Tuvalu, formerly known as the Ellice Islands, is a Polynesian island country in the Pacific Ocean, midway between Hawaii and Australia. The island of Funafuti is Tuvalu’s capital, and is also the centre of tourism, since the country’s only airport, Funafuti International Airport, is located here. Tuvalu is known for its ecotourism, with the Funafuti Conservation Area covering 33 square kilometres of ocean, reef, lagoon, channel, and six uninhabited islets.
Where to go
Tuvalu consists of six atolls and reef islands, with Funafuti, the capital, as the main island. As a focus for travellers, Funafuti has hotel facilities for accommodation. The most prominent structure in the island is the Fetu Ao Lima of the Church of Tuvalu. Other popular points of interest are the remains of a Japanese aircraft that crashed on Funafuti during the Second World War. The Funafuti International Airport is also destination among tourists, as it also provides a venue for sporting and other recreational activities. The largest lagoon in Tuvalu can also be found in Funafuti. It stretches 24.5 kilometres north-south and 17.5 kilometres east-west, with an area of 275 square kilometres and depth of 52 metres. The lagoon has many submerged rocks and reefs.
Outer atolls are also an attraction, which can be accessed via the two passenger-cargo ships Nivaga II and Manu Folau, which has round-trip visits to the outer islands every three to four weeks. Many of the outer atolls have guesthouses for accommodation.
Approximately an hour or a two-hour flight from Tuvalu is Suva, the capital of Fiji, located on the southeast coast of Viti Levu island. The largest and most cosmopolitan city in the South Pacific, Suva is a harbour city that has modern buildings and traditional colonial architecture that are combined harmoniously. Points of interest in Suva include the Suva City Library or the Carnegie Library, the Fiji Museum in Thurston Gardens, and its 78 parks that are known spots for viewing sunrise and sunset. Cumming street is where the shopping and retail areas are, and is a vibrant and colourful shopping area that dates back to the colonial times. The Hibiscus Festival is the largest carnival in the South Pacific. The city also has a lively nightlife, with its bars and clubs remaining open until five in the morning.
Funafuti International Airport, the only airport in Tuvalu, is only served by a single airline, Fiji Airways operated by Fiji Link, which only flies to Suva in Fiji. The airport in Suva also only flies to short haul destinations. It is best to book flights from Fiji’s main airport, Nadi International Airport, to get to long haul destinations such as Seoul, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles.
How to get out
Funafuti International Airport in the capital Funafuti is the only airport that serves Tuvalu. Fiji Airways is the only airline that operates here, which flies to Suva in Nadi. For more options of short and long haul international destinations, book flights from Nausori International Airport and Nadi International Airport, both in Fiji.