If you’re planning an island vacation and you’ve consulted a good south pacific travel guide, you may have already noticed Vanuatu. Previously known as the New Hebrides, this fascinating archipelago is comprised of 83 separate islands, divided up into 6 regional provinces.Geographically located in the south western pacific, Vanuatu lies off the east coast of Australia, and is north of New Zealand. Famed for its friendly people, intriguing cultural traditions and beautiful locales, this destination has a lot to offer.
Relaxing on the pure white sand beaches is a great way to unwind, but for the more adventurous traveler there is a lot to see and do. The quality of snorkeling and diving is excellent and the clear blue waters make exploring the coral reefs a real pleasure. There are other sporty activities to try like abseiling and parasailing but for the true adventurer, exploring the ravines, waterfalls and caves throughout the rain forest is exhilarating. For a change of pace you could spend a quiet romantic night on one of the many deserted, small off shore islands.
On the southern island of Tanna you can visit the world’s most accessible active volcano Yasur and marvel at the breathtaking beauty of the mountain scenery and natural hot springs. On the west coast of Tanna, past the town of Lenakel you will find a Giant Banyan tree which is the size of a football field, and it’s still growing! Pathways are cut through the roots of the tree, so you can actually walk inside this amazing natural structure, which has not been dated yet, but was already established when Captain Cook discovered the island in 1774.
If you travel to the main island of Efate you find the capital city of Vanuatu – Port-Vila – with its cool French and British colonial style. The city is located around a stunning natural harbour and every restaurant seems to have an amazing view. The streets are very clean and uncluttered, and pollution is virtually non-existent. Looking down into the waters of the harbour from the sea wall, you can notice the live coral that grows there. There is a great selection of gourmet restaurants and interesting cafes not featured in any travel guide, but the food and drinks are excellent quality and good value for money.
The atmosphere on the islands is very friendly and it’s interesting to note that there is no haggling for goods as everything has a set price. This makes shopping a happy carefree experience and interaction with local people is a pleasure. Tipping is not a common practice, however if you really want to give a gratuity like a local, consider giving a small gift as a token of appreciation.
If you’re interested in learning more about Vanuatu & New Caledonia or if you’re searching for more information on south pacific travel please contact us. We would be delighted to assist you with any aspect of Pacific travel, guide you with any additional information or complete a booking.