Six things to see in Vanuatu

Enjoy cocktails on the beach with friends in Vanuatu.
BRUNO KATAOKA/HELLOWORLD

Enjoy cocktails on the beach with friends in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is like the department store of holidays – there's something for everyone under one roof.

Where else can you hike up a crater to eyeball the fury of the world's most accessible volcano, snorkel in a 'blue hole' and sip kava with the village chief – all in the same day?

Here are a few suggestions to get the best out of your holiday in Vanuatu.

Vanuatu is known for its fresh food.
BRUNO KATAOKA/HELLOWORLD

Vanuatu is known for its fresh food.

MOUNT YASUR

​A 45-minute flight from Port Vila, this volcano on the island of Tanna provides a spectacular front row seat to Mother Nature's anger. It's just a 10 minute walk from the carpark to the crater of this constantly erupting volcano. And what a walk it is – you'll feel the rumbling and hear the roar of the molten lava beneath you. Your reward at the crater's rim is a spectacular show. If you can, swing a visit at night when you're guaranteed dramatic photos.

MELE CASCADES

The Mele Cascades flow into a natural plunge pool.
123RF

The Mele Cascades flow into a natural plunge pool.

After the fire and brimstone of Mount Yasur, this area of lush foliage and waterways is a calm oasis. A 20-minute drive from Port Vila, a series of clear turquoise pools feeds into a 35m waterfall which flows into a natural plunge pool. It's great for all ages, particularly families, and is accessible either via a local minibus or with an organised tour.

MILLENNIUM CAVE

The trek through dense jungle is worth it to visit this 20m wide and 50m high cave. Around 15km from Luganville, visitors can climb down a bamboo ladder and through a rocky pool, before venturing past towering rocks, rainforest and waterfalls. Take the day-long guided tour and fill your camera's memory card with one of the most amazing spots in Vanuatu.

The lucid Blue Holes found on Espiritu Santo are great for snorkeling.
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The lucid Blue Holes found on Espiritu Santo are great for snorkeling.

LUCID BLUE HOLES

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This is what happens when fresh water cuts through soft limestone rock over millions of years, forming springs anywhere from three to 30 metres deep filled with impossibly blue water. The so-called blue holes can be found all over Vanuatu and are popular swimming spots. The best can be found on the island of Espiritu Santo but there are also a couple near Port Vila.

NAGHOL LAND DIVERS

You have to time your holiday right to see this famous precursor to bungy jumping. It takes place on Pentecost Island from April to June and involves local villagers jumping from 20-30 metre high towers with two tree vines wrapped around their ankles. If that sounds risky it's because it is – the aim is to fall as close to the ground as possible. Tourists can't join in but just watching it is an adrenaline rush.

Vanuatu is one of the friendliest places on Earth. Locals will ensure you have the best holiday.
BRUNO KATAOKA/HELLOWORLD

Vanuatu is one of the friendliest places on Earth. Locals will ensure you have the best holiday.

MEET THE LOCALS

With 83 inhabited islands and more than 1000 languages in a country of only 250,000 people, Vanuatu is incredibly diverse. It's also one of the friendliest places on the planet, where the smiling locals are keen to ensure you have the best holiday ever.

For more information and to book a great deal, visit helloworld.co.nz/special/vanuatu-holidays.

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