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

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

By air

Memorial plaque where Camp Tarawa stood on the Parker Ranch

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

By boat

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

One of the casualties of war


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


Tarawa in 2004

Go next

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