Kiribati is officially the Republic of Kiribati. It is an island country located in the central Pacific Ocean. It consists of 33 islands. 20 of these islands are inhabited. They are spread over a massive area of the ocean. Kiribati stretches 1,800 miles eastward from the 16 Gilbert Islands. The population is concentrated in 3 of the 16 Gilbert Islands. The islands of the Phoenix group lie in between. The total land zone is 313 square miles.
The locals are Micronesian, and most of them speak Gilbertese. However, English is the official language, and it is also commonly spoken, especially in Tarawa. For years, the population of most islands has remained relatively fixed due to the migration to the fast-growing urban centres of South Tarawa, where over two-fifths of the population settled. Most people stay in single-story accommodations. The rural population of Kiribati settle in villages influenced by Western-style churches and large open-sided roofing halls. Houses of Western-style structures are seen on outer islands and are popular in Tarawa.
The 33 islands are distributed throughout three island groups that form Kiribati. These 3 island groups are the Gilbert, Phoenix, and the Line Islands. Let’s check the list of the islands:
- Beru (Island)
- Butaritari (Makin)
- Kuria (atoll)
- Makin (atoll)
- Tamana, Gilbert Islands
- Flint Island
- Kiritimati (Christmas Island)
- Malden Island
- Starbuck Island
- Tabuaeran (Fanning Island)
- Teraina (Washington Island)
- Vostok Island
- Canton Island
- Birnie Island
- Enderbury Island
- Manra Island (Sydney Island)
- McKean Island
- Nikumaroro (Gardner Island)
- Orona (Hull Island)
- Rawaki Island (Phoenix Island)
West of the Gilberts
What Do You Know about the Gilbert Islands in Kiribati?
The Gilbert Islands are a group of 16 coral islands and atolls located in the west-central Pacific Ocean. It is also 2,800 miles northeast of Australia. The low-lying islands are surrounded by pandanus and coconut palm. The locals of the Gilberts are Micronesians. Spanish explorers may have located some of the islands at the beginning of the 16th century. In 1765 the British commodore John Byron found out about Nikunau; in 1788 Capt. Thomas Gilbert located Tarawa and Capt. John Marshall sighted Aranuka. Other Europeans located the remaining islands between 1799 and 1826. The islands were given the name the Gilbert Islands was given in the 1820s. The islands were turned to be a part of the independent Republic of Kiribati in 1979.
How to Get to the Gilbert Islands in Kiribati?
There are two major international flight airports in Kiribati. Bonriki International Airports is located in Tarawa in the Gilbert group. The second airport is Kiritimati (CX), located in the Line group.
When to Go to the Gilbert Islands in Kiribati
According to the climate and weather in the Gilbert Islands, the ideal time to go is October. The average daytime temperature is around 30 C. Humidity is commonly around 70 in the daytime.
The Most Exciting Tourist Attractions on the Gilbert Islands in Kiribati
Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch: You can enjoy watching the birds. There are almost 200 species noticed here. You can also enjoy the free Friends of Audubon Arizona Family Bird Walk on the third Saturday of any month, between 8 am and 11 am. You can visit the park any day of the week, and have a great walk through its wonderful surroundings. The park features picnic tables and a lot of clean bathrooms as well.
Hale Centre Theatre: It presents family-friendly shows and is common in the town for its wonderful productions. The Theatre also produces its children’s shows. What adds to the uniqueness of the theatre is that all the 350 chairs are arranged in a round design instead of a rectangle. All the seats in this venue are close to the stage, ensuring a good view for everyone! The theatre’s accessible location in downtown Gilbert makes it easy to enjoy a meal at any of the nearby restaurants before or after a show.
Downtown Gilbert: Although it is a small area a few blocks long, the location features a great choice of amazing restaurants to please all palates including BBQ, Mexican, Italian and country fare. Every Saturday, the area holds the farmer’s market located just behind the water tower. You can also enjoy watching the local bands performing various music genres. You can also have a coffee or soda while enjoying the sunshine with the family after a walk. You can also explore this fun area.
St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church: This new church brilliantly joins technology and the warm feeling of a traditional church. If you attend one of the many daily rites headed by the much-honoured Father Sergio, you can get to know why he is such a well-known priest. There is also a full-sized imitation of Michelangelo’s La Pieta inside the church, being one of only eight in the world. On a Sunday, the Knights of Columbus offers a very reasonably priced breakfast.
Freestone District Park: It is an amazing park that is convenient for all family members f all ages. The park features basketball and volleyball courts and tennis courts, three Ramadas, a skating area, seven open picnic tables with BBQ grills, and six shaded picnic tables. You can enjoy five acres of a lake area filled with fish for the fishers of the family. You can also find the model railroad, entertainment area, mini Ferris wheel and carousel for the little kids.
