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Banks Islands

To Vanuatu locals, the Banks Islands conjure up imagery of rugged, isolated islands with rich cultural diversity, epic hiking and stunning beaches. Accessed by air services from Santo, the key islands for visitors are Vanua Lava, Mota Lava (and neighbouring Rah) and Gaua. Getting to The Banks requires a bit of planning to make the most of it. Take your time to explore the Banks Islands, and you’ll be richly rewarded with a destination few have visited.

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Go Off-Grid in the Banks

Go Off-Grid in the Banks

Gaua is the most popular of the Banks Islands. Known for its stunning landscapes with an active volcano, Vanuatu’s largest lake and  highest waterfall, it’s brilliant for adventure seekers.


Mota Lava and Rah are small (it takes about 2.5 hours to walk around Mota Lava), though pack a punch with what they offer. Whether it’s climbing Sleeping Mountain on Mota Lava, kicking back on Rah’s beaches while watching snake dancing or visiting for the St Andrews & Traditional Leaf Fishing Festival, you’ll find the journey is worth it.


Vanua Lava has mountains, a volcano, waterfalls and lush rainforest. Many visitors come to Vanua Lava for the Vanua Lava Festival, as well as some great hikes.

Eight Tips for Visiting Outer Islands

Prepare for an unforgettable Vanuatu adventure. With such a diverse offering, you're in for a 'relaxing adventure' like no other.

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What to do in Banks Islands

Where To Stay in Banks Islands