Line Islands

Travel Guide Oceania Micronesia Kiribati Line Islands

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Introduction

The Line Islands are a collection of 11 atolls in Kiribati.

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Regions

Northern Line Islands

  • Kiritimati (Christmas Island) - population about 5,000
  • Tabuaeran (Fanning Island) - population about 2,500
  • Teraina (Washington Island) - population about 1,000

The Northern Line Islands also include Palmyra Atoll and Kingman Reef (which is underwater at high tide), which are U.S. dependencies.

The Central Line Islands of Jarvis Island, Malden and Starbuck, as well as the Southern Line Islands of Caroline, Flint, and Vostok are all uninhabited.

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Events and Festivals

New Year’s Day

Kiribati is the first country in the world to welcome in the New Year, albeit at the Line Islands, and events go off nationwide. All bars and guesthouses have something going on, along with traditional celebrations at the local maneaba (meeting house).

Independence Day

This is the main event on the Kiribati social calendar, celebrating the day the Gilbert Islands gained independence from Great Britain in July of 1979. Though the holiday officially takes place on July 12, the festivities last for several days, starting around the 9th. South Tarawa sees most of the action, including obligatory canoe races, kite-flying and traditional dance, along with wrestling, rugby and other sports ventures.

Youth Day

August 4 sees the forward-thinking government focus its energy on the Kiribati youth, with the promise of better opportunities through various workshops and programs. Churches and meeting houses see most activity.

Christmas

Locals attend church followed by much eating, gift-giving and merriment, just like they do back home. In Kiribati, however, there’s also choir singing, dancing, canoe racing, and a myriad of other sports right up until New Year. Locals also go camping in Taiwan Park and visit nearby islands.

New Year’s Eve

A huge event in Kiribati due to its position in the world, this island nation is the first place to countdown the New Year. There are low-key parties on the beaches and in the towns, while all expat bars and guesthouses put on special events.

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Weather

The Line Islands enjoy a pleasantly warm, but humid tropical climate. Daytime temperatures hoover around 30 °C yearround with little variation throughout the year. Nights are still pleasantly warm and generally above 20 °C. The wetter period lasts from December to May and concentrates more on the northern part of the island chain. Trade winds blow from March to October. The most pleasant time, weatherwise, is from May to September. Tropical storms can hit the islands during the wet season, but are rarely a reason not to visit the islands during this time, although the humidity and heath combined with the absence of tradewinds from December to March makes this a slightly less pleasant time to visit.

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Getting There

By Plane

Cassidy International Airport in Kiritimati (CXI IATA) is served only by Fiji Airways on its once-weekly Nadi (Fiji) – Kiritimati – Honolulu (Hawaii) route. Due to the great distance between the Line Islands and the rest of the country along with the fact that the only other operational airports in Kiribati are found in the Gilbert Islands, there are no domestic flights. In order to reach the Gilbert Islands, travelers must fly via Nadi on Fiji Airways which operates a twice weekly Nadi–Tarawa flight.

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Eat/Drink

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This is version 3. Last edited at 13:27 on Aug 22, 18 by Utrecht. 4 articles link to this page.

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