Air Vanuatu Flight
A short 3 hour flight from Brisbane on Air Vanuatu makes this a great getaway location. Also, you can rarely go wrong with airlines that serve free drinks. It just helps to get you in the vacation spirit.

When you have a couple of weeks of uncommitted time what do you do? We look at a map. With two weeks between our final house sit in Adelaide and our first sit in Melbourne we decided to add another stamp to our passports by visiting the South Pacific nation of Vanuatu. Nestled in the South Pacific, east of Cairns, Australia and west of Fiji, this nation is made up of over 80 islands. We only visited the third largest island, Efate, where the capital of Port Vila is located.

Port Vila International Airport
The airport is small, but efficient. Even with Immigration testing a new computer system, and being the last ones off the plane we were still on our way to the resort within 45 minutes of landing.
View from room at Cocomo Resort
Our arrival at the Cocomo Resort was accompanied with a normal amount of “island time” confusion about which room we were in. However, after some confusion and a delay at dinner time we went from this view (which I thought was great) to the view below.
View from Villa 20 at Cocomo Resort
Our villa was right on the water, and simply beautiful. Looking off the deck at starfish and a variety of fish and birds was perfect.
Villa 20 Cocomo Resort
When were not diving I had no difficulty relaxing on this deck looking out over the water.
Karen Enjoying the View
Easy to get used to.

We spent 4 of our 8 days there focused on diving (blog to come). However we also managed a couple of tours and trips to local establishments. The main down side of this trip was learning how small, poor nations like this are being used as pawns in the geo-political scene. And there is no question that the Chinese are winning the game. Unfortunately, it is definitely not to the benefit of this island nation. We saw plenty of unnecessary projects and poorly planned and completed ones, all of which Vanuatu is going to be stuck with. Quite a shame really. It was the one consistent comment and complaint from every person we met on the island.

Vila Chaumieres Restaurant
We visited this restaurant a couple of times for dinner and each time it was absolutely exceptional. As well, we were the only people there each time. The only other guests were the fish and starfish in the water right by our table. Loved it.
Local Waterfalls
We did a tour with a local fellow who took us around to three of the top attractions on the island of Efate. The first was to a series of waterfalls in the jungle. It was beautiful. There are two attractions like this one on the island. One has been purchased by the Chinese, so our guide made a point of letting us know we were going to the one still owned by a local family.
Jungle Waterfalls
The water was crystal clear and I was able to swim right under the falls. The locals working the site were all super pleasant and helpful.
Baby Turtles
We were also taken to the “Blue Lagoon” and a Turtle Sanctuary. The unfortunate part for us is we did this tour on the same day a cruise ship was in port (Seriously bad planning on our part). The Turtle Sanctuary was a bit depressing for me. These concrete containers had baby turtles of different sizes living in them. For me it felt more like exploitation, than conservation.
Feeding Green Turtles
Though an incredible opportunity to be very close to these beautiful and amazing creatures, there was nothing natural about it. Perhaps if there had not been dozens of cruise ship passengers constantly feeding them fruit I might not have been so put off.
Captive Shark
They have added another attraction at the Turtle Sanctuary. When I saw this shark circling around in its small enclosure with its dorsal fin slumped over to the side I had had enough. It was time to get out of there.
Fire Show
On a significantly more positive note, we went to see the “Fire Show” at the Beach Bar. Seven years ago this group of locals started a troupe with the idea of developing a show they could travel with. Apparently they have been very successful. The show has a definite local flavour and the performers are obviously very proud of their achievement. The Beach Bar was their original location and every Friday they continue to do a show there. They also perform at a number of other venues during the week. The pizza was good, the beer cold, and the show excellent. It is a hard combination to beat. This is a must see if you are ever on the island.
16 minute Night Shot
I will close out with a nighttime shot I took from our room at the resort. Vanuatu is a wonderful place and well worth a visit.

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

1 comment on “Vanuatu

  1. Mark Beaven

    What a beautiful looking island. I had never heard of it.
    As always. Thanks for sharing your photos and experiences.

    Take care

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