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PACIFIC ISLANDS

TAKE ON VANUATU WITH THE KIDS IN TOW.

Avatar   By Beth Allison - House of Travel Content Creative


Vanuatu is positively paradise, with a culture so welcoming you’ll feel like family almost the moment you arrive. What’s more, it’s a perfect place for the kids! Here’s how to make the most of it with your tiny travellers.


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ACCOMMODATION.

When it comes to travelling with kids, not all resorts are created equal. Here are our three top picks:

Warwick le Lagon — Vanuatu. A luxury stay. Young guests will love the Funtastik Kids Club, heaps of water sports, resort activities and lagoon-like swimming pool — not to mention the gorgeous beachfront location! Relaxed meals are a breeze at the casual onsite restaurant, and parents can also escape to the Warwick’s fine dining restaurant, golf course and luxurious spa. Ask us about family-sized villas that make accommodation easy.

Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu. The standout here is the resort’s Family Suite, a fun 56-square metre space that combines a King Room with a Banyan treehouse-themed room for kids. All ages will love the oversized beanbags, 32-inch TV and PlayStation. Watch out! Competition for the top bunk might get fierce — It’s got its own TV! Even better, the resort’s got a Kids Club for those over 3 years (and carers for those under), as well as loads of activities. Ask us about Kids Stay & Eat Free offers.

Iririki Island Resort & Spa. With a Kids Club for little ones over 3 years (and babysitting available for those under), Iririki keeps everyone entertained. Non-motorised watersports are included, and the Iririki offers a daily programme of tempting activities too! Casual poolside meals are easy at the Sunset Pool, Bar & Grill, and the resort sits close to plenty of excellent casual dining spots. Ask us about booking an apartment or family fare that will fit everyone!

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FAMILY FEEDS.

Don’t miss our favourite dining spots for families:

Jill’s Café. This family-friendly spot serves up American-style food quickly — before small diners have a chance to get bored — an offers a tempting kids menu. Even better, there’s a playground right outside for burning off extra energy.

Café Vila Restaurant & Bar. Sitting just 10 minutes from town on Pango Road, Café Vila offers delicious meals and open-air dining — plus an easy, crowd-pleasing kids menu.

L’Houstalet Restaurant. Consistently rated the country’s best dining, this French spot is also surprisingly welcoming for families. Tiny foodies can taste Vanuatu specialities like bat prepared in coq au vin style, while less ambitious eaters will be well served by the elevated kids menu.

TO DO LIST.

Here are our top ideas for exploring those beautiful beaches and beyond.

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Get snorkelling. Grab a snorkel and head right off the beach or ask us about special snorkelling trips to spectacular off-shore reefs and lesser known spots. We love trips to Lelepa Island, where you’ll find huge schools of brilliant fish and excellent kayaking too.

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Enjoy a Melanesian feast. For an unforgettable evening, ask us about a traditional Melanesian feast and cultural performance. You’ll be welcomed with a time-honoured Kava preparation. From there, you’ll indulge in traditionally prepared cuisine (think “earth oven”) and take in traditional music and dance by firelight.

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Dive into the Blue Holes. Whether you visit the ocean blue holes of Tanna or the inland oasis of Espiritu Santo’s blue holes, you’re in for a treat! Inland blue holes get their spectacular colour from their depth, mineral content and incredible purity. The ocean water in Tanna’s blue holes is warm year-round; but inland, the fresh water is another story — in winter, they can be a chilly dip!

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Visit the Mele Cascades. For the ultimate selfie background, head to this beautiful waterfall about 10 kilometres from Port Vila. A series of clear aquamarine pools appear as water flows down a hillside, culminating in an impressive 35-metre waterfall and natural plunge pool. You'll find toilets, changing rooms and a café with WiFi at the entrance. Feeling ambitious? Follow a path with guide ropes to the top and peer down.

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Hit the Port Vila markets. Vila’s vibrant waterfront covered market (also known as the Mama’s Market) is open around the clock from Monday morning to noon on Saturday. You’ll find friendly stalls selling an incredible array of fresh tropical fruit, unbelievably bright veggies and delicious prepared foods that are freshly made, safe to eat and cheap as chips! We recommend bringing bags for your purchases — it’s impossible not to snap up the bargains! Follow your nose to the fish market too.

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Explore Ekasup Cultural Village. Everyone can learn a little something! This award-winning attraction brings early Melanesian culture to life. You’ll be greeted on arrival by villagers in traditional dress and be guided short distances through the village to learn about customs, food, traditional weapons and more. You’ll hear slightly creepy details about cannibalism in the not-so-distant past and try to forget the details as you watch a cultural programme.

There’s more where that came from! Curious? Chat to one of our friendly travel experts today and start planning your best family holiday yet!


Vanuatu calling? Incredible holidays are just a click away. Better yet, come in-store and chat with one of our friendly travel experts. We love pairing Kiwis with their perfect holiday!


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ABOUT BETH ALLISON

Beth Allison is an American import from New Jersey and House of Travel’s in-house sentence writer. When she’s not thumbing a thesaurus, she’s probably dreaming of her next meal. Beth is a herbivore, coffee addict, tramper, bookworm, theatre lover and cat lady. Her favourite places are Strandhill, Ireland, and New York City. If you find a real bagel shop in New Zealand, please let her know.

More about Beth >

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