There are many reasons why we travel. Jetting Off to new places can be a way to escape and unwind from our day-to-day stresses. Travel can also be full of life-changing moments, ones that can be personally transformative, open your eyes to the world around and reawaken zest for life. For us here in Aotearoa, we don’t have to look far to find destinations that offer these life-changing experiences.With an abundance of natural beauty and enriching cultural experiences, Vanuatu is made for adventure-seekers.
Underwater to mountains
The beauty of creating your dream holiday is that it gives you the opportunity to reawaken your passions – and uncover new ones. Keen divers should make the most of the Pacific nation’s world-class diving sites. Swim through abundant coral reefs in the lesser-known Tanna Island, with its crystal-clear waters that are home to vibrant species of parrotfish, turtles and the rare dugong ‘seacow’. Or venture into the depths of the SS President Coolidge wreck dive in Espiritu Santo, one of the largest shipwrecks in the world.
If it’s a walking adventure you’re after, join a local guide on an unforgettable four-day hike on the remote island of Gaua, a spectacular journey that lets you discover the highest waterfall in Vanuatu and experience a unique canoe journey across the magnificent Lake Letas.
Off the grid
Remote, off-the-grid experiences have become increasingly popular of late, with keen adventurers looking for unique ways to disconnect with modern life and reconnect with the serenity of nature. Vanuatu has a host of tailor-made, off-the-grid experiences, ranging from tropical escapes to culturally enriching stays. Immerse yourself in island life at the charming treehouse bungalows on Tanna Island. Set among a banyan tree canopy and looking out to the active Mount Yasur volcano, Jungle Oasis Bungalows, Nauhiu Banyan Castle Bungalows and Tanna Yasur Homestay Bungalows are lush off-the-grid accommodations where you can not only immerse yourself in nature, but get to know the locals who share their connection to the land.
If it’s swimming and sunbathing you’re seeking, Pele Island and Nguna Island are full of unspoilt gems, offering remote bungalows and nature-based activities such as hiking, boatsafaris, fishing and snorkelling.
If you truly want to escape the crowds, then Vanuatu has plenty of unspoilt gems on its doorstep. Hop on a small plane and discover the remote islands of Epi and the Maskelynes, peaceful places that offer both stunning stretches of sandy coves and rugged rainforests. Or discover the magical Moon Cave on the island of Maewo, where shafts of light illuminate the brilliant blue depths.
A conscious mindset has moved into the forefront of modern travel as tourists have become much more mindful of the places and people they visit. ‘Kastom’ is an unwritten and unspoken value that is central to the Ni-Vanuatu Way of life, representing respect for the land, people and culture. Kastom can be demonstrated in many ways. It could be chatting with a local guide on a hike, spending time in the local markets and getting to know the growers and artisans that are a core part of Vanuatu’s identity and economy. Or head to a local Naghol (land diving) event on the island of Pentecost, a tradition from April to June that sees brave locals ‘bungee jumping’ tied to vines off wooden towers.
What are you waiting for? Life-changing moments await you in Vanuatu. The country is now welcoming international travellers back to its shores.Visit vanuatu.travel/nz