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5 Reasons Vanuatu Should Be On Your Adventure Bucket List

5 Reasons Vanuatu Should Be On Your Adventure Bucket List

Santo Matava River, Vanuatu

Craving a relaxing, culturally enriching, action-packed vaycay all in one, without the hassle and the price tag of continent-hopping? Lucky for you, Vanuatu exists.

Only two-and-a-half hours by air from Australia’s east coast, Vanuatu’s 83 islands offer white sands and crystal-clear water, dense jungles and more activities than you could possibly fit into a single trip (good thing it’s so close). Here’s how to get the most out of a bucket list-ticking trip to the South Pacific archipelago.


#1 Hike it out on Nguna and Pele


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Island hikes: arguably the best way to ogle the stunning scenery on two of Vanuatu’s most striking islands, hang with locals, gorge on fresh-caught seafood, conquer a volcano, and snorkel just off the shore of pristine, white-sand beaches. It’s all part of a three-day Vanuatu Ecotour hike across Nguna and Pele, where Vanuatu’s alluring culture and landscapes are in perfect harmony. Though they feel like they’re worlds away, both Nguna and Pele islands are accessible by a short boat ride, so say “au revoir” to inter-island airfares.

#2 Wreck diving off Espiritu Santo


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Obviously, scuba diving a shipwreck is on the bucket list. The wreck of American luxury liner the SS President Coolidge is more than 200m long and it’s been near a reef off the coast of Espiritu Santo since it was accidentally sunk there in 1942. Many divers spend the better part of a week exploring the Coolidge in different deep dives –  from the coral gardens surrounding the ship, to the “Lady”, a porcelain figure of a woman riding a unicorn, located in the first-class dining room.

You can dive it with the folks at Santo Dive.

#3 Leaps of faith on Pentecost Island


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If your idea of fun is watching people leap off tall wooden towers with naught but vines tied around their ankles, look no further than the now-world-famous attraction Naghol land-diving. Tourists travel to Pentecost Island every March to June to watch the phenomenon, traditionally established as an appeasement to the gods and demonstration of manliness and inspiration for the modern-day bungee jump.


#4 Imaio Cultural Experience on Tanna


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Great Reef Census participant spots a sea turtle, Milln Reef (Image courtesy of Citizens of the GBR)

While Mt Yasur is a clear drawcard for Tanna, this cultural experience is perfect for anyone wanting to remain closer to sea level. Learn about ancient fishing and cooking methods, see unique dances, and hear stories passed down through generations, all with spectacular Mt Yasur as the backdrop.

#5 Paddle up to Matevulu Blue Hole


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Spectacularly tranquil swimming spot Matevulu Blue Hole might be the closest thing on earth to a scene out of Avatar – it’s only logical that you’d have to kayak for 1.5 hours around tropical islands and through dense rainforest to get there. Consider the out-of-this-world swim your reward.

(Lead image courtesy of Tourism Vanuatu)

Learn more about Vanuatu’s unique experiences at

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