GO Guide | Vanuatu

GO Guide | Vanuatu

A vacation destination encompassing relaxation and pina-coladas under a palm tree are highly sought after, and Vanuatu certainly delivers. A short trip from the east coast of Australia takes you to the idyllic paradise of the South Pacific. The archipelago of Vanuatu consists of 80+ islands where the burgeoning of jungle leaves juxtaposed against the clear blue waters is almost untouched in its essence, bringing balance between resort luxury, fine dining, isolated beaches and private seclusion. While of course, adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiasts have their work cut out for them too.

Not only a cruise ship port of call, the islands of Vanuatu stretch across 1300kms of the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu has a strong colonial influence which is highlighted in its British and French cuisine and architecture in their capital city of Port Vila, which is the gateway to the rest of the islands and resorts dotted along this coastline.

Welcome to Vanuatu, where the days slowly pass you by in the sunshine, and where you feel like you really are on holiday.

Where to stay:

Vanuatu’s top resorts lay along the edge of the coastline, bordered by lagoons and isolated beaches. From private luxury resorts to unpretentious, family-friendly accommodation options, you’ll be happily whisked into island time in no time!

Iririki Island Resort

At Iririki Island Resort you can discover a secluded paradise only a 3-minute ferry from Port Vila, with an array of accommodation options, a casino, two pools, award-winning dining, and so much more. This resort and spa offers something to suit all travellers, from romantic getaways for couples, family-fun adventures for all ages, and even fitness retreats for those who prefer to focus on mind, body and soul.

Iririki Island Resort is situated on 69 acres of a private island. From traditional premium overwater Farés to penthouse suites, there is a range of options to suit everyone, some with their own jacuzzi to relax the day away from sunrise to sunset.

Dining options are also in high supply here, with European, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines served across their 4 restaurants, so whether you fancy fine dining or a more casual dining experience after a day in the sun, you will find it at Iririki. There is also a ferry that runs 24 hours a day to Port Vila, so you can access the best that Vanuatu has to offer.

Ramada Resort by Wyndham Port Vila

Ramada Resort by Wyndham is located in the bustling capital of Port Vila. Only a few minutes from downtown Port Vila, this resort is home to some of the best panoramic views in Vanuatu. Cut into and nestled in a clifftop looking over the lagoon, this full-service beachfront property has 80 self-contained apartments that are the perfect option for couples, families, and solo travellers alike.

While this resort is ideally located so close to the centre of all that is happening in Vanuatu, you can’t help but feel you’re in a secluded piece of paradise with spectacular views across the water and incredible natural surroundings. It is true tranquillity. 

From kayaking, snorkelling, and paddleboarding to a range of cultural activities for the family, the beauty of the lagoon surpasses just the view. Ramada Resort by Wyndham Port Vila also has a range of dining options, with picturesque outlooks to enjoy from sunrise to sunset

Aore Island Resort

Overlooking the turquoise waters of Espiritu Santo, in the Sanma Province of Vanuatu, Aore Island Resort is located only a 10-minute ferry ride from the mainland and is accessible from the capital of Port Vila. This little island will have you feeling like you have escaped to your own isolated piece of paradise in the Pacific.

This family-owned, boutique resort features a beachfront location where your very own modern bungalow overlooks lush greenery and white sands. Aore Island is a haven for dining, relaxation and adventure with world-class diving wrecks and coral gardens and reefs, with crystal-clear, sheltered waters, perfect for exploring and diving below the surface.


What to do:

There is so much to see and do, and each of Vanuatu’s idyllic islands caters to all different types of travellers, from adventure to relaxation and rejuvenation, you can immerse yourself in everything this paradise has to offer. 

Dive for a WW2 Wreckage

Vanuatu’s largest island, Espiritu Santo is home to luxury resorts featuring coconut palms, lush jungle landscape and white sandy beaches. The crystal-clear teal coloured waters draw visitors from all over the world to the most exclusive island within the archipelago.

Adrenaline junkies and adventure enthusiasts have their work cut out for them, with “Santo” being home to some of the best diving experiences in the South Pacific. Not only are the coral reefs and natural environments incredibly enchanting, but Vanuatu also offers some of the most awe-inspiring wreck diving with sunken ferries, yachts, cargo ships, seaplanes and of course, WW2 wreckage, the SS President Coolidge right off Espiritu Santo

Discover the “Blue Holes” of Espiritu Santo

A geological phenomenon, the “blue holes” of Vanuatu can be found throughout the island of Espiritu Santo. Pristine waterways suddenly drop beneath you to relinquish you into a lagoon 30 metres deep. Filled with stunning crystal blue water, you can leap from overhanging trees into the depths, or snorkel to discover the underwater landscapes.

See Awe-inspiring Mount Yasur Volcano

If adventure-seeking is your thing, perhaps a walk to the very lip of an erupting volcano is on the itinerary. Mount Yasur on Tanna Island is the world’s most accessible live volcano, and you can day-trip with a 45-minute flight from Port Vila.

When you get to the top, be amazed by the volcano bubbling away, molten rock glowing red as it is flown into the blue skies above. It is truly a memorable experience.


Where to eat:

Tilly’s Restaurant and Bar

Located in bustling Port Vila, at the Chantilly’s on the Bay resort, is Tilly’s Restaurant and Bar. Here Vanuatu is the star on the plate with local cuisine and tapas highlighted. With only the best, seasonal produce, each dish is a mouthful of flavour and freshness.

Tamanu on the Beach

Located on the island of Efate, enjoy an iconic South Pacific dining experience with incredible views across the Pacific Ocean in this open-air restaurant. Tamanu on the Beach is where gourmet dining is enjoyed right on the beachfront and where local organic produce, meat and seafood are the main fare. Try the Lobster Mornay, it’s their signature dish for a reason!

Au Fare Restaurant

A former colony of France, the cultural French influence is prevalent in the local cuisine. Vanuatu still retains a lot of its French culture and at Au Fare Restaurant you can immerse yourself in all things a la francais with the wait staff speaking this romantic language aplenty. Of course, we are all for a little European indulgence while overlooking the stunning waterfront in Port Vila, think of French classics like house-made Parfait and Steak Frites.


Written by Rebecca Dickson