Thousands of Australians return to Vanuatu for holidays. Yes, return, because Vanuatu covers all Pacific Island Perfects.
Small coral Islands, friendly locals, ancient culture, white sandy beaches, dense jungles, brilliant blue water – this “LAND ETERNAL” is just PPP – Picture Postcard Perfect.
Air Vanuatu (famous on social media for their inflight chicken casserole) will get you there from the east coast in 3 ½ hours from Sydney, or 2 ½ hours Brisbane. They can also get you to Tanna or Espiritu Santo in 50 minutes, and many of the 83 islands of this tropical archipelago.
Port Vila is a “cool school Pacific town where you can get around by bus minivan, or taxi. Buses are identified by a B on the number plate. They are a hop on/hop off service, so if there are other passengers on board the driver may have to drop them off first. You’re here to slow down any way. I call it PP for Pacific Patience. The taxi service is the same as home.
Good things to pack when coming to a tropical hot spot like Vanuatu are reef shoes, sensible shoes for night time, casual cool clothing, jogging or walking shoes, insect repellent, T tree oil or spray for minor cuts and of course mask, snorkel and swim fins for snorkelling the translucent water.
There is plenty for our active readers to get involved in. Vanuatu has long been a dream destination for deep sea fishermen and anglers with every type of game fish imaginable on the bite.
Anglers will have no trouble snaring the catch of the day. Cook it yourself or have it prepared by quality chefs all over the island
All extreme water sports are catered for in Vanuatu, kite surfing, catamaran’s, windsurfers, water skiing and scuba diving over wrecks and reefs all here.
To find out about water activities around Vanuatu the staff at the STARFISH COVE, right on the waterfront could not be more helpful. The beautiful one bedroom apartments are perfect for individual travellers, couples or groups. Only 5 minute ride from Port Vila and everything you need.
Surfing still remains relatively undiscovered throughout the 83 islands of Vanuatu. The main islands hold the well-known spots. On Efate about 13 surf spots are known. It doesn’t get too crowded and nearly all are reef breaks. Combine this with warm sunny days and conditions where you can find surf year round at a tropical location with warm water. Hullo! If you like your waves huge, you’ll have to wait for the NOVEMBER to APRIL wet season (not so wet) When cyclonic systems generate massive swells to Surfing Islands throughout the Pacific. On Efate the most well-known breaks are Pango Point, Erakor Point and Breakas. There are plenty more, but I’m sworn to secrecy.
Individual travellers without pre-booked packages can self-cater – Vanuatu brews its own beer and you can buy it from the supermarket to save money. The fresh fruit and vegetables are very cheap and much of it organically grown.
Australian visitors who like to have a little flutter will be pleased to know gambling has been around in Vanuatu for over 20 years. There are casinos, sports betting, poker tournaments and a national lottery. To stay and play, the Grand Hotel and Casino is on a prime waterfront location close to shops, charter boats and entertainment. All 74 rooms are fully air conditioned with all styles from penthouse suite to one bedroom and panorama suites, all with balcony, wifi and 24 hours service. The Crystal restaurant and pool bar will ease your senses into relaxation. The casino boasts 12 gaming tables, a VIP gaming room and 122 slot machines and if this is not enough, how about a ½ day or so being pampered in the Aromessence Day Spa
Vanuatu is home to many sports betting companies and is unique as a holiday destination blessed with great hotels and casinos. There are not many Islands like it in the world. Palms Casino is situated at the Holiday Inn Resort with modern slot machines Baccarat, Roulette, Blackjack and the popular Texas Holden Poker in a luxurious setting that compliments the local culture in its design. A VIP gaming room, massage chair and live sport will keep you on the up and up, with scores from home. A very popular and friendly place.
Yumi Yumi Yumi (we we we) is Vanuatu’s National Anthem, but it could be sang as you sample the local cuisines on offer at the over 40 cafes and restaurants. In Port Vila you can try Flying Fox French style, (they say it tastes like hare), coconut crab and other unusual island delicacies.
Port Vila is a gourmet’s delight with new fusion cuisines appearing due to the culture combination residing here. French patisseries, seafood specialists, Parisian style French Restaurants, grills, Japanese Tapas and American style diners are turning out new tastes.
Our crazy mad grey nomads will like the Kava Huts that serve the muddy looking drink to locals and travellers alike who want to feel the effects of this numbing, sedating drink first hand.
So come to the Eternal Land where you can even walk in the jungle safely (there are no large mammals, poisonous snakes or spiders).
Come for enjoyment love relaxation or any other reason you’ll be glad you did.
..has a nine hole golf course overlooking Palekulo Bay and AmbaeIsland. Swim and snorkel right in front of the golf club, then enjoy a refreshment, Daiquiri Anyone?
This unspoiled pacific island with clear and clean waters lapping white sandy beaches, where primitive jungles touch the beach is your true dream isle experience.
Watch fishermen haul in fresh lobsters in the morning. Got to the markets where local women sell fresh raspberries, mango, paw paw, durian and fresh greens on woven grass mats.
Santo is fast gaining attention as a gastronomes destination with a special emphasis on fresh organic meat & produce.
Santo beef is the lean, clean local beef that is recognised worldwide by top chefs. Some say it is the best beef in the world, a good enough reason for meat loving Aussies to visit.
Air Vanuatu has just recently introduced direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane to Espiritu Santo, so it should become well known to our intrepid grey nomad independent travellers.
It could become their tropical ‘home away from home’ From the hustle and the bustle of Sydney/Brisvegas to Robinson Crusoe Land in a few hours!
Some of the best diving sites in the world are around Santo, so bring your mask, snorkel and fins to snorkel the gem like coral reefs.
Australians, who like a drink and a flutter can find a gaming lounge, bar and grills, restaurants with bars and sports bars. Foodies are well taken care of with the local seafood, Santo beef served in many restaurants offering cuisine from around the world.
Day trips to ancient islands or lunch at a luxury resort can be arranged.
Something for everyone in Santo.
The active volcano Mt Yasur is sorely the number one attraction on Tanna, if not all Vanuatu.
The fiery demon compels all who see her to climb up and peer over her edge, tempting fate and raising the adrenaline levels simultaneously.
It takes only 10 minutes to walk to the rim of the ancient crater. We recommend to go in the late afternoon to take full advantage of the changing lightshow as the sun fades away into night.
The forceful display of fire and power really delivers, at once testing our bravado and over awing our senses.
For our adventurous grey nomad travellers a new sport has emerged literally out of the ashes. Ash surfing where the fun begins sliding down the side of a volcano on a finless surfboard.
After a hard days ash surfing feast on Tanna Rock Lobster in one of the many restaurants.
Tanna Evergreen Resort and Tours can take you to the live volcano, traditional villages, local ceremonies and other fantastic experiences you will have on Tanna. Why not stay in their traditional bungalows in colourful exotic gardens, where they will serve you some of the famous Tanna Rock Lobster and their freshly grown organic veggies and fruit.
Speaking of which, surf enthusiasts’ will not be disappointed on Tanna Island, which has potentially over 10 different surf spots, all shallow reef breaks in the right conditions. The two most consistent breaks are Lenakil and Port Resolution.
The Blue Hole is the place for snorkelling, a coral hole in the reef about 100metres across and 2-3 metres deep with lots of tropical fish.
A trip to Lemnap Cave can be navigated by duck diving under a cliff wall or swimming at low tide. An underwater growth is your reward for your efforts and something everyone visiting Tanna should see.
30,000 people live on Tanna and not much has changed in their lives since ancient times. To visit Tanna is to step into an almost uninterrupted culture from the old world, and that truly is a privilege.