Gift Guide: Nauru International By Island Sim
By Bill Stack
Screen shots by Island Sim
Nauru is a small, remote island nation in Micronesia in the South Pacific Ocean. Its population is between 9,000 and 13,000 (depending on the source) living on the shores of an island about eight square miles (21 square kilometers). The closest island is Banaba Island (also called "Ocean Island") in the Republic of Kirabati about 162 nautical miles (300 kilometers) to the northeast. Settled by Micronesian and Polynesian peoples centuries ago, Nauru has been ruled by various foreign countries for more than 100 years, including Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. It has been an independent nation since 1968. The island's extensive phosphate deposits were heavily mined for decades and shipped to countries such as Australia and New Zealand for fertilizer, weapons, and other needs. The island was heavily bombed by Japan and Germany during World War II to disrupt the source of phosphates for Australia and New Zealand, and by the United States to prevent use of the airstrip.
With the loss of its mining income, Nauru is promoting itself as a tourist destination. Its website offers deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, swimming nature walks, and shopping. Australian rules football is a popular sport these days.
Nauru International Airport (ANYN) is served by one airline, Our Airline, owned and operated by Nauru, with twice weekly flights to Brisbane, Australia, and Nadi, Fiji Islands in Boeing 737s. The airport's runway 12/30 is 7054 feet (2150 meters) long. The runway is paved and lighted, but it has no instrument approach lights. The original airstrip was built by Japanese soldiers during World War II occupation. Nowadays the runway is used for jogging when not in use for aviation, according to ABC News. The tower is attended by day and at night with advance notice, according to Island Sim's manual.
Climate at Nauru is equatorial tropical with hot moist days and warm moist nights. Its two dry seasons are December to February and June to September. Its two rainy seasons are February to May and September to November.
Nauru is said to be the fattest nation on Earth, according to ABC News. Inhabitants who were very healthy 20 years ago have succumbed to fatty, cholesterol laden western food. More than 90 percent of the population is said to be clinically obese. Authorities are trying to steer people away from such foods and back to healthier foods eaten in the past, but shipping fresh fruits and vegetables to the island is prohibitively expensive, according to the report. This problem is not limited to Nauru, however, as Pacific island nations occupy the top seven places in the World Health Organization's global obesity rankings according to news media such as the New Zealand Herald.
Island Simulations (formerly known as Pacific Island Sim) touts the following features of its Nauru scenery, among other features:
- Accurate terminal buildings
- Custom vegetation typical of the tropics
- Full night lighting ambiance
- Ambient sounds (wave crash)
- Weathered runway and apron markings
Everything about Island Sim's depiction of Nauru Island seems very realistic when compared with photos I found on the Internet. The terrain, flora, and structures seen in Island Sim's Nauru are found in the photos. Elevations are realistic, whereas the island is flat in FSX default scenery. While most of the buildings are autogenerated, the various villages are represented, and the airport facilities and buildings near the airport are all true to the photos, as are the phosphate shipping facilities. These structures include the grocery store, municipal buildings, boat shop, phosphate mine and warehouses, and the shipping docks.
Various boats moving around the waters surrounding the entire island, and various motor vehicles traveling the roads around the airport and the island perimeter make this tiny island come alive.