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Travel To Tuvalu Islands

Travel Info Tuvalu

Plaining a trip to Tuvalu and wondering what to expect?  The information on this page will help and cover everything from money to hiring motorbikes. If you need more information, please feel free to contact us!

Location

Tuvalu lies west of the International dateline and 1000km north of Fiji in the central Pacific just below the equator and is 12 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time in the same zone as Fiji. The six atolls and three islands that make up Tuvalu together total only 25 square km in land area, curving northwest-southeast in a chain 676 km long on the outer western edge of Polynesia

History

The ancestors of Tuvaluan people are believed to have arrived on the islands about 2000 years ago. Under the leadership of chiefs, known as ‘Aliki’, traditional Tuvaluan society continued for hundreds of years before it underwent significant changes with the arrival of European traders in the 1820s.

 

Even greater changes took places when the Samoan Pastor of the London Missionaries Society arrived in the 1860s. Tuvaluans soon embraced the new faith and virtually all of them are now Christians, mostly Protestants. Religion plays an important part in everyday life, although much of the previous culture and traditions are retained.

 

Tuvalu (then known as the Ellice Islands) first came under British jurisdiction in 1877. In 1892 Tuvalu became a colony. In 1975, following overwhelming support for separation in accordance to the referendum held the previous year, the country became an independent constitutional monarchy and the 38th member of the commonwealth on October 1, 1978.

 

Tuvalu is classified by the United Nations as one of the world’s peaceful least developed countries. Tuvalu has recently been accepted and elected as the 189th Member State of the United Nations for the New Millennium

Currency

The National Bank of Tuvalu (NBT) opens from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Mondays through to Thursdays and 9:00am to 1:00pm on Fridays. Tuvalu uses Australian currency. CREDIT CARD services are not available anywhere in Tuvalu so visitors are advised to travel with travellers cheques. Overseas payment amounts of over $2000 need exchange control approval.

Climate

Tuvalu has a pleasant tropical climate, usually with little variation day or night from about 30 degrees Celsius. Average rainfall varies considerably, but is usually more than 3000mm annually.

Comunication Services

International and local telephone services are available at the Telecommunications as well as access through the Internet.

Customs

Visitors over 18 years of age are each allowed duty-free on arrival a liter of spirit or wine and up to 200 rolls of cigarettes.

Departure Tax

AUD$30.00 per person

Dress

Dress is normally very casual. However, there is a sensitivity about the way women dress. Therefore wearing brief clothing such as swimming suits in villages is not advisable.

Emergency Services

A general Hospital exists on Funafuti, full medical and dental services are available.

Dining Out

There are several restaurants in Tuvalu offering a variety of local and foreign dishes.  A few also have licensed bars.

Local Economy

Import is high, as there is very little manufacturing on the island due to the island’s geographical components. A coral atoll with a soil of low agricultural productivity as a result of high salt water intrusion. Some marine resources and coconut products are exported but much of people’s income is derived from Seamen and scheme workers based in New Zealand through remittances sent to their families. In addition, the people fish and engage in agricultural activities for their daily use. Government revenue is mainly from fisheries resource.

Local Handicrafts

Tuvalu fans, mats, baskets, necklaces, woodcarvings and fishhooks are famous throughout the Pacific. These can be purchased at the Women’s Handicraft Center near the airport, from small handicraft stalls outside the airport and on each of the outer islands.

Language Spoken

Tuvaluan and English.

Population

Tuvalu has a population of 9,561 people (2002 Census). Of this total population, 4,492 of reside on Funafuti, the Capital of Tuvalu.

Postal Service

Full international postal services are available. The Tuvalu Philatelic Bureau provides some of the most sought-after stamps in the world

Water Supply

There are no rivers or lakes. The Country relies on rainwater stored in tanks for its water supply so please use water sparingly.

Air Travel

The Fijian domestic carrier, Fiji Airways, operates between Suva and Funafuti three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays).

 

Fiji Airways flight schedule to Tuvalu
DAY FROM TO DEPART ARRIVE
Tuesday Suva Funafuti 0920 1150
Tuesday Funafuti Suva 1220 1450
Thursday Suva Funafuti 0920 1140
Thursday Funafuti Suva 1220 1450
Saturday Suva Funafuti 0920 1150
Saturday Funafuti Suva 1220 1450

 

Air Kiribati provides a once a week service  linking the nations of Kiribati and Tuvalu. The service departs Tarawa at 12pm on Wednesday and arrives in Funafuti at 3pm it then departs at 4pm and arrives back in Tarawa at 7pm. The service uses Air Kiribati’s Dash 8 100 series aircraft which has the capacity to take up to 35 passengers each way.

 

Ticket prices start at $350 one way.

 

To book contact Air Kiribati at reservations@airkiribati.com.ki or via phone at +686 75021108 or Air Kiribati’s GSA in Funafuti – Manu Travel Services via email at manutravel@gmail.com or by phoning 20980 or 7006053 or 700 6054. 

Ground Transportation

  • Cars, motorbikes, bicycles and motorboats available for hire.
  • Minibuses also operate on week days.

However, it is not a large island so it is also easy to get around by foot, while enjoying a closer view to the village life and having a few brief conversations with the locals along the way.

Internet

Although internet is available, travellers to expect slow connection.

Where to Stay

  1. Afelita Island Resort (litapita@gmail.com)
  2. Afelita B&B (litapita@gmail.com)
  3. Fakasagi Lodge (info@timelesstuvalu.com)
  4. Funafala Guest House (info@timelesstuvalu.com)
  5. L’s Lodge (2017lslodge@gmail.com)
  6. Lanumoana Lodge (info@timelesstuvalu.com)
  7. Luta’s B&B (ph: 00 688 20794, mobile: 00 688 7003025)
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