Need a holiday? Can’t find the right destination?
Then take a look at this checklist of reasons to visit Vanuatu and discover why it is one of the best holiday destinations in the South Pacific.
1. You need great weather for a great holiday, and this is where Vanuatu delivers. From April to October, the Vanuatu weather is at its best with sunshine, clear skies and temperatures ranging between 18 - 28 degrees. The wet season runs from November to March and although there are showers, they don’t tend to last long or interrupt holiday plans.
2. It’s close. Vanuatu is only a four-hour flight from Australia and because the time difference is only one-hour it makes travelling there a breeze.
3. Stay right on the edge of the water at the Vale Vale Beachfront Villa on the island of Efate, just a 10-minute drive from Port Vila. This adults-only resort (no children under 12) sits on 700 metres of some of the best beaches in Vanuatu and each villa has its own private plunge pool. Beautiful.
4. Vanuatu truly is a paradise for scuba divers, and should definitely be on your ‘things to do’ list. The coast is littered with wrecks (seaplanes, yachts, ferries) but the most famous dive is that of the SS President Coolidge off the island of Espiritu Santo. The ship is nearly 200 metres long and 25 metres wide, and in its prime, the luxury steamship would have carried 1000 passengers. There are 20 unique dives on this wreck catering for the novice right through to the experienced technical diver.
5. A visit to Mount Yasur is something you will never forget. The volcano on East Tanna is arguably the most accessible volcano in the world. You can drive to within 150 metres of the crater rim and actually look down into the exploding lava storm. This is a photographer’s dream – the shots of the fiery magma exploding in the sky are just amazing. The best time to visit Vanuatu’s Mount Yasur is either just before sunrise or two hours after sunset.
6. On Pentecost Island, you can find Vanuatu’s version of ancient bungee jumping – land diving! This Vanuatu tradition runs from April to June, local men build wooden towers, tie tree vines to their legs, and take the leap of faith toward the earth. The Naghol land diving festival is considered a rite of passage for local villagers.
7. Just across the channel from Espiritu Santo, you will find your own piece of untouched paradise on Aore Island. Book a beachfront bungalow here and take time out to explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Champagne Beach is picture-postcard perfect and with turtles in the water, cows roaming freely on the sand, and warm shallow crystal-clear water surrounded by lush jungle in the background, it’s amazing. At low tide, the water appears to bubble, just like Champagne, hence the name.
8. An ice-cold beer is always a good way to toast a holiday. And the best beer in Port Vila can be found at the Brewery Bar & Restaurant in the centre of town. Sit outside and watch the island life unfold in front of you. The local Tusker beer goes down well on a hot day.
9. Espiritu Santo’s legendary Blue Holes are inland between Luganville and Champagne Beach. The best ones come from fresh underwater sources, but, remember that makes them a lot cooler than the ocean holes.
Nothing compares to the turquoise colour of these swimming holes, especially the Nanda Blue Hole, which is one of the most popular places to swim.
10. The Mele Cascade waterfalls, just a 10-kilometre drive from Port Vila, are famous for their deep blue water and panoramic island views. The amazing 35-metre falls are the perfect place to cool off on a hot day.
11. The people of Vanuatu are warm and welcoming. The country is known as the Isles of Smiles and for good reason. The locals make you feel at home, and are genuinely interested in you, from the moment you set foot off the plane.