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The coolest new things to do in Vanuatu

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The coolest new things to do in Vanuatu

story by: Anna Sarjeant

Reading time: 3 minutes!

In 2015 Cyclone Pam almost wiped Vanuatu off the map, but if you ask the eternally positive locals, they’ll simply describe it as a mere “tropical low”. Two years on and the islands, like the people, have bounced back rather nicely. So what's new on this incredible comeback island?

1. Active volcanoes
Mount Yasur, a volcano on Tanna Island, is far from new. But peering into its magnificently fiery mouth is certainly novel. As one of the planet’s most active volcanoes this hot headed beast offers projectile magma and glowing lava. Not without risk, violent explosions and regular bouts of ground shaking call for the supervision of a local guide. There’s a daily danger rating ranked between 0 and 4; anything above 2 and the area is closed. But don’t be disheartened, level 2 still offers plenty of shudders, shooting debris and a deafening roar.

2. Off-road buggies
Strap in and explore Vanuatu from a different perspective. Self-drive off road buggies are an exciting way to reach the island’s most remote villages and patches of unknown. Led by guides, on two-seater, 250cc buggies, there are various tours to suit your mood; go for a swim, cross the jungle, stop for a snorkel or get acquainted with a muddy bush track. Buggy Fun Rental and Off Road Adventures offer the experience from Port Vila

3. Mama’s Market
With so much nattering and general commotion, never has the term ‘mother’s meeting’ been so appropriate. Port Vila’s Mama’s Market isn’t new per-se, but every visit is unique. So called because it’s run by ladies selling various products, everything bought comes with a niche back story. From bright baskets to Vanuatu jewellery, ask which island it’s from and how it was made. Also a fantastic place to try local delicacies such as lap-lap (cooked yam roots with coco​nut cream and meat), fresh fruit and native vegetables.

​4. Beach life
Sometimes all you want from a holiday is the exact opposite of new. No fancy new-builds or shiny, span dangled resorts. Vanuatu’s distinct lack of over development allows the beaches to be refreshingly untouched. Half an hour from Port Vila, Eton Beach (in Efate) boasts a shoreline that slopes into the water and provides a natural sand ledge for sunbathing. While Champagne Beach, on the island of Espiritu Santo, is defined by a curved sliver of plati¬num sand which is as pure today as it was centuries prior.

UNMISSABLE REVAMPED RESORTS:

  • Iririki Island Resort & Spa Vanuatu: After an extensive multi-million dollar upgrade, new additions include a casino and hilltop spa.
  • Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu: Re-opened in July 2016. Famed for its private beach, two dazzling pools and Thursday night fire shows.
  • Ramada Resort Port Vila: Due to open April 2017, this premier resort nestled into the cliffs of Erakor Lagoon will deliver 100% luxury.

Vanuatu is just 3 hours and 15 minutes from Auckland. Bet we can tempt you with some of these awesome ​Vanuatu holiday deals...

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