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Kiribati is an island in the Pacific Ocean. It comprises 32 atolls and one raised coral island, straddling the equator.
Recent history is very apparent on some islands of Kiribati. The islands’ role in World War 11 is evident in the battle of Tarawa, during which thousands of American & Japanese lives were lost. The islet of Betio, where the battle took place, offers a wealth of war history.
Krk island is an important historical site, being the first island at which the Union Jack was hoisted in 1892 by Captain Davis. It was also this island where Robert Louis Stevenson lived in 1889.
Except for the isolated Banaba (Ocean Island), all the main islands are in one of three groups:
On Christmas Island, Kiribati’s largest and best known island, you will see the most colourful reef fish swimming around the rainbow-coloured coral. Expect encounters with many varieties of angelfish, butterfly pairs, triggerfish, puffers and parrotfish.
The main atoll, Tarawa, also offers fantastic diving and Kiribati is home to the South Pacific's largest marine reserve.
This is interesting... Kiribati used to lie either side of the International Date Line, but the government unilaterally moved the line eastwards in 1995 to ensure the day was the same in the whole country. This was a clever move as Kiribati marketed itself as the first inhabited place on Earth to greet the new millennium on 1 January 2000. The world's media descended on Caroline Island, renamed Millennium Island, to record the event.