Atol Das Rocas (Rocas Atoll) Island – All Details

Rocas Atoll is an uninhabited atoll in the South Pacific Ocean, about halfway between Hawaii and Australia. It covers an area of about 6 sq mi (15 sq km) and has a population of just over 100 people. The island is best known as the location of an early 20th century wireless station operated by the Marconi Company.

Atol Das Rocas (Rocas Atoll) Island History

Atol das Rocas (Rocas Atoll) Island

Rocas Atoll is one of the many atolls in the Marshall Islands. The island was first sighted by Europeans on January 30, 1765, when Spanish navigator Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra sailed past it on his way to chart Tuvalu.

The island was named Rocas after a group of rocks that can be seen from some parts of the atoll. Rocas were used as lookouts for ships sailing near or around the island during World War II, due to its strategic location midway between Hawaii and Australia.

By 1961 there were about one hundred men living on the island, who lived in a number of small huts. The only buildings were two large storage sheds built with materials salvaged from ships that visited earlier.

As all means to amplify the voice were scarce, two male laborers were chosen and paid USD 300 per year by Marconi Company to act as transmitters for international messages throughout the Pacific Ocean. In addition they had first choice of jobs when new deep sea fishing boats arrived at Tofua Island (today Rongelap Atoll). For their work using a Marconiphone system between 1919 and 1954, the islanders were paid 3 USD per day and they jointly owned a can of fresh tuna.

One transmitter station was built on Rongelap Atoll at port Nuanada in 1919 to collect messages transmitted via even smaller transmitters placed throughout other islands within Andorra (Rajae) Lagoon such as Karkooenik, Pallak Mainit, Quinjet Reef etc.



The climate of the island is tropical, with averages temperatures ranging from 27 to 32 degrees Celsius. The northeast trade wind brings breezes most of the year, moderating temperature extremes and keeping humidity levels relatively low. The island experiences occasional typhoons that can cause extensive damage to infrastructure and homes.

Rongelap Atoll has a history of volcanic activity, most notably from the island-building era (3500 BC to 300 AD) that produced sizeable lava flows and resulted in widespread destruction. Smaller eruptions continuing today can be seen at Rotoehu, Southern Reef Motunao I., Noordin Island and large vents such as Vailoa on Poliina Atoll.



The traditionalof Rongelap Atoll is based on subsistence fishing and island-building, supplemented by visits from yachts and other vessels supplying goods, food and personnel. Islanders are moderately prosperous, with access to imported materials but also producing handicrafts for sale locally or exporting to the United States, Europe or Asia.

Traditional dancing, singing and storytelling are popular pastimes. The island has a football team, mainly made up of the village’s children. Their main rivals are neighboring Jaluit Atoll, where there is a strong soccer rivalry between both islands as well.

After its first two games in 2009 and 2010 won by Rongelap at home over Raja Ampat against Addu Besar and many tears were shed when an old folk song was played before the match started – oh my island toleku ekehu! (eeh-kou eeha). This summarizes that “the girls need their island back”.



Rongelap is a member state of the Pacific Islands Forum, where it has held the presidency twice (2007, 2013). It is also a member state of the Melanesian Spearhead Group, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, East Asia Summit, Asian Forum, Pacific Community (formerly ASEAN Plus Three), G-77 + China. It does not hold any other governance positions in international institutions or organizations.

Government services

Government services

The island is administered by a council, with a mayor as its chair. The island has its own police force, treasurer and post office. There are no hospitals on the island, but medical care can be obtained from Jaluit Atoll or Majuro Atoll.



Rongelap’s main economic driver is tourism, which accounts for around 85% of GDP (2012). Visitors to Rongelap come mainly from Japan, United States and Europe; however there have been increasing numbers of tourists from China in recent years. The majority of visitors stay for just a few days , either because of the island’s remote location, or to visit nearby Jarves (Djaru) Island.

Transportation from Majuro is available, with scheduled daily flights provided by Air Marshall Islands; however most visitors take a boat for about ten hours, arriving at Rongelap’s longtail harbor where they can ride bicycles or traditional watercraft across to Djaru island.



In 2012, Rongelap had a total of 1,518 tourists visiting the island. Of these, 97% were Japanese nationals, 3% American nationals and 2% from Europe. In 2013 there was an estimated 1,800 tourist arrivals on the island to which 115 (12%) were Japanese citizens.

There are two resorts on Djaru island: Taku Rongelap Resort and Jaluit Atoll Resort; both cater largely to Japanese visitors who can bring their own food with them or purchase items in the resort’s shops.

As visitor numbers have increased over time it has become necessary to accommodate guests in huts, most of which are poorly equipped e.g. only two rooms have beds and they share a common bathroom or shower; having said that the Pacific Rooms at Taku Rongelap Resort are completely newfangled with fully sanitized bathrooms, electricity showers, TV and Wi-Fi!


Raymond Transport boat

Rongelap Airport is located on the island and it has a single concrete runway, long enough for medium-sized aircraft. The airport can only be reached by boat or plane; there is no public transportation to the island.

There are also regular ferries providing services to Jaluit Atoll, Majuro, Pohnpei and Yap Islands which stop at Djaru Island en route.


If you’re looking for a place where you can truly disconnect from the bustle of everyday life and relax, Atol das Rocas (Rocas Atoll) Island is the perfect destination. This unspoiled paradise is a haven for nature lovers and offers stunning views of the surrounding islands. With its tranquil atmosphere and plethora of activities, Atol das Rocas Island is the perfect place to find peace and tranquility.


1.What Is The Population Of Rocas Atoll?

Ans: The island’s population is just over 100 people.

2.How Long Has Rocas Atoll Been Uninhabited?

Ans: Rocas Atoll was uninhabited until 1901, when a wireless station operated by the Marconi Company was installed here.

3.How Do I Get To Rocas Atoll?

Ans: There is no public transportation available to access Rocas atoll, and visitors must rely on private charter flights or boat trips from other islands in the area.

4.What Is The Climate Like On Rocas Atoll?

Ans: The island has a tropical climate, with temperatures averaging around 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.

5.Is There Any Food Available On Rocas Atoll?

Ans: There is limited food availability on Rocas atoll, and visitors are required to bring their own supplies if they wish to eat while here. Some of the island’s residents do have access to groceries, but these items are usually very expensive.

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