Moqua Caves and Moqua Well

A cave in Nauru, 1917
A cave in Nauru, 1917. It is possible that this is Moqua Cave / TJ McMahon, / public domain

Main characteristics

Coordinates: 0.5467 S 166.9209 E (mistake up to 300 m)
No:259        (list of all attractions)
Category:Caves, Lakes, bays and streams
Address:Australia and Oceania, Nauru, Yaren, at the airstrip
Alternate name:Makwa Caves, Mekua Caves, Moque Caves, Maqua Cave

One of the most important local sources of freshwater in the small island of Nauru is Moqua Well - a small subterranean lake in the largest cave on island - Moqua Caves.

Caves are located next to the airstrip of international airport, some 400 m from the national parliament. Here, in the rim of the upper Miocene - Quarternary limestone plateau have formed low cliffs and caves have formed in these cliffs.

Moqua Well is small (0.2 ha) freshwater lake in this cave. It is up to 5 m deep, average depth - 2.5 m.

This lake was the main source of freshwater to Nauruans during the World War II. Later it became a beloved place where locals spent time in the shade of trees and cliffs, often consuming alcohol. Unfortunately in 2001 there took place a fatal accident when one drunken man drowned. Since then authorities have closed the access to the lake with a fence.


See Moqua Caves and Moqua Well on the map of Nauru!


  1. Rainbird, Paul. The Archaeology of Micronesia, Cambridge World Archaeology, 2004.

Your thoughts?