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McKean Island - A Phoenix Island That Is Uninhabited


The Republic of Kiribati's Phoenix Islands contains the small, uninhabited island of McKean Island. It is 57 hectares (140.85 acres) in size. The Phoenix Islands Protected Area was established by Kiribati in 2006, and it was enlarged in 2008.

There are eight coral atolls in the 164,200 square miles (425,300 square kilometers) marine reserve, including McKean Island. A coral atoll group called the Phoenix Islands, which includes McKean Island, is located in the west-central Pacific Ocean 1,650 miles (2,650 km) southwest of Hawaii.

The group includes the atolls of Birnie, Orona, Canton, and Enderbury, as well as Rawaki (Phoenix), Manra (Sydney), McKean, Nikumaroro (Gardner), and Rawaki (Phoenix). They cover around 11 square kilometers of land in total (29 square km)

They are all low, sandy atolls that were found by American whaling ships in the 19th century. Evidence implies that Manara, Orona, and Nikumaroro were populated in prehistoric periods, although they were unoccupied when European explorers first came to the region. Many islands were exploited for their meager Guano resources.

McKean Island In The Phoenix Islands

COPYRIGHT_JANE: Published on https://www.janeresture.com/mckean-island/ by Jane Resture on 2022-10-03T07:05:20.954Z

The Phoenix group's McKean Island is the farthest to the northwest. There are no freshwater lakes or forests on its 57 hectares (140 acres) of land, but it does contain a hypersaline lagoon in the middle.

With up to 85,000 birds, McKean, which is covered in low plants and grasses, offers shelter to the lesser frigate bird, which has the greatest breeding population in the world. It was actively exploited for guano in the middle of the 19th century, but it was abandoned by 1870, and it has since ceased to be used.

Brown and Green Island in the Middle of a Blue Sea Under Blue Sky
Brown and Green Island in the Middle of a Blue Sea Under Blue Sky

The Cultural Life Of McKean Island

McKean Island is inhabited because it has a population and because there is no culture associated with the McKean Islands. However, Kiribati society is still traditional and resistant to change; there are still strong ties to family and traditional lands, and overt displays of success or wealth are discouraged.

A popular past activity is making and racing sailing canoes. Traditional dance and musical composition are both considered art forms and the foundation of intense competition. Popular sports include soccer and volleyball.

Okeanos northwest of McKean Island

Stay At Hotel Kiribati When Visiting McKean Island

Hotel Kiribati, which has an outdoor pool, is 400 meters from Maresias Beach. There is a breakfast buffet and free Wi-Fi access. Sirena and Morocco's nightclubs are 450 meters away.

Below are some other hotels close to McKean Island:

  • Resort Lagoon View
  • Dreamers Guest House
  • Terau Beach Bungalows

People Also Ask

How Do You Get To The McKean Islands?

There is no tourism infrastructure in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and getting there is challenging.

Where Are McKean Islands Located?

McKean Island is a coral atoll that is a member of Kiribati's Phoenix Islands group. It is in the west-central Pacific Ocean, 2,650 kilometers (1,650 miles) southwest of Hawaii.

What Is The Climate Of The Phoenix Islands?

With a dry season from March through June, the Phoenix Islands get less than 1,000 mm of rain annually.


The best place to visit in summer! The Phoenix Group's McKean Island was the first to be mentioned and given a name. May 28th, 1794 saw its discovery. On May 28, someone saw the desolate island and gave it the name Drummond's Island.

The tiny, low-lying island is made of sand and cannot be seen from a ship's deck for more than five or six miles. Later, it was called "Arthur Island," and maps from that era showed it to be such.

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About The Authors

Jane Resture

Jane Resture - Since she embarked on her first world trip in 2002, Jane Resture spent the past decades sharing her personal journey and travel tips with people around the world. She has traveled to over 80 countries and territories, where she experienced other cultures, wildlife she had only read about in books, new foods, new people, and new amazing experiences.Jane believes that travel is for everyone and it helps us learn about ourselves and the world around us. Her goal is to help more people from more backgrounds experience the joy of exploration because she trusts that travel opens the door to the greatest, most unforgettable experiences life can offer and this builds a kinder, more inclusive, more open-minded world.

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