Composed of 83 spectacular islands, the archipelago of Vanuatu features a unique blend of breathtaking landscapes, rich culture and friendly locals – and it’s just three hours from Sydney.
Just in case you need more convincing, here are a few reasons why you should be packing you’re bags and heading off for the South Pacific getaway of a lifetime.
1. Once in a lifetime experiences
Lying on the Pacific Ring of Fire, Vanuatu is home to nine active volcanoes, seven on land and two beneath the sea. The most famous and easily accessible, is Mt Yasur, on Tanna Island.
After a short, easy, climb you’ll find yourself at the top of its impressive crater for a once-in-a-lifetime front row fireworks display.
Or head beneath the sparkling turquoise waters and explore fascinating colourful corals and sea life at some of the world’s best diving sites, including 22,200 tonne WWII wreck – SS President Coolidge.
Or dive into one of Vanuatu’s crystal clear freshwater blue holes. The east coast of Espiritu Santo boasts more blue holes than anywhere else in the world, including one of the most spectacular, Nanda, which can be found hidden amongst Santo’s lush rainforest.
2. Insta-worthy hotels & resorts
Vanuatu offers accommodation options for every type of traveller and budget, including luxury options for honeymooners, wallet-friendly resorts for families, exclusive island-style bungalows, authentic village homestays, as well as whole private islands.
But the latest addition to the portfolio of beautiful properties in Vanuatu is the newly opened Rockwater Resort.
Built into a limestone cliff overlooking the ocean on Tanna Island, this sophisticated, unpretentious eco-resort makes for an unforgettable island getaway.
3. The Land of Smiles
Vanuatu has been recognised as one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, which isn’t surprising when you consider it is home to 110 distinct cultures and languages.
Dances, ceremonies and artistic styles can vary from island to island, and even from district to district, but despite all these differences, Vanuatu thrives in harmony.
Renowned as some of the happiest people on the planet and dubbed ‘The Land of Smiles’, it’s undoubtedly the friendly locals that keep Aussies coming back time and time again.
4. A whole world of adventure you’ll never forget
Vanuatu isn’t all about lying on the beach and sipping cocktails.
You can snorkel through world-class marine reserves just off the coast of Port Vila; trek through the massive Millennium Cave system, ride along the white sand beaches of Santo; soar above the tree-tops of Mele Bay; or reel in a mahi mahi on your next game fishing adventure – Vanuatu has something for everyone.
5. So close you can almost feel the balmy sea breeze
Just a short flight from Australia’s East Coast, with direct flights from Sydney (3.5hrs), Melbourne and Brisbane to Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila, you can be in full vacay mode, sinking Tuskers on the beach in no time.
Regular connections through to Vanuatu’s main islands including Espiritu Santo, Tanna, Malakula and Pentacost make it easy for travellers to get a true taste of traditional island life.
Air Vanuatu has also just launched a new direct route between Brisbane and Santo, making this island paradise even more accessible.