and a perfect example of a tropical beach. Tourists and travelers coming in and out of the country know how stunning this place can conveniently go when driving in Nauru.

Driving Directions:

Anibare Bay is just a 9-minute drive from the airport, so to get there:

  1. Head southeast and just continue driving the highway.
  2. Don’t stray away from the ring road, and you’ll see the beach ahead of you.

Things to Do

Fun and relaxation coexist in Anibare Bay. Here’s a list of activities you can enjoy.

  1. Take a dip in the waters.

    Anibare Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Take this opportunity to enjoy the refreshing waters and as long as you want. It’s the right place for active souls out there and to get some tan lines after hours of sunbathing.
  2. Take some snaps

    With this kind of ambiance, you should bring your smartphone to get pictures of the whooping waves and the rock formations in the area. You’ll surely love it from the moment you see it.
  3. Go scuba diving

    The Pacific Sea is yours to conquer in Nauru. The natural wonder is an impeccable place to snorkel, tour, and watch the coral reefs and other aquatic creatures before your eyes.

Command Ridge

The Comand Ridge is considered the highest point in Nauru at 213 feet tall. Up until this day, you can still see the abandoned communications bunker and rusted guns, including two large six-barrel weapons. The area was where the Japanese would keep watch during World War II. It is an 8-minute ride, and you should secure an IDP when driving in Nauru. The zip code you provided on the form will be used should you need a free replacement of your IDP.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Nauru International Airport, head northwest.
  2. Then you should turn right.
  3. Maneuver the vehicle and turn left.
  4. Then you turn right once more.

Things to Do

Take a trip back to the past and visit Command Ridge. Here’s a list of meaningful activities you can do in the area.

  1. Explore the area

    You can tour the area on your own or with some company. The Command Ridge has a great historical value not just for Nauruans, but it made an impact when the time they’re still under the Japanese colonizers.
  2. Get an overlooking view

    Since it’s the highest point on the island, you will get the chance to check an overlooking view of the whole country. It’s easy to climb the area, so you don’t need to exert much effort into it.
  3. Know the history behind

    The Command Ridge is a popular site today because it holds a significant value where the Japanese soldiers used to camp during the Second World War. If you’re a history enthusiast, then this is a perfect place for you.

Central Plateau

If you want to know where the phosphate deposits came from, the answer is the Central Plateau. The area was used for mining phosphate way back in the early 1960s. Because of the deposits, it made Nauru one of the world’s wealthiest countries, but when the phosphates ran out, the economy went down as well. Today, you can visit the area along with a local guide to better understand the history.

Driving Directions:

  1. From the Nauru International Airport, head northwest.
  2. Then head right.
  3. The road will take you further inside the island, and you need to continue ahead.
  4. Take another right, and you’ll see the destination.

Things to Do

  1. Join a Guided tour

    To fully understand the country’s history and timeline, it is recommended to get a professional tour to explain the details further. Also, it is much better to get one, so you can learn everything you need to know.
  2. Take pictures of the site

    Tourists and travelers can take photos of the Common Ridge if you bring your mobile phone or DSLR with you. The site may not be as pleasing as you hope it would be, but it should serve as proof that you’ve physically visited the protected area.
  3. Go along with other travelers

    It will be much easier for you to get to the area and other people and the next destination afterward. With guided tours, it’s easier to digest the information given by the travel guide if you’re into some cool facts about a specific country, particularly Nauru.

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