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What to Expect

  • Zip high above the jungle canopy on an exhilarating high wire.

  • Browse the buzzing Port Vila produce market, where local fruit is served with a side of Ni-Vanuatu warmth.

  • Put on your snorkel and pop a postcard through the world’s only underwater post box.


Fast Facts

Time: 6 days

Transport: Car and boat

Nearest major city: Port Vila

Price: $$

Throw a dart onto Efate and there’s a chance you’ll hit the pristine shoreline, home to thousands of striped reef fish and reclusive turtles. But there’s so much more to do here than explore the magical ocean world (and underwater Post Office!). Why not take in the vistas from the clouds during a personal helicopter ride, or for the young and young at heart, swing from ropes into the swimming holes dotted across the island?


Day One: Kayaks and Blue Holes



Join Vanuatu Ecotours, who offer community-based activities that get the muscles pumping and the smiles beaming. These tours are headed by local Port Vila tour guides who adore sharing their love of their home with visitors. Climb into a kayak for a family-friendly adventure and skim along the surface of a snaking blue river that twists through the jungle, or paddle above vivid coral for a bird’s eye view of quicksilver fish. Alternatively, join Ecotours’ mountain bike trips and navigate lesser explored trails on your premium Italian-made bike. If you’d rather walk than ride, join a bush walking expedition and listen to the guides as they explain local ‘kastom’ and indigenous flora and fauna.


Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate



Buckle up for an easy half hour drive to Vanuatu’s Blue Lagoon; a luminous swimming hole tucked away on the south-east shoreline of Efate. You can hire a car, flag a local ‘B’ bus or join a tour group to get here. For a nominal entrance fee, this is a full afternoon’s worth of entertainment in waters so blue they have to be seen to be believed. The Blue Lagoon pool is positioned next to the sea and is salty at high tide and freshwater at low. Its surprisingly large perimeter means there’s plenty of space for all, with crystal clear water revealing the twisted roots and submerged rocks ringing its boundary. Challenge the family to the highest swing off the Tarzan ropes tethered to trees, or simply float in aqua bliss, gazing at the blue sky patterned with the leaves of overhanging branches, and let the stresses of everyday life wash away.

Blue Lagoon 2

Day Two: Eat Where the Locals Eat



Try the tasty brekkie burrito at Nambawan cafe before strolling down to Port Vila’s waterfront to explore the city’s iconic local market. Jewelled fruit and vegetables are piled high on tables serviced by Ni-Vanuatu villagers, who emanate happiness, obligingly offering the names of the more exotic fare. Ornamental flowers scent the air, while handmade goods offer the perfect souvenirs for loved ones at home. Snack on cassava and banana chips, or try a skewer of roasted Nangai nuts that are surprisingly sweet and tender. Take cash to taste the goods and, if you’re renting self-catering accommodation, stock up on fresh groceries like choko to get that authentic home cooked flavour. Divided into produce stands, food stalls and craft stalls, the open air market offers something for everyone and will leave no-one hungry.

Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate



Now that you’re fuelled up, get ready for an activity to store in the memory vault for all time, with a helicopter and zipline adventure with Vanuatu Jungle Zipline. Depart from the floating harbour heliport and fly high above paradise for gobsmacking views of Port Vila and the island. Gaze at the pale blue coral orbit which rings the island, and see if you can spot the swimmers in Mele Cascades. Land in style at the jungle zipline, which offers a guaranteed adrenaline thrill suitable for all ages. Zoom above the jungle, your feet flailing some 80 metres high. Many a zipper who professed their fear of heights has found delight in the activity, which will have you safely zip from platform to platform on the Treetop Canopy course, making your way securely along some 200 metres of high wire cable. This activity takes around 3 hours — giving you plenty of time back at the resort for an afternoon by the pool.

jungle zipline

Day three: Daytripping to Outer Islands

Block out a full day to explore Pele Island for an intimate glimpse into Vanuatu culture and traditions. Take your pick of a number of tour operators who all offer Pele experiences. Get up early to drive north from Port Vila, watching as the township slowly morphs into coconut groves and lush jungle. Arrive at Emua Wharf to catch your boat to Pele. If you’re lucky, the 10 minute transit might be accompanied by a dolphin or two swimming alongside. As you arrive at Pele, enjoy the grinning greeting of the island children as they run to help guide the boat to shore. Here, life operates at a gentler pace. Run by island families, a Pele day tour includes a wander through the local villages, where dogs thump their tails in greeting whilst languidly snoozing in the sunshine. Take the boat out to the reef 100 metres offshore for some of the best snorkelling in Vanuatu. Declared a conservation area in 2003, the prized reefs are teeming with life. You can stay the night here under the thatched roof of a traditional bungalow, or return to the mainland in the evening, tired and happy after a day well spent. 

Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate

Day Four: Chasing Island Waterfalls

What’s time spent in Vanuatu without an exploration of the local waterfalls? Mele Cascades is among the most famous Port Vila tours, just a 20 minute scenic drive from town. Arrive at the forested entrance for a 10 minute walk to the falls, passing through the lush gardens which hail the cascade’s proximity. The awe inspiring thunder of the falls will catch you before you see the main falls cascading over 40 metres. Put your reef shoes on and climb to the top of the tiers -  a natural water park complete with liquid torrents and glass-like rock pools. Here you can while away the entire day, soaking in the deep, cool pools and taking scenic selfies against the streaming cascades. Explore hidden limestone caves and soak in the shady, tropical surrounds, enjoying lunch at the nearby cafe. Get back to your resort in plenty of time to enjoy some downtime, checking out the spa amenities and snoozing with a book beside the pool. Let the little ones run wild at the kids’ pool at the Holiday Inn Resort, try a sailing lesson on the lagoon at Warwick Le Lagon or test out the nets for some beach volleyball at the Ramada Resort. Most of the resorts offer mesmerising fire dance performances throughout the week, like the Beach Bar’s well known Friday night show.

Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate

Day Five: Post a Letter — Underwater!

Head to Hideaway Island, just off the Efate coastline in Mele Bay. Only 100 metres offshore from the mainland, the island’s name is a bit of a misnomer but there is a lovely feeling of seclusion on its shores. A free ferry goes from the Beach Bar regularly, however there is a nominal visitation fee for daytrippers to Hideaway Island. As a marine sanctuary, there is no fishing on the island, which explains the extraordinary numbers of marine life present. Enjoy lunch with a view, or snorkel right off the beach in front of the restaurant. For an unforgettable trip to the Post Office, send a waterproof postcard from the world's only underwater post box, where a special flag is raised on a float above the site when there are postal workers in the water. Keen divers can join one of three 90 minute scuba diving tours which run daily, visiting a few of the twenty different dive sites nearby.

Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate

Day Six: Walk the Ocean Floor

The Vanuatu snorkelling fun continues with a memorable trip to cafe and activity centre Back to Eden. Hire a car for the easy 30 minute drive from Port Vila to north-west Efate. Here, Bronnie and Alan Prisk have operated their Vanuatu island enterprise since 2015. Take a snorkelling tour with water aficionado Alan, who knows every nook and cranny of the estate’s private reef. Spot the resident turtles, giant clams and ‘Nemo city’ a stone’s throw from the beach, before enjoying a leisurely lunch at the restaurant where Bronnie serves up her mouthwatering fare.

Six days of fabulous family moments in Efate