Nauru is a small oval-shaped island in the western Pacific Ocean, located just 42 kilometers (26 mi.) south of the Equator. It is one of three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean--the others are Banaba (Ocean Island) in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia. Until recently Nauru's phosphate reserves were
thought to be nearly depleted, but there are some indications that the potential for continued productive mining might exist. Phosphate mining in the central plateau has left a barren terrain of jagged, prehistoric coral pinnacles, up to 15 meters (49 ft.) high. A century of mining has stripped and devastated four-fifths of the total land area. Efforts to rehabilitate the mined-out areas have been unsuccessful.
A passport, visa, onward/return ticket, and proof of hotel bookings
(or sponsorship from a resident of Nauru) are required for tourists. Tourist visas are issued for a maximum of thirty days. Travelers transiting with valid ticket for an onward destination do not require a visa, provided that the first connecting flight departs within three days of arrival in Nauru. Business visitors must have a visa and a local sponsor. Nauru collects a departure tax that must be paid in cash and in Australian dollars.