The Vanuatu Travel Specialists

ni-vanuatu in main street on espirtu santo island

Vanuatu is a popular short-haul holiday destination for Australians, and in particular for families. But travel further a-field, the islands have a fantastic reputation amongst couples and honeymooners of all nationalities for its fascinating culture, its fiery volcanoes and for exhilarating scuba diving reefs including one of the world's most accessible wreck dives. There's a good variety of hotels in Vanuatu too, with the large resorts around Port Vila the most popular with families. For those who want to get away from screaming kids, for whatever reason, then there are a number of child-free hotels as well. The Vanuatu people are particularly friendly and love visitors, although their own cultural values remain very important in rural areas. Vanuatu shares much of the same cuisine as other island nations in the region, but is particularly noted for its meat – the local steaks are highly recommended.

Explore Vanuatu

Mount Yasur Volcano, Tanna

SS President Coolidge Wreck, Espiritu Santo

Dining out along Port Vila Waterfront, Efate

Visiting a Traditional Kastom Village, Tanna

Land Diving, Pentecost

Millennium Cave, Espiritu Santo

Drink Kava at a Kava Bar, Port Vila

Snorkel at Hideaway Island, Efate

Vanuatu Holiday Planner

Holidays in Vanuatu evolve around adventure with scuba diving, exploring WWII wrecks and climbing active volcanoes on the list to do. Culture in Vanuatu is intensely traditional and there are cultural centres to visit, local kastom villages to engage and festivals to marvel at including the famous Pentecost land divers who perform at various locations on their home island between April and June each year. There are three main tourist islands to visit:

Vanuatu's colonial name was the New Hebrides – although what these sunny Pacific islands have to do with the original Scottish Hebrides is anyone's guess. Around the islands, you can see amazing wildlife, including manatees and turtles. You can also find out more about the indigenous way of life, called kastom – there are many different local versions of this, as well as local dialects, depending on which individual island you visit – Ekasup Cultural Village is a good place to find out more. Tanna has an active volcano – visit at night to best see the glow from the molten lava, hear the volcano grumble and see rock and ash being thrown into the air by the restless mountain. If that sounds a bit risky, then Efate has a series of spectacular waterfalls.

Vanuatu Travel Guide

view our interactive map of the Vanuatu Islands

Efate Island is the main population centre with the capital city of Port Vila and the main international airport. Vila overlooks a beautiful lagoon and has several beach suburbs making it a popular destination for a family holiday as well as interesting sightseeing tours around the island. Espiritu Santo in the north also has an international airport and boats fantastic scuba diving, including the world's most famous accessible wreck dive, as well as exceptional hiking trails through virgin rainforest. In the south is Tanna Island famous for its active volcano which can be climbed for stunning sunsets and fiery night-time displays.

Pretty Port Vila is the main entry point to Vanuatu and main tourist destination for an every-day beach or family holiday. From here you can book day excursions, including scuba diving and cruises. Espiritu Santo also has an international airport with some direct flights from Australia and is the main scuba destination – you can find the wreck of the President Coolidge on the sea bottom, sunk after striking a mine in 1942.

Port Vila is the main tourist centre and sprawls along a large lagoon with a couple of large international brand hotels as well as smaller boutique beach resorts, some located on small islands. The town has plenty of great restaurants and bars to enjoy along the waterfront as well as a casino.

Outside of Port Vila, the only other concentration of hotels is in Luganville Town whose main purpose for tourists is to serve as a convenient base for scuba diving the famous SS Coolidge wreck dive. Otherwise, boutique resorts and tribal huts can be found scattered around the entire group:

If you visit between April and June, you can see amazing tower divers on Pentecost Island – in a sort of ancient version of bungee jumping, where local men leap off a tall tower made of branches, after tying a supple vine around their ankle to prevent them falling to their deaths. Epi Island is noted for its eco-tourism, trekking and wildlife.

Vanuatu Travel Info
Vanuatu can be reached from a variety of airports in Australia, NZ and from across the South Pacific.