To reach Vanuatu's waterfalls, beaches, volcanoes and other attractions, you'll need transport. But figuring out how to get around in foreign countries is always a challenge, so to make things easier we have put together our best tips on how to circumnavigate Vanuatu's islands with ease.
Travelling Vanuatu by bus is quick, convenient and an experience in itself.
Local privately owned minibus services are the main means of transport around Port Vila and Luganville. You'll spot them easily - they have a red letter 'B' fixed to their number plates for easy identification. These buses are everywhere and to catch a ride you simply wave them down by the side of the road and hop on.
Taking a local bus gives you a taste of Vanuatu’s incredible culture. One of the quirks of this transport system is that there is no set bus route. The drop-off points are usually in order of the people who got on, going direct to each person's destination. Local custom dictates that the last on is the last off, so you may find yourself getting a rather cheap tour around the island.
A faster option than buses are the taxis that you will see operating around town. They don't have meters, but their costs for local town travel are not much more than a bus. You can check with the driver how much a trip will cost before you get in.
Small, outboard-powered dinghies make some interisland trips. On more remote islands, travelling by water is faster than by road and sometimes the only option available!
Passenger boats, Vanuatu Ferry and Big Sista, have regular services between Port Vila and Luganville, stopping at Malekula along the way. Bear in mind that the trip takes 25 hours and is subject to the whim of the seas, so if you're in a hurry it might be best to fly!
Private vehicle hire
You can hire a car in Vanuatu with an Australian driver's licence, which makes it easy to get around on your own.
There are several different car hire companies from which to hire a car. Budget Vanuatu has great prices on a range of vehicles and they offer free drop off and pick up from the airport or locations in Port Vila, to make your travels as easy as possible. Vanuatu Car Rental is another reputable option and also has scooters available for hire.
Remember that when driving in Vanuatu you'll be on the right-hand side of the road. There are only a handful of sealed roads in Vanuatu, including the ring road around Efate and the East Coast Road on Espiritu Santo. In other areas, you’ll find dirt roads and lots of potholes, so if you plan on venturing far past Port Vila or Luganville, we recommend hiring a four-wheel drive.
To get to some of the more remote areas in Vanuatu, you may need to join an organised tour. Tours take the hassle out arranging transport, so this is an easy and efficient option.
On Tanna, for example, it's best to arrange a volcano tour through your resort as the accommodation options available are typically located around two hours away from Mount Yasur.
Air Vanuatu has domestic flights throughout Vanuatu, and is the easiest way to get to Espiritu Santo and Tanna. Outside of the main flight routes, aircraft are small and airstrips are stretches of grass - this kind of travel will appeal to adventurous spirits! Flying over Vanuatu's islands is always an exciting experience and a great way to get fabulous views of the country.
Before you get in a boat, bus or car, you have to get on a plane. Call the holiday specialists and we will help arrange your flights to Vanuatu.