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Gaua Island is known for being really off the beaten track, with its humid climate, rugged terrain, dense jungle, strong culture and, of course, its friendly locals. With the highest waterfall in Vanuatu, an active volcano and the largest volcanic crater lake in the South Pacific, there’s no shortage of landscapes to explore.

With a way of life that’s largely dictated by the elements and traditional Melanesian cultural life, the locals on Gaua are relaxed and ready to tackle whatever nature throws at them – even if it means leaving their villages for long periods of time when Mt Garet erupts. The people you’ll meet on Gaua are always smiling and friendly and willing to share their culture with those who take the time to stop and listen.

Don’t Miss

  • Vanuatu’s highest waterfall, Siri waterfall
  • Kayaking across Vanuatu’s largest crater lake in an outrigger canoe
  • Climbing an active volcano
  • The spectacular Water Music Ladies

How To Get There

You can fly to Gaua from Santo or Port Vila – check out the latest schedules with Air Vanuatu.

Useful Tips

Like elsewhere in Vanuatu, the weather is unpredictable. Make sure you pack appropriate wet weather gear and be prepared to change your plans if a rainstorm hits. Being remote and serviced by smaller planes, weather also disrupts flights. Be ready to be flexible.

Beaches on Gaua are more stony than you might expect from this tropical paradise. The views are unparalleled but you may prefer a stroll along the beach in good shoes, rather than a lie down in the sun.

Day 1


This morning, as you pull into the grassy runway at the island’s northeast airport, don’t be surprised if you see the kids scuttling off into the bush. Like many of the smaller islands, the airport also doubles as a space for kids to play. They’ll be sure to pop their inquisitive heads out when you disembark.

Just 300m away from the airport, boasting incredible ocean views and two well-equipped bungalows, you’ll find Chez Maureen, your accommodation for the night.


Once you’ve settled in at Chez Maureen, your host Maureen can arrange for you to see the Water Music Ladies. This has to be on your ‘must do’ list. It’s amazing. As the women move through the ocean on the shoreline, you’ll hear the music they create, as they slap their hands back and forth through the water. The Water Music Ladies occasionally perform elsewhere in Vanuatu, however Gaua is their cultural home, and they’ll be the first to tell you that the music sounds better in the waters of Gaua than anywhere else in the world.

Tonight, enjoy a Melanesian feast or BBQ night at your accommodation. Maureen is a professionally trained chef, so there’s no such thing as roughing it with your food when you’re under Maureen’s roof. Speak with Maureen tonight about setting up a guide to head out to Mt Garet on a three hour hike the following morning. This active volcano is calling!

Day 2


This morning, a guide will meet you nice and early and lead you westward in a ute. The trek to Mt Garet starts with a hike through dense forests and plantations, before a quick outrigger canoe ride across Lake Letas out to the base, followed by a steep incline to the summit. It should take you around three hours to get to the peak, where you can soak up a 360° view of the island.

When you’re ready, head back down to the base of the volcano and across the lake. Enjoy the breeze across the water, you’ve earned it! You’ll be treated to a huge lunch at Victor’s campground when you hop off – your tummy will be rumbling.


After lunch, it’s time to gather up your energy as you venture out to see Vanuatu’s tallest waterfall, Siri Waterfall. It’s a 1.5 hour walk and you’ll encounter some tricky terrain, including shaky bridges and ladders forged from tree trunks. If heights aren’t your forte, you may find the journey a little difficult, but you’re in good hands with your guide who’ll lead you across each obstacle with ease.

Take some time to cool off at the base of the waterfall before hiking back to Victor’s campsite for the night, after an action-packed day.

Day 3


After a bush breakfast at your campsite, head out on the four hour walk to Tony Paradise Beach. Unlike some other beaches in Gaua, this is a white sand beach, giving you classic Vanuatu views as well as a chance to swim and snorkel as you cool off from today’s hike.


Have some lunch in between dips and stay the night as you sleep by the sea. Enjoy all the weird and wonderful sounds that the ocean nightlife has to offer.

Day 4

It’ll be hard to leave Tony Paradise Beach this morning – the clue’s in the name, after all! Take some time to enjoy another swim before the heat of the day kicks in. From Tony Paradise beach, it’s only a 40 minute walk back to the main village of Gaua. If you’re tired from the last few days, you can always organise a transfer, it’s easy going in Vanuatu. Once you’re back in the village, you can stay another night at Chez Maureen or hop on a plane to start your next adventure.