Vanuatu is a Y-shaped archipelago consisting of about 82 relatively small, geologically newer islands of volcanic origin (65 of them inhabited), with about 1,300 kilometres (810 mi) between the most northern and southern islands. Two of these islands (Matthew and Hunter) are also claimed and controlled by France as part of the French collectivity of New Caledonia. The country lies between latitudes 13° and 21°S and longitudes 166° and 171°E.
Fourteen of Vanuatu's islands that have surface areas of more than 100 square kilometres (39 sq mi) are, from largest to smallest: Espiritu Santo, Malakula, Efate, Erromango, Ambrym, Tanna, Pentecost, Epi, Ambae or Aoba, Gaua, Vanua Lava, Maewo, Malo, and Aneityum or Anatom.
The nation's largest towns are the capital Port Vila, on Efate, and Luganville on Espiritu Santo. The highest point in Vanuatu is Mount Tabwemasana, at 1,879 metres (6,165 ft), on the island of Espiritu Santo.
Where we are
We are a group of 83 islands located between New Caledonia and Fiji. Flying time from our near neighbours including Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Fiji is no more than 3 1/2 hours so in reality for most Australians especially it is no longer than a trip from Melbourne to Cairns or Perth to Brisbane.
Tourism by air and cruiseships accounts for some 40% of Vanuatu's GDP so it is a vital part of the economy. Agriculture and Foreign Exchange also contribute well to the countries economy.
It is important then to attract and service visitors to this Island paradise and to this end the Vanuatu Tourism office plays a big role in working with our Marketing Representatives in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia.
Vanuatu has diverse range of accommodation ranging from high end Luxury Villas at places like Ratua Private Island on Espiritu Santo, Eratap Beach Resort and The Havannah on the picturesque Havannah Harour, to full resort facilities like Warwick Le Lagon, The Holiday Inn and Breakas Resort.
Vanuatu is a South Pacific Ocean nation made up of roughly 80 islands that stretch 1,300 kilometers. The islands offer scuba diving at coral reefs, underwater caverns and wrecks such as the WWII-era troopship SS President Coolidge. Hiking trails ascend active volcanoes such as Mt. Yasur. Other popular activities include rainforest ecotours, kayaking and deep-sea fishing, plus relaxing at resorts and spas.
Capital: Port Vila
Currency: Vanuatu vatu
Population: 252,763 (2013) World Bank
Neighboring countries: Fiji, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Australia, Solomon Islands
Learn more by visiting the Vanuatu Tourism Office Website
Once in Vanuatu there are plenty of transport options available to you depending on where you are staying and how many people you need to move at any one time.
In and around town the B buses ...ie small 12 seater buses with B number plates are cheap and travel wherever with no fixed route. It can take a bit longer that a taxi but quite cheap. About AUD$3 to get nearly anywhere...per person
T Plated vehicles are taxis and the most import thing to note is that they are not metred so always find out how much the fare is to your destination before you engage the taxis
Vanuatu currency is the VATU
Our recommendation in relation to purchasing currency is to leave purchasing VATU until you arrive at the airport where you can either purchase VATU from the National Bank of Vanuatu or you can use the ANZ teller machine to withdraw VATU on your Credit/Debit card.
Whilst in Port Vila the best rates are generally on offer at GOODIES Money Exchange and they have several outlets in the main street.
A rough calculation of the conversion and be made by omitting the last 2 zeros off the Vatu amount (EG Vt5000 equates to about AUD$50).
Note that the actual conversion will be based on the daily exchange rates published by the Banks and GOODIES.
The following Banks are represented in Port Vila...ANZ, Westpac, Bred Bank & National Bank of Vanuatu.
We are very lucky in Vanuatu to have a first class pro-medical Paramedic service available to locals and visitors alike.
The paramedics that work for Pro Medical are Australian trained and are very professional and competent.
Vanuatu's hospital facilities are not of the same high standard and should guests require hospitalization it is recommended that they get back to Australia or New Zealand to have medical procedures carried out.
For this reason it is importation to have travel insurance in place that provides for medivac benefits as without such cover you are faced with a huge cost which can be as high as AUD$60,000