Info South Tarawa
South Tarawa is the capital and hub of the Republic of Kiribati and home to approximately half of Kiribati's total population.
The South Tarawa population center consists of all the small islets from Betio in the West to Bonriki in the East, connected by the South Tarawa main road; with a population of 50,182.
South Tarawa is home to most of the Government, commercial and education facilities in Kiribati including the Port and the High Court at Betio.
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.
|POPULATION :||City: 50,182|
|TIME ZONE :||1200 GMT (UTC+12)|
|LANGUAGE :||I-Kiribati, English (official)|
|RELIGION :||Roman Catholic 55%, Protestant 36%, Mormon 3.1%, Bahai 2.2%, Seventh-Day Adventist 1.9%, other 1.8%|
|AREA :||15.76 km2 (6.08 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||Highest elevation 3 m (10 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||1°26′N 173°00′E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 50.94% |
• Female: 49.06%
|ETHNIC :||I-Kiribati 98.9%, Other 1.1%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :|
|DIALING CODE :||+686|
Tarawa island is central to Kiribati mythology and culture, but life on South Tarawa was little different to on other islands before the island was selected as the seat of colonial government for the Protectorate of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands.
Betio was the location of the Battle of Tarawa.
The weather in South Tarawa is warm and humid all year round and average rainfalls are relatively high. However rainfall is very unpredictable, varying with the El Niño–Southern Oscillation, and South Tarawa can go for many months with almost no rain during La Niña cycles.
|Average high °C (°F)||31.1|
|Average low °C (°F)||24.5|
|Source: World Weather Online|
South Tarawa is a string of islets between the Tarawa Lagoon to the north, with a maximum depth of 25 metres (82 ft), and the Pacific ocean to the south, with a depth of up to 4,000 metres (13,000 ft). The island has been built from sediments from the lagoon. The process of soil accumulation is driven by the dominant easterly trade winds, and can be reversed during extended periods of westerly winds during El Niño–Southern Oscillations. All of these islets are now joined by causeways, forming one long islet on the reef along the southern side of the Tarawa Lagoon. Most of South Tarawa is less than 3 meters above sea level with an average width of only 450 meters.
South Tarawa is the economic hub of Kiribati, the location of the main port and airport and of most of the State Owned Enterprises and private businesses. Copra produced on the outer islands is processed on Betio, producing copra oil for the international market and other products which are sold locally. There is also a fish processing plant producing tuna for export. However imports far outweigh exports, and most households on South Tarawa rely on Government employment and remittances from relatives working overseas for their income. Unemployment and under-employment are a serious problem; in 2010 only 34% of urban adults (over 15) were engaged in cash work; the remaining two thirds are either out of the labour force, unemployed or engaged in subsistence activities. Young people are especially likely to be unemployed.
|Places and population|
Transportation - Get In
Tarawa airport, Bonriki International Airport, is on South Tarawa.
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...)