Nauru may be unfamiliar to you but the currency in use in this part of the world certainly won’t be – it is the Australian dollar. Let’s find out more about Nauru, including where it is in the world and what you can expect if you ever go there.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
The Aussie dollar is divided into 100 cents and this currency has coins for both units. Just two exist in dollar form – the one and two dollar coins. In addition you can use the 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins that are in circulation.
The banknotes range from the $5 note and proceed to the $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes.
From past to present – the history of the Nauru Australian dollar
The Australian dollar only dates back to 1966, when the advent of decimalisation made an alternative to the Australian pound a necessity. Rather than decimalising the pound, the Australians chose to bring in an entirely new currency based on the popular dollar. Thus the Australian dollar was born.
Nauru was previously part of a mandate when the First World War ended, a mandate that was applied by Australia among other countries. Since 1968 Nauru has been independent and has used the Australian dollar as its official currency.
How to get hold of the Nauru Australian dollar
As you might imagine the Australian dollar is one of the easiest currencies to find before you go on holiday. You can easily request to purchase it prior to any trip to Nauru (or anywhere else that uses the Aussie dollar). You may wish to order it in advance but wherever you get it from it is a good idea to check the exchange rate in place. Comparing different bureaux de change means you can get the best possible deal you can.
There is no limit on the amount of Australian currency you can take into Nauru, but you must declare what you have when you arrive in the country. You can also opt to order some traveller’s cheques (again, ideally in Australian dollars) to take with you so you can cash them in once you are there. These should also be declared. This is nothing to worry about – it is a common practice in Nauru.
These two methods of getting cash to fund your time in Nauru are the two best options you have available. This is because Nauru is pretty small and the one cash machine it has is quite unreliable. You may as well assume it does not exist because you never know if it will actually have any cash in it. Similarly this is not somewhere that freely accepts credit cards, and without a cash machine to rely on you won’t have any use for them. Cash and traveller’s cheques will be your only way to get along in this country, so make sure you are fully prepared and have more to cover your trip than you think you will need.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Nauru Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is quite well-known to many people, although you may not know what the exchange rate is between your own currency and that of the Aussie dollar. Fortunately it is pretty easy to figure this out since you can use any good currency converter to help you along. Some of these converters are updated a lot more often than others, so it makes sense to find one that is regularly adjusted according to the markets.
Of course the rate you see will not be the rate that applies to any currency exchange you get prior to going to Nauru. Any bureau de change you choose to use will apply fees to your transaction, so the amount you get per unit of your own currency will still vary.
Finding out more about any country you are thinking of visiting is a pretty good idea. However this is particularly true if you decide to go somewhere you have little to no knowledge of prior to your stay. Fortunately the Government of the Republic of Nauru (its official title) has a website you can check for the latest information that will be useful for visitors. The visitor section is available here – http://www.naurugov.nr – you can also find plenty more useful information about the country elsewhere on the same site.
Travelling safely with the Nauru Australian dollar
Nauru is a pretty safe place to go to, although it is not a popular holiday spot for tourists to choose. Security is not really a big problem here but we would always recommend you take basic steps to protect your possessions no matter where you stay. Another point to consider is the importance of booking somewhere to stay before you arrive in Nauru. This is very important since the size of the island means there are few places you can actually stay at. If you were to leave it until you arrived in Nauru you could end up finding you have nowhere to stay at all.
Where to spend your dollars in Nauru – and what to spend them on
Nauru is a tiny island set out in the middle of nowhere, in the South Pacific. It lies to the north-east of Australia, although the island is a long way away from this land mass. Indeed the Solomon Islands lie in between the two.
Nauru is indeed quite small, measuring only a little over eight square miles in total. If you find it on a map you will see there is one main road that runs around the perimeter of the island, enabling you to visit some of the main areas it has to offer. This is called, most appropriately, the Island Ring Road. It runs right past the Nauru International Airport, which lies at the south-western end of the island. You can fly to Nauru from Brisbane, Australia as well as a few other choice destinations.
The capital of the island is Yaren, which is a district near the south-western corner of the island, where the airport can be found. There is but one major attraction here, which is the Moqua Well. This is actually a lake that exists underground but in the past water was drawn up from here to be provided to those living on the island. As such there is not much to see, even though the well has a historic importance. The Moqua Caves are also nearby.
Nauru is not a hotspot for tourists, and there are several reasons for this. Firstly there are few attractions here that would draw people to the island. This is a shame, since unemployment is high here and there is also a lot of political instability. You might feel that with more in the way of finances to support this tiny island, there would be a chance that the islanders would be able to create more of a financially-stable future for themselves.
The situation here might come as a surprise, especially since the island is surrounded by a coral reef – something you would think would be a big draw for those who love scuba diving. However the island relied largely on phosphate mining for its income in years gone by. This was highly profitable for the island but today things are very differently. The phosphate is no longer there to be mined and so the economic situation has taken a significant nosedive.
However there are a few things you can indulge in if you do ever go to Nauru. For example Anibore Bay is quite attractive and has a lovely beach for you to explore. Swimming is not advisable though because the currents in the area are very strong indeed and can pull you out to sea in an instant.
On an island as small as this you will have limited opportunities to go for a walk. However you can still put in a few miles if you wish, and one of the best walks to go on is up to Command Ridge. When the Japanese were on the island in the Second World War they used this highest point of the island as a lookout point. Today you can go up there and see some of the guns – long since rusted beyond use – that still remain there. You can also look out over the entire island from this point, which is why it was such a good lookout back then as well.
Clearly Nauru is not somewhere the majority of people would choose to visit. While there are a few things to see and do here it is not the most appealing or exciting of places to visit. However we can but hope the country might see a change of fortunes once again in the future, if things go their way. Now that it can no longer rely on mining to help it thrive, perhaps another way of thriving might be found for Nauru.