This article is a joint partnership between Expedia and Air Vanuatu.
Being a mere three-hour flight from Sydney, two-and-a-half hours from Brisbane, and from June 2019, just over four hours from Melbourne, Vanuatu is the South Pacific neighbour where your family can have an active holiday and experience real island life. Immerse in the cultural traditions by getting to know the local Pikininis (meaning kids in local Bislama) on the beach; take the little ones snorkelling for the first time; rope swing into a crystal-clear blue hole; or zipline through the tops of the rainforest canopy (and these are only a few of the reasons to go to Vanuatu).
To make it easy for you, we’ve rounded-up some of the best experiences you and the family can share in Vanuatu in 2019:
1. Snorkel off Hideaway Island
For an easy day trip from Vanuatu’s harbourside capital, Port Vila, take a short boat ride over to Hideaway Island to explore its Marine Sanctuary. Here the family can relax and swim with fascinating fish and colourful coral or watch the underwater world from above in a glass-bottom boat. For a unique Hideaway experience, visit the underwater post office – you can send a postcard from the world’s first underwater post office.
2. Swim in the bluest of waters
Vanuatu is home to fantastic waterfalls like the Lolima waterfalls on Efate; pristine coastlines like Champagne Beach on Espiritu Santo, and one of the most stunning natural wonders, crystal-clear freshwater blue lagoons. The east coast of Espiritu Santo boasts more blue holes than anywhere else in the world, including one of the most spectacular, Nanda Blue Hole, which can be found hidden amongst Santo’s lush rainforest.
3. Meet the locals
Vanuatu has been recognised as one of the world’s most culturally diverse countries, which isn’t surprising when you consider it is home to 110 distinct cultures and languages. Head to Tanna Island, and visit Yakel, where the Oscar-nominated ‘Tanna’ movie was filmed. One of the friendliest of communities, it is almost guaranteed your kids will make friends with the locals and immerse themselves in a culture vastly different from their own. They’ll be dancing on the beach and diving head first into the waves together by the end of the trip.
4. Walk over water at Eden on the River
For an entire day of jungle-filled adventure, look no further than Eden on the River, located on Efate. All ages will get a thrill out of soaring through the trees on the jungle zip lines or scrambling over the suspension bridges. Alternatively, you can take a dip in the calm river or stroll through the tropical gardens.
5. Incredible family resorts
With an array of family-friendly resorts on offer, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Resorts primely located in the archipelago’s capital of Port Vila like Warwick Le Lagon, Holiday Inn and Iririki Resort and Spa all offer free use of their in-house Kids’ Club; a range of fun, organised activities; free meals for kids 13 years and under; and purpose-built children’s pools. To really impress the kids, try Holiday Inn’s overwater family villa, complete with board games, bean bags and a PlayStation.
Special thanks to GTI Tourism on behalf of The Vanuatu Tourism Office for sharing the above images and top five reasons for visiting Vanuatu!