Have an Exciting time at TopGolf: TopGolf is an entertainment place with a high-tech driving range. It features a luxurious lounge providing drinks and games to its customers. You can enjoy unlimited play and tasty lunch before or after your game at a reasonable price. Kids can also enjoy the great inject your doughnuts with cream or jam! This is a fabulous outing for couples, friends, and family.
Top-Rated Restaurants on the Gilbert Islands in Kiribati
Chatterbox Cafe: It is one of the top-rated restaurants. It is located in Bikenibeu village Upper Tarawa, near the Airport Republic of Kiribati. It is a cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and snacks. The service options available are dine-in or takeaway as there is no delivery option. Working hours are from 7 am to 4:30 pm every day including weekends.
Fair Price Golden Restaurant: It is also one of the top-rated restaurants in the Gilbert Islands. It is located in Mid-South Tarawa, Republic of Kiribati. The restaurant mainly serves Chinese food and bakery products. it is spacious, modern and clean. It offers good quality food and fair prices. It features a stunning view of the exquisite lagoon.
Best Hotels on the Gilberts Islands in Kiribati
Dreamers Guest House: It is one of the top-rated hotels in the Gilbert Islands which is located in Tarawa Atoll. It offers free parking, free breakfast, and free high-speed internet. The hotel offers a variety of amenities including a restaurant, a beach, airport transportation, and kid or family-friendly children’s activities. It also features vast en-suite rooms with a shared beachside terrace. There are also snorkels, kayaks, bicycles, and masks.
The George Hotel Kiribati: It is one of the top-rated hotels which is located between SDA & KPC Church Compound Betio, Tarawa Atoll. It offers free parking, free breakfast, and paid high-speed internet. The hotel offers a variety of amenities including laundry service, concierge, a bar or lounge, a nightclub or DJ, a restaurant, a snack bar, airport transportation and many more. It also features car hire, Karaoke, bicycle rental, 24-hour front desk, ironing service, baggage storage and more.
There is a variety of room options for the guests to choose from. Most of the rooms include AC, housekeeping, room service, clothes rack, refrigerator, complimentary toiletries, safe, and more. The hotel can also arrange for a wake-up service or an alarm clock. Pets are allowed in the hotel as well. Prices vary depending on the room type and the facilities.
Utirerei Motel: It is one of the top-rated hotels which is located in Ambo Village Tarawa. It offers free parking and free breakfast. The hotel offers a variety of amenities including laundry service, conference facilities, a bar or lounge, a restaurant, airport transportation, self-serve laundry and many more.
There are 2 main room types for the clients to choose from, non-smoking rooms and suites. Most of the rooms feature AC, a refrigerator, room service and more. Prices vary according to the room type and facilities.
What Do You Know about the Line Islands in Kiribati?
The Line Islands consist of 11 atolls and coral islands which are located in the central Pacific Ocean. The island chain extends northwest to southeast across 193 square miles, causing it to be one of the longest island chains in the world. Kiritimati, which is one of the group islands, features the biggest land area of any atoll in the world. Nine atolls were created by volcanic activity while the Kiritimati and Tabuaeran atolls and Teraina island are permanently inhabited. Kiribati includes eight of the atolls .while the other three, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, and Palmyra Atoll, are parts of the United States included with the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
How to Get to the Line Islands in Kiribati?
There is an international airport on Kiritimati Island which is part of the Line island group.
When to Go to the Line Islands in Kiribati
The climate in Line Island is hot, muggy, windy, and partly cloudy. Throughout the year, the temperature ranges from 25 C to 30 C. The ideal time of year to visit Kiritimati Island f is from late May to late November to enjoy hot-weather activities.
The Most Exciting Tourist Attractions on the Line Islands in Kiribati
Fenua-ura: It is situated in Fanning Island which is one of the stunning remote islands in the Pacific Ocean. You can enjoy walking in the village. You can also go snorkelling and buy souvenirs. Locals live a simple rather happy life. People are friendly and welcoming. The beach features clear waters and some shades under the big trees. I’ve spent the whole day there, in and out of the water.
Best Hotels on the Line Islands in Kiribati
Captain Cook Hotel: It is one of the top-rated hotels which is located in Main Camp, Kiritimati. The hotel offers free parking, free wifi and free breakfast. It provides a variety of amenities including airport transportation, a restaurant, shuttle bus service, a bar or lounge, a business centre with internet access, conference facilities, meeting rooms, dry cleaning, concierge, self-service laundry and many more.
There are four room types for clients to choose from, non-smoking rooms, family rooms, suites and smoking rooms. Most of the rooms feature air conditioning, room service, microwave, refrigerator, room service, mini bar, kitchenette, and many more. Prices vary according to the room type and facilities.
