Vanuatu - Port Vila - Dive Travel
Vanuatu is an idyllic travel destination which is situated in the South West Pacific only a couple of hour's flight from Australia. The climate is best described as semi-tropical with a temperature range averaging between 23 degrees and 28 degrees. The locals of Vanuatu are known as the Melanesian people who speak Bislama with English and French quite commonly spoken as well. The Melanesian people who are also known as Ni Vanuatu are warm and hospitable with a keen sense of humour.
Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu and is situated waterfront on the main island of Efate. There is a range of self-contained studio apartments, hotels and deluxe resorts, all within a small distance to the town centre where you can find, local markets, trendy cafes, great shopping and nice restaurants.
Espiritu Santo is a paradise which attracts divers in droves. It is a one house flight north of Port Vila and not only for its sandy white beaches but for the opportunity to explore the wreck of "S.S. President Coolidge".
Tanna Island is one hour's flight south of Port Vila which is an island of diverse landscapes, active volcanoes, a thriving culture that is very much alive today, old customs and wild horses.
Port Vila has a varied type of accommodation that offers relaxed bungalow living to resort style luxury self-contained apartments. There is a large harbour in Port Vila and this acts as a port for which Port Vila centres. The Harbour offers magnificent views, and being the only town on the island of Efate, offers visitors a chance to meet and socialise as well as being close to stunning clear water, hotels, resorts and restaurants. Port Vila is easy to get to and is only a few minutes from the airport. Make sure you don't miss out on any of Port Vila's tourist attractions, with markets, golf, horse riding, bushwalking, just to name a few.
Port Vila: All dive operators pick you up and return you to your accommodation, and luckily, many of the best dive sites are no more than a few minutes away. There are many wrecks and dive sites to explore, some including the "star of Russia", which is sitting in thirty six metres of water. Another boat called the "Konanda" and the ex-qantas flying boat called the "Tasman". A popular dive that is a bit further out but worth the trip is the "Semle Federson" which is sitting in 36 metres of water.
Activities in Port Vila
Day trips to Hat Island and Paul's Rock provide an abundance of colourful fish and coral scenery, these day cruises can be organised through your hotel and are inexpensive. Hideaway Island is ideal for a casual snorkel or if you prefer to see turtles in their natural habitat then tranquillity island is more for you. However, activities in Port Vila are not hard to come by and you will find there are a lot of things to do such as surfing, sport and game fishing, cultural village tours, hiking, bushwalking, and jet skiing.
Entry & Visa Requirements
No visas are required for people who hold passports for the following countries: the Commonwealth, EU Countries, Fiji, Japan, Norway, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland and U.S.A.
Medical & Health Requirements
There is no major health risks in travelling to Vanuatu, however if travelling to an island in the outskirts of Vanuatu anti-malarial precautions should be adhered to. There is a recompression chamber in Port Vila as well as hospitals in Santo and Port Vila. Also, please take sun safety seriously and make sure you stay protected, especially if taking medication that may make you more sun sensitive.
1 Australian dollar equates to 85 vatu which is the currency of Vanuatu. Visa, MasterCard and American express are excepted in most places.
In Vanuatu they allow 200 cigarettes, 2 litres of wine, 1.5 litres of spirits and 250ml of eau de toilette and 100ml of perfume.
The winter season with temperatures averaging around 23 degrees happens between April to October and in the summer season, temperatures average 28 degrees from November to March.
Swimwear is strongly discouraged in public places so a cover up is essential. Keep the clothing light and casual so as to stop mosquito bites and provide sun protection.
The electricity voltage is 220-280 watts and uses plug 1, the same plug Australia uses.
The main trading banks of Vanuatu is ANZ, the National bank of Vanuatu, and Westpac. Banking hours are between 8.30am to 3pm weekdays.
English and French are the most dominant languages spoken as well as Bislama, however across Vanuatu there are 115 local languages spoken.
Christianity is widely accepted however it is not uncommon to come across traditional indigenous custom and ceremonies.
Water is safe to drink, but more so in the populated, urban areas. When you are in the tropical weather of Vanuatu, it is recommended that you drink lots of water to avoid dehydration.
Local tradition and custom does not permit tipping or bargaining.
Vanuatu is home to some of the best diving in the world, there are numerous wrecks to explore in Port Vila harbour as well as all the outer reefs around Port Vila. There is the impressive President Coolidge located in EspirituSanto area and some beautiful diving in the Hideaway Marine Park. Generally the water temperatures are around 26 degrees so a 3mm suit is best suited to this temperature. As in most places, tanks and weight belts will be provided by your dive tour operator however any additional equipment will attract an extra charge.
200 Vatu is the amount of tax you should expect to pay when departing on domestic flights in Vanuatu.