We’ve talked about how amazing the fishery here in Vanuatu is repeatedly and we think that it’s about time we share other amazing activities you can do while you are here in the South Pacific island paradise that we call home.
Let’s tackle a bit of history and fun facts about this amazing country so you can have a bit more ammunition when it comes time to plan your next family vacation with the missus.
Geography and Some History
Vanuatu is a Pacific island country in the South Pacific Ocean. It is 1,750km East of Northern Australia, 540km northeast of New Caledonia, east of Papua New Guinea, southeast of the Solomon Islands and west of Fiji. The first European visitors arrived back in 1606 when explorer Pedro Fernandes de Queiros landed on one of the largest islands and thought that he had arrived in Australia. It was named New Hebrides by Captain Cook and was just recently changed to Vanuatu in 1980 when the country gained its independence. The tropical island was a famous stop over by whalers in the 1800’s, along with it being rich in cocoa, coconuts, bananas and coffee, early visitors to the islands found that cotton can be successfully grown here which attracted seafaring traders near and far.
“Vanuatu is still largely an untouched paradise that you definitely need to visit at least once in your life.”
Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago consisting of about 82 relatively small islands of volcanic origin, 65 of which are inhabited and has amazing volcanic mountain ranges, rugged coastlines and tropical jungles to boast. Being one of the world’s least visited countries with only about 95,000 visitors per year, Vanuatu is still largely an untouched paradise that you definitely need to visit at least once in your life.
Climate in Vanuatu
A true tropical paradise, Vanuatu enjoys a tropical climate with about 9 months of warm to hot rainy weather and 3 to 4 months of cooler, drier weather brought about by the southeasterly winds. Expect a cooler time from April to September, then put on your singlets and slops for hotter and humid weather from October onwards. We get a lot of rain, and we expect heavy rain showers every month, but this doesn’t really cause any trouble in terms of the activities we can do year-round.
Activities in Vanuatu (Apart from Angling)
1 Village Tours
There is no better way to take in the culture and lifestyle of the island life than by taking a true village tour. Travel by foot, bike, motor vehicle or even take kayaks to visit villages. You’ll experience first-hand what the village life is about, roam around the rustic villages, visit their homes, see how the food is prepared and see why Vanuatu is rated the 4th happiest country in the world according to the Happy Plant Index. Eco village tours are widely available no matter which city you are in. Don’t hesitate to discuss with your hotel concierge or your trip organizer to schedule a village tour for you and the family.
You might want to scratch the itch and spend some time on the green, but don’t want the family to lose interest in the trip. An advantage to golfing here is that the family has heaps of other activities to busy themselves with while you attempt to sink some golf balls. We’ve had the Port Vila Golf and Country club operating since 1983 and operates with Australian handicapping. It is an 18 hole course and takes just under 20 minutes to reach from the hub of Port Vila. Rental gear is available but in limited quantities so make sure that you book ahead to ensure you have gear!
3 Snorkeling and Diving
The fishing is amazing in this part of the globe so just imagine how good the diving and snorkeling is! With excellent visibility, warm and calm water, the “breathtaking” reef surrounding the islands are just insane and you won’t regret jumping in. Snorkeling is easy and very accessibly no matter where you are staying and you won’t have any shortages of beautiful reef and marine life to ogle at. Swim at the right places and the right times and you might get lucky and see some dugongs!
If diving deeper is your preference, wreck diving is very popular here as we have the SS President Coolidge wreck off Santo, where caves, guns, trucks and other war memorabilia can be easily spotted. Having a volcanic landscape, we have drop-offs, caves and underwater mountains to explore along with the vast amounts of marine life to appreciate.
4 Volcano Viewing
Tanna Island is home to Mount Yasur, the world’s most accessibly active volcano. It is a trip worth making as the drive thru the black fields is quite exhilarating. You will feel the tremors and rumbling of the volcano, smell the burning soil, sulfur and see solidified lava around you. You’ll get to peek over the rim of something so violent and beautiful at the same time! Very nerve-wracking but exhilarating experience to say the least.
5 Bungee Jumping – do not do this by yourself!
You may remember the old documentaries the Discovery Channel and National Geographic channel have covered before, where men build tall wooden towers up to 30 meters high, then jump off the top with only vines attached to their legs! Vines that are too long, but short enough to slow down the fall just enough to prevent fatalities and major injuries. This ritual is called the Nanggol and is a rite of passage for young men wanting to graduate into real manhood. It is spectacular to watch and only happens during early April on Pentecost Island. Don’t be daft to try it yourself though.
Enjoy these activities plus more on your next visit to Vanuatu when you have free time before or after your Vanuatu fishing trip.