Lagoon View Resort: It is one of the top-rated hotels which is located in London Village, Chrismas Island. The hotel provides a variety of amenities internet, beach, shuttle service, a restaurant, airport transportation, a no-smoking hotel and many more. It also features a large dining hall, clean rooms, and an unstable internet connection as well.
The Villages: It is one of the top-rated hotels which is located in London Town on Christmas Island. The hotel provides a variety of amenities including a bar or lounge, a restaurant, a beach, airport transportation, and many more. There are various rooms for clients to choose from. Most of the rooms feature an air conditioner. The staff is friendly and welcoming. The hotel also features paid laundry service and daily room service as well.
What Do You Know About the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati?
The Phoenix Islands consist of a group of eight atolls and two aquatic coral reefs that are located east of the Gilbert Islands, in the central Pacific Ocean. They are a territory of the Republic of Kiribati. Their combined land area stretches 28 square kilometres. Canton Island is the only island of any commercial significance. The other islands Enderbury, Rawaki, Birnie, Nikumaroro, Orona and McKean.
The Phoenix Islands Protected Area was established in 2008. It is one of the largest protected areas all over the world. It is also home to around 120 species of coral and over 500 species of fish. All of the Phoenix Islands are not inhabited, except for Kanton Island where a few families live on.
How to Get to the Phoenix Islands in Kiribati?
The main island is Kanton Island or Abariringa. The island features the services of an airstrip and port. It is rarely visited and is restricted to sailing yachts and charters. The government provides ship visits several times a year.
When to Go Phoenix Islands in Kiribati
November is the ideal month to visit the Phoenix Islands. The weather is hot throughout the year. The average temperature during the daytime is around 30 C while at night it is around 20 C.
The Most Exciting Tourist Attractions on Phoenix in Kiribati
Phoenix Islands Protected Area: The Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) is situated in the Republic of Kiribati. it is the greatest marine protected area in the Pacific Ocean as it extends to 408,250 km2. Phoenix Islands Protected Area was the first large, mid-ocean, truly deep water marine protected area all over the world.
The ocean floor is the largest part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area with a water column over 4,000 metres deep. A significant characteristic of Phoenix Islands Protected Areas is the abundance of extinct, large, underwater volcanoes. These underwater mountains cause submerged reefs, a huge variety of marine habitat types, low reef islands, deep seabed, seamount, and open ocean habitats.
PIPA includes low reef islands and all eight atolls of the Kiribati area of the Phoenix Islands: Nikumaroro, Rawaki, Enderbury, McKean, Birnie, Kanton, Manra and Orona. Kanton is the only island currently inhabited but with a non-permanent population. The population is less than 40 people who form the government workers and their families. PIPA also has Carondelet Reef, two submerged reefs, and Winslow Reef, with Carondelet Reef.
Birnie Island: It is a tiny, uninhabited coral island, 20 hectares in size. It is situated around 100 km SE of Kanton Island. It measures only 0.5 km wide and 1.2 km long. There is no port, but landing can take place on lee beach. The island is specified as the Birnie Island Wildlife Sanctuary. Kiribati announced the Phoenix Islands Protected Area in 2006, with the park being extended in 2008. The 164,200-square-mile marine reserve has eight coral atolls including Birnie Island.
Birnie Island is low and arid, with a tiny, shallow lagoon in its southeast section which is all but arid. There are no trees, filled mostly with grasses and low shrubs. Rabbits once used it as a home. It features vegetation and large masses of seabirds which perch there. Birnie Island has announced as a wildlife sanctuary in 1975 due to the calm nature of the island. It is now part of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.
What Do You Know about the West of the Gilberts in Kiribati?
Banaba consists of coral and phosphate and is located in the west-central Pacific Ocean. It is situated 250 miles west of the nearest Gilbert Islands. It is located at the most elevated point in Kiribati, up to 285 feet above sea level. It was acquired by Britain in 1900, and Britain started mining and shipping phosphate from the island. The Japanese forces occupied the island from 1942 to 1945. The Japanese expelled many of the local Micronesian inhabitants to the Gilbert and Caroline islands. During the 1970s Banabans tried to get separated from the Gilbert Islands. Since independence, Banabans have been ensured ownership of Banaba.
How to Get to the West of the Gilbert in Kiribati?
There is no direct fligh tto Banaba from Tarawa. Instead, there is the option of the cargo or you travel with an official government trip to Banaba.
When to Go to Banaba
Banaba has warm temperatures all year around varying between 30°C and 31°C. The rainy season occurs in January, February, March and December. This is the period where the majority of Banaba’s annual rainfall occurs. September is the warmest and driest month of the year with the highest temperature of 31 C, while August is the most chill month with the highest temperature of 30 C.
The Most Exciting Tourist Attractions in Banba
- You can explore the place and get to the island history
- You can also explore the sacred cave of Banba
- You can navigate the phosphate mining area
Best Hotels in Banba
Visitors can rent private homes at a reasonable price.