When you're jetting off to an island paradise, the last thing you want to think about is rain. However, despite being sunny most of the time, Vanuatu can experience heavy rains and even occasional cyclones.
So that you don't get caught in a downpour without a raincoat, make sure you know what to expect from Vanuatu's weather before you go.
Vanuatu has two distinct seasons, with a relatively cool dry period correlating with winter in Australia, and a warm wet season over the summer months.
The weather is hot enough for the beach all year round, with temperatures during the day ranging from 20-33 degrees Celsius, depending on the season. February is typically the hottest month and August the coolest. August is also the driest month while March experiences the highest rainfall.
While timing your visit to Vanuatu around the seasons can be useful, rest assured that you can travel to Vanuatu at any time of the year. It is unlikely that you will be met with constant rain, even in the wet season. Plus, the rain is always warm!
Dry season: May to October
The middle months of the year are mostly dry and sunny, but you may experience higher winds. This time of year is winter as far as locals are concerned, so you may see the occasional beanie or warm jumper being sported around town. Don't worry though, the coldest temperature you are likely to get is a chilly 13 degrees overnight and this is only on very rare occasions. Daytime temperatures still reach around 26 degrees in winter.
Sea temperatures hover around 22 degrees in the dry season. May to June is generally the windiest period, but the breezes are usually welcomed as relief from the heat!
You might still experience the odd afternoon shower in the dry season, so packing a rain jacket is always a good idea.
Wet season: November to April
Prepare to experience more rain in the warmer season. When it rains in Vanuatu, it really buckets down in true tropical style, so make sure you take a good rain coat or umbrella if you are travelling in the wet season. Showers are typically over in a few hours though, so you can easily find shelter in museums or restaurants before heading out into the sunshine again when it's over. Rainfall is more common in the afternoon during this season, so plan your activities in the morning.
Vanuatu's islands cover a distance of around 1,300 kilometres, so weather can vary widely between the north and south. In general, there is more rainfall in the north of the country. If you stay close to Port Vila you might avoid the worst of the wet weather. Rainfall reaches its peak in March, so if you're averse to wet weather, skip travelling in this month.
The wet season is known for higher temperatures and humidity in Vanuatu, with the mercury rising to around 33 degrees. Sea temperatures can also rise to as high as 28 degrees.
It is also a time when cyclones blow through. These can bring disastrously strong winds and heavy rain, causing major disruptions to transport and communications. On average, there are two or three cyclones each year.
If you plan on travelling during cyclone season, we recommend checking weather reports before you leave to see if there are any warnings in place. It is also advisable to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you leave, to cover you in case of a natural disaster or emergency.
It's impossible to be under the weather when you’re on holiday in Vanuatu. Get in touch with our team to find out how we can make travelling to Vanuatu a reality for you.