Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an archipelago and island country located in the central west area of the Pacific Ocean, northeast of Australia. It is composed of a group of 33 coral atolls and the volcanic island of Banaba scattered over an area of more than three million square kilometers. Among them is Kiritimati, the largest atoll in the world and the first populated place in the world to turn the calendar around every year. It reached its independence in 1979 and became a full member of the UN in 1999. Its capital and most populous city is South Tarawa.