There’s something universally alluring about unspoiled tropical islands. The sunshine, the swaying palm trees, the turquoise seas gently lapping powdery shores – they all mix together to serve up a delicious cocktail of pure relaxation.
Vanuatu is a just such a dream destination – and take it from us – it always goes down smooth. Only a short flight from major Australian cities, this tiny nation is actually an archipelago made up of 80 individual islands. Together they are home to countless wonders that will dazzle honeymooners, families, and adventurers alike. So if you’re keen on the tropical dream then check out our list of the top 5 list of things to see and do in Vanuatu.
Discover the unique ‘Blue Holes’
Vanuatu’s island of Espiritu Santo is home to countless blue holes – pools of piercing blue fresh water dotting the middle of the jungles – and the most well-known is the Matevulu Blue Hole. Seeping upward from an underground river system, this sapphire gem has been carved out of the limestone rock to create the most naturally stunning swimming pool. The best way to get there? By kayak of course! Imagine the serenity of peacefully kayaking down a lazy river. With the sound of lapping water, tropical birds and the breeze brushing against the jungle canopy, you suddenly arrive at a refreshing, secluded oasis. After you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, go ahead and dive right in!
Explore a secret sea cave
The Blue Cave on the island of Tanna is the kind of place you might see in your dreams. Completely hidden from the outside world, a hole in its roof allows streaming rays of sunlight to pour in – illuminating the water like glittery diamonds – and the entire place feels like some sort of ocean cathedral. The only way to access the cave is to swim a meter underneath a wall of solid rock. As you leave the outside noise behind you’ll enter a magical grotto of dripping water and dazzling colour. Feel free to pinch yourself because it’s all too real, and simply spectacular.
…you’ll enter a magical grotto of dripping water and dazzling colour. Feel free to pinch yourself because it’s all too real, and simply spectacular.
Face the heat of an active volcano
Also on the island on Tanna is the towering Mount Yasur – a roaring beast that’s accessible by local guide or 4WD. If you’re brave enough you can hike up to the crater’s mouth, smell sulphur on its breath and feel the lava in its belly churning and grumbling beneath you. This volcano is an icon of Vanuatu and don’t worry! If you’re no fan of molten magma, viewing it from a distance is still very impressive. Along with its surrounding ash plains (that resemble the surface of the moon) and sulphur hot springs, there’s no shortage of cool stuff to do around this hot natural wonder.
Experience the bubbles of Champagne Beach
Every beach in Vanuatu is salivation for your imagination but there’s one stretch of sand in particular that really…pops. On the east coast of Espiritu Santo lies the incredible Champagne Beach. Aside from being a half-moon slice of bliss (that may already be the background on your computer) what really makes this beach so special is the volcanic rocks beneath it. Each day when the tide lazily slips away, gas bubbles trapped in the rock begin to fizz and the shallow waters transform into an inviting bath of effervescent magic. Ever wondered what it’s feels like to be inside a glass at midnight on New Years Eve? This beach makes every day feel like a celebration.
Snorkel & Scuba Dive a ghost ship
With an array of beautiful sea life – from giant clams, to sea anemones, to endless schools of brightly coloured fish – the swimming and snorkelling around Vanuatu’s many islands are top notch. But there’s one site that truly puts it in a class of its own – the wreck of the SS President Coolidge. At one time a massive luxury ocean liner, this 200 metre-long ship was converted into a military transport vessel during the second World War. In 1942, while heading into port at Espiritu Santo (which had become home to an allied military base) the Coolidge was accidentally struck by mines and sank. In the decades since it has become a Mecca for scuba divers. Underwater adventurers can explore countless submerged holds of the broken ship and see everything from guns and cannons to jeeps and chandeliers. All covered in coral, this ghostly wreck is now home to moray eels, barracuda, turtles and colourful fish of every type imaginable.
Check out TripADeal’s packages to Vanuatu right here.