The Republic of Vanuatu is small island in the South Pacific prime for lazing about during vacation times. With a high energy night life, exciting festivals and plenty of family fun, Vanuatu is the place to go on vacation for those who love to party, explore and experience a culture much different from their own.
How to Get to Vanuatu
Depending upon where in Australia you are located, it will take a different amount of time to arrive. Being an island, for those who are not so good on planes, Vanuatu is boat accessible—that is, you can take a cruise to the island. From Sydney to Vanuatu, you are looking at roughly a 2,500 kilometer trip, which is a pretty length one-way. And if you are coming from Melbourne, you’re looking at a bit more distance; approximately 3,200 kilometers. In order to get to Vanuatu from Perth, you are going to have to go to Sydney first—a 4,000 kilometer trip—and then go to Vanuatu, another 2,500 kilometers. On the chance that you are coming from Brisbane, you’ll have to add a total 925 kilometers on to the distance from Sydney to Vanuatu, because you’ll have to get to Sydney first as well. All in all the trip times are not too bad, considering, and if you choose a cruise, you’ll be having too much fun to clock the distances anyway.
What’s to Love About Vanuatu?
Beautiful weather, fun and perfect atmosphere—if these are things you enjoy and look forward to during your vacation, then Vanuatu is the place to be! The locals are friendly and there are more unique opportunities for you to participate in during your stay than you can count on both hands and both feet combined. From the beautiful island scenery, with lush groves and crystal clear blue water, to the surprisingly busy hustle and bustle of the shopping districts, Vanuatu has something for literally every type of person to enjoy.
Highlights and Locations in Vanuatu
Tanna: Witness nature at its rawest with gorgeous volcanic landscapes and life filled deserts. Try out the island’s version of “snow boarding” with out snow; surf the sands in Tanna and get your tan on. Or visit Lenakel, the town known as “black man town,” the very center of Tanna’s trading and shopping district.
Pentecost and Maewo: Famous around the world for its “land diving” ritual, Pentecost is the place to check out on Saturday’s between April and June. See the local men and boys jump from 20 to 30 metre high man made towers using only vines attached to their ankles. The tower in and of itself is an attraction; taking well over ten weeks to build tediously from natural materials scavenged from the forest, you aren’t likely to see anything like it any place else in the world.
Banks and Torres: For the nature lovers, these islands are the prime spots. Due to the natures of the local island peoples, all of the tours on these islands are eco based and structured around the culture of the peoples. Walk around the Mota Lava for the ultimate nature experience of your life!
Top Things to See and Do in Vanuatu
Scuba Diving: Explore the beautiful oceans and see a world very different from our own; view tropical fish, vibrant coral and much more while learning a useful skill.
Beach Bar Friday Fire Show: Grab a drink and watch a truly unique presentation put on by the local peoples as they go through ritual dances using live fire, creating gorgeous effects in the air.
Volcanoes: Vanuatu is known for its volcanoes. Some have been dormant for years, while others are live wires. Take a helicopter tour to see them like never before. Or simply visit Tanna Yasur, as it is active year round!
Food in Vanuatu
Vanuatu is full of cafes, where you can get foods from all around the world. From Indian @ Seaside, the island’s premier Indian restaurant, to Chill Restaurant, where you can grab some truly amazing seafood dishes, the island tends to cater more to the tastes of visitors than it does locals. Of course, you can always go to a small local restaurant and try the local cuisine; yams, coconuts, greens, pigs, fowl and more, cooked less for spice or sweetness and more for flavor.
There are many islands that make up Vanuatu, each with its own culture. The main staples of each, however, are the tribes; while different rituals and structures make them each up, the prevalent them is that symbolically, the man of the family and his family’s possessions are marked by their dress, dances and makeups. Thus, you will come across many different looking people with extravagant and unique attire and looks.
Vanuatu is known for its beautiful tropical weather. Although rain does occur somewhat often, winter is not a true factor on the island. On most days, you will experience temperatures well over 26 degrees Celsius, and somewhat humid, although comfortable, atmospheric qualities.
- Population of 221,417
- 12,189 kilometers square island area
- Christian religion prevalent
- Currency is the Vatu. Foreign currencies, checks and cards are widely accepted.
- There are over 120 languages spoken on the island
- Only three official languages; English, French and Bislama
The Do’s and Don’ts of Vanuatu
It is important that vacationers are aware of themselves so as not to offend the locals. This means that when visiting the local islands, full attire is required as many of the males will take affront to half-dressed tourists. Politeness is encouraged. And when visiting the islands around Vatu, be aware that some bars are not accessible to women due to the local tribe customs.
Contact the Australian High Commission Vanuatu for more information on the island, the locals, visas and other important details. The Australian High Commission Vanuatu can be found at their government appointed web site, http://www.vanuatu.highcommission.gov.au where full contact information, including fax number and telephone number, can be found.