Belinda recommends you:
There are only so many places on earth where you can hike up an #active #volcano. One of them is in #Vanuatu, with an adrenaline pumping trip up Mount Yasur. Once you finish that, you can hit several other #culture spots - including exploring underwater....and even sending postcards under the Ocean!
The Jewel of the South Pacific
An absolute jewel in the South Pacific is the island destination of Vanuatu.
It offers great value, a healthy dose of interesting culture and some wonderful day trips all with a beautiful tropical island feel. From the moment you land to the sound of singing ukulele players welcoming you to their tropical home at the airport and you feel the gentle warm breeze on the tarmac, you know that you have made the right decision to choose Vanuatu. Let’s explore this beautiful destination with just some of the things you can get up to there.
A Unique Surprise on This Hideaway Island
Did you know that Hideaway Island in Vanuatu is home to the worlds first and only underwater Post Office?
home to the worlds first and only underwater Post Office
Take the super short boat transfer from the mainland and you will find something so unique. The Underwater Post Office is nestled in a beautiful marine sanctuary, just 3 metres below the surface and a few steps off the pebble beach. Surrounded by Nemo and friends, you can duck dive to post special waterproof postcards – complete with post office attendant during business hours!
Mount Yasur Volcano Tour
Robinson Crusoe Island Culture Tour
Sigatoka River Safari
The sea life around Hideaway Island is fantastic for snorkelers and divers alike so be sure to include a visit over to this tiny island in your itinerary.
Located just 10km from Port Vila, stunning pools of clear water have formed around the 35m tall Mele Cascades Waterfall. Take an organised half day trip that includes hotel pickup and refreshments and you can go on a guided walk through the rainforest and follow the guide ropes up to the waterfall. Be sure to wear roof shoes for the water crossings so be prepared to get wet! Take a refreshing swim in the waterfall pool and take some beautiful photographs before returning on the walk back.
Ekasup Village Tour
Learn about the traditional culture of Vanuatu on a walking tour with a tribal chief as he walks you through his village. Meet spear laden warriors and receive an interesting look into his tribe as he teaches you about hunting, traditional medicines and cooking methods.
Meet spear laden warriors and receive an interesting look into his tribe as he teaches you about hunting, traditional medicines and cooking methods
You will find the tour feels authentic and not put on just for tourists – it’s a unique way to learn about the local culture.
Ekasup Cultural Village Island Tour
Robinson Crusoe Island Culture Tour
Mount Yasur Volcano Tour
You are welcomed traditionally in song and you may see the village cyclone shelter – the inside of a large banyan tree. This tour is approximately 3 hours long and wonderful for both adults and kids alike.
Look Below the Water
With so many options for experiencing Vanuatu’s beautiful sea life, pick one or all of the options to see an amazing underwater world.
You can snorkel off the beach or take a kayaking tour across the lagoons and pull your kayak up to a little sand island in the middle of the ocean before donning your snorkeling mask and meeting more clown fish than you though possible.
Pick one or all of the options to see an amazing underwater world
Have you heard of Snuba? It’s a hose attached to a snorkel that allows you to go down as far as 6m – it’s like scuba diving with a snorkel and is a wonderful way to experience more than you can on top of the water! Qualified guides point out interesting corals and creatures while you swim along just below the surface or down as far as the hose lets you. If you are a qualified scuba diver, consider diving one of the world’s most amazing shipwrecks – the SS President Coolidge, where you can swim through old corridors and stairwells which starts at 20m below the surface off the island of Espiritu Santo.
consider diving one of the world’s most amazing shipwrecks – the SS President Coolidge
The Island of Espiritu Santo
For an unmatched, away from the crowd experience of Vanuatu, take a short flight north of Port Vila to the island of Espiritu Santo. Here you will find powdery white sandy beaches covered in coconut palms, amazing blue water swimming holes connected by underground caves and majestic mountains spanning from one side of the island to the other. Famous the world over for being a hidden jewel for water lovers, you will find no shortage of adventure or relaxing activities in this relaxed region of Vanuatu.
Mount Yasur Volcano, Tanna Island
Would you like to get up close and personal with an active volcano?
Potentially a once in a lifetime bucket list experience, you can take a guided trip up Mount Yasur, 361m above sea level on Tanna Island. The volcano is highly monitored for activity with a rating system of between 0 and 4 created to restrict access depending on the activity level of the volcano. So you may only be allowed to access the crater rim when there are low to normal activity levels, allowing you to peer over the edge of the crater to see the incredible lava show within. At any sign of moderate and more activity resulting in lava coming up to the crater rim, the access to the crater is closed. For the most spectacular experience, take a tour at dawn or dusk. If the activity of the volcano is moderate, you can be taken to the summit without going to the crater edge and see the amazing eruptions and lava explosions for some incredible photos!
Shop in Port Vila
Whilst Port Vila is more of a town than a city, the main strip has lots of stores that make for surprisingly good shopping! From sarongs and island trinkets to duty free and coffee, it’s well worth spending a couple of hours wandering at your leisure. Some of the best buys can be found at the local fresh fruit markets where you can pick up piles of raspberries from just 200 Vatu (AU$2.00) and they are a wonderful insight into local life. Locals are very friendly and you can no doubt meet and interact with some lovely locals of the town at the fruit markets.
Capital City: Port Vila, located on the island of Efate
Currency: Vatu (VAT)
Flights: 3.5 hours from Sydney with direct flights 6 times per week plus once weekly flights from Melbourne to Port Vila with Air Vanuatu.