After a torrential tropical rainfall, the volume of water gushing down Mele Cascades has doubled. That’s a shame since I’m going to abseil down that ferocious waterfall’s sudden 50-meter drop. I hold onto the rope tightly before leaning backwards over the cliff face, letting body weight and gravity take over my fate. I gingerly lift my right foot and take one step backward, I’m telling myself not to look down, that everything will be fine. Time seems to have slowed down – I feel like I’ve been dangling on the waterfall for an eternity. In that moment, everything I’ve done for the last few days in Vanuatu suddenly flashes before my eye…

Getting there

After a short 3.5-hour flight from Sydney (only 2 hours from Auckland) with Air Vanuatu, we arrived in Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital and largest city. Vanuatu is made up of 83 islands with a total population of 260,000. Almost a quarter of the population live in Port Vila but the town itself is considered small, with only one main street running along the shore line. Don’t let that put you off as the friendly locals will make you feel right at home in no time, as they do call Vanuatu one of the friendliest countries on this planet. Expedia’s Aussie travellers spend 4-5 nights in Vanuatu and Port Villa is a popular stop before heading off to explore the islands.

Where to stay

Staying at Iririki Island Resort & Spa brings our trip a step closer to paradise. It’s a unique island retreat just off the main island and is only accessible via a free boat ride available 24/7. Set amongst a spectacular tropical landscape, Iririki provides the perfect balance between peaceful getaway and conveniently base. While my tropical island fare (bungalow) offers a glimpse of the water, why should I stay indoors when I can spend the time outdoor and submerge myself in a landscape that looks like it’s straight out of a postcard?