Dark Tourism in Nauru
Nauru is the least visited country on earth, it is also a mainstay of our tour calendar and as such we have written a lot about the country.
Why is Nauru the least visited country on earth? There are a few reasons, mostly location, but also the fact that there is not all that much to do here– at least for regular tourists. YPT do not bring regular tourists!
Thus, the checkered history of Nauru makes it a great place for a bit of dark tourism! Dark tourists sometimes get a bad rap, but we personally embrace the term.
To read more about what constitutes dark tourism click here.
What is the story of Nauru?
Nauru was formerly a German turned British colony. The island was full of phosphates. Phosphates come from bird shit. It turns out when you are an island in the middle of nowhere, birds like to shit on you.
Implied riches led to independence in the 1960’s. Nauru was thus briefly the richest country on earth, but this did not last long.
The modern history has been dominated by the Australian refugee camps and the controversy surrounding them.
For an in-depth look at the history of Nauru click the following link.
Why visit Nauru?
The main reason for many to visit here is the fact that no one visits here! We have heard of people coming for as little as a day. Don’t do that, if you come to Nauru, see it properly.
There is undoubtedly a unique history here, and of course the crux of the matter for this article: dark tourism.
What is Dark Tourism in Nauru?
Everything from abandoned factories, to sites related to the current refugee crisis. Japanese based WW2 relics and even the contemporary prison. There is also lots of
Urbex in Nauru, much if which crosses over into the dark tourism in Nauru scene.
What is Urbex?
Top 5 Dark Tourism in Nauru spots
Abandoned factories – There’s a ton of stuff related to the former phosphate industry. Some of it is still kind of in service, but it is mostly abandoned. The tropical background makes it very eerie. Great Urbex stuff.
Japanese War Stuff – There’s gun turrets, an old prison and various other things littering the shoreline of Nauru. Nauru suffered heavily under Japanese rule.
Waterfront – The waterfront hosts a number of sites related to when Nauru was a phosphate powerhouse. The loo almost reminds you of something from Mad Max and is very dystopian.
Prison of Nauru – There is a brand new state of the art prison that houses less than 20 people. One of the people robbed the President of Nauru of his TV. Amusingly, one of the ladies on our trip got wolf whistled when they caught sight of her.
Refugee camps – You cannot talk Nauru without talking refugee camps. Aside from the main camp, there is housing littered around the country paid for by Australia, specifically for the refugees. A sad but very present fact when you visit here.
Bonus round – Car graveyard – when you are an island it is almost impossible to get rid of dead old cars. Therefore there is a car graveyard you can check out. OK, it’s not exactly Eritrea, but still pretty fun.
And that is the dark tourism in Nauru scene. Of course, there is much more to the country than this, but it is certainly a highlight..