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Dive Vanuatu

Dive VanuatuDive VanuatuDive Vanuatu

Map of Dive VanuatuVanuatu, a chain of 83 tropical islands in the South West Pacific, is only a few flying hours from Australia. 

Vanuatu is an idyllic holiday destination for scuba divers, as well as travellers seeking a little adventure in paradise. 

The semi-tropical climate has a temperature range from between 23°C and 28°C. The Melanesian people, known as Ni Vanuatu, have populated the islands for centuries. 

They are a gentle, peace-loving people, intent on enjoying life's simple pleasures. The native language spoken is Bislama with English and French also widely spoken. 

The capital, Port Vila, is a delightful, waterfront town situated on the main island of Efate. Vila has a cosmopolitan image offering great duty free shopping, sidewalk cafes as well as an excellent selection of fine cuisine restaurants. Accommodation ranges from lodges and self-contained studio apartments to tourist class hotels and deluxe resorts - all within easy reach of the town centre. 

The island of Espiritu Santo, approximately one-hour flight north of Vila is a lush tropical get away with the white beaches. Santo attracts divers like a magnet, and this main attraction is to explore the wreck of the "S.S.President Coolidge".

Tanna Island is approximately one hours flight south of Port Vila. Tanna is a land of unique contrasting landscapes boasting an active volcano, accessible by 4-wheel drive safari, centuries old customs, mysterious cargo cults and beautiful wild horses.

The diving in Vanuatu varies from the Hideaway Marine Park, the numerous wrecks in Port Vila Harbour and the outer reefs around Vila. Espiritu Santo offers the amazing President Coolidge, the largest recreational diving wreck in the world.

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  • Vanuatu Activities

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  • When to Travel to Vanuatu

    The climate in Vanuatu is varied. Winter is the drier season with temperatures averaging around 23°C  between April to October. In the wetter Summer season, temperatures average 28°C  from November to March.

  • Scuba Diving in Vanuatu

    Dive Vanuatu

    Diving in Vanuatu is varied and interesting, from the easy protected waters of the marine sanctuary, to shallow reefs, deeper drop-offs and sunken wrecks, all in crystal clear waters teeming with fish life.Port Vila offers a variety of dive sites and a variety of marine life, with running currents bringing in the pelagic species.

    The landscape beneath the water mirrors that found above: mountainous terrain with plunging cliffs, grottoes and overhangs, huge caves and intricate interconnecting underwater tunnels and chasms formed by frozen lava - and life abundant over all.

    Port Vila

    Port Vila offers divers a range of options and operators to choose from, each of which pick up and return divers to their hotels. Many of the best dive sites are only minutes away. Diving is well supervised and interesting, with several sunken ships in the protected waters of the bay.

    There is the wreck of the 1874 built sailing ship "Star of Russia", a three masted sailing ship in 36 meters of water. An island trader scuttled in the harbour "Konanda", and the ex-Qantas Sandringham flying boat "Tasman". Further out in the bay is the "Semle Federeson" now sitting in 36 meters plus of water. 

    Santo

    The 33,000 tonne converted luxury liner, the S.S. President Coolidge, sank during WWII after hitting a mine, and now rests in depths of 21 - 70 metres. The impressive wreck is one of the most exciting and accessible to sport divers worldwide. 

Guide to Vanuatu

  • General Details
  • Entry & Visa Requirements
  • Medical & Health Requirements
  • Currency
  • Baggage
  • Duty Free
  • Weather
  • Clothing
  • Electricity
  • Banking
  • Language
  • Religion
  • Water
  • Shopping
  • Tipping
  • Diving
  • Departure Tax

General Details

Vanuatu is a ‘Y’ shaped chain of 83 Islands lying 2500 kms north east of Sydney. The islands vary from towering volcanic cones to others covered in dense rainforest. Some are raised coral islands with wide beaches and deep natural harbours. 
The international country code for Vanuatu is 678.
Vanuatu is 11 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

Entry and Visa Requirements

(subject to change)
Visitors who are nationals of Commonwealth countries, EU Countries, Fiji, Japan, Norway, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland and U.S.A. do not need visas to visit Vanuatu.

Medical and Health Requirements

Hospital facilities exist in Port Vila and in Santo. There are no dangerous animals or insects and there is a recompression chamber in Port Vila. No vaccinations are required but anti - malarial precautions are recommended for visits to the outer islands. Remember that some medications can make you sun sensitive, so extra care must be taken to ensure that skin is protected from sun burn. Please check with your physician for the best precautions to be taken. (For further details contact Travel Vax on 1300 360 164).

Currency

The currency of Vanuatu is the Vatu. Visa, MasterCard and American Express credit cards are accepted at most hotels. 
1 AUD =  approximately 85 Vatu (October 2013)

Baggage (International flights Ex Australia)

Air Vanuatu - 23kg + 7kg for sporting (Maximum 30kgs - Please note the sporting allowance does not include any connecting flights with other carriers). 
Virgin Australia - 23kg (except Saver Lite fares - Nil baggage) 
Some domestic flights in Vanuatu operated by smaller aircraft are often restricted to 16kg. (Subject to change without notice)

Duty Free

The allowance is 200 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco, 1.5 litres of  spirits or 2 litres of wine and 250ml of eau de toilette or 100ml of perfume.

Weather

The climate in Vanuatu is varied. Winter is the drier season with temperatures averaging around 23°C  between April to October. In the wetter Summer season, temperatures average 28°C  from November to March.

Clothing

The emphasis is on light and casual clothing but not too brief in public places. Swimwear is not permitted in public areas. Remember to cover up at dusk and dawn to prevent mosquito bites. Sun protection is absolutely essential.

Electricity

220 - 280 volts AC, Plug I – same as Australia. 
(for further details refer to http://www.kropla.com/electric2.htm).

Banking

Trading banks are ANZ, National Bank of Vanuatu and Westpac. Foreign currency is readily transacted. Banking hours are  8.30am to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.

Language

Bislama, English and French are widely spoken throughout Port Vila. There are 115 ’Mother Tongues’ that are commonly spoken throughout Vanuatu.

Religion

Traditional ceremonies are maintained in remote areas but Christian influence is predominant.

Water

The urban water is safe to drink from the tap. In the tropics it is important to drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids to avoid dehydration.

Shopping

Most shops close for ‘siesta’ between 11.30am and 1.30pm, except restaurants, cafes, supermarkets, banks and post offices. All shops open Saturday morning. The colorful market in Port Vila operates every day except Sundays for flowers, fruit and crafts. This is a great spot to meet the locals and find many great handicrafts.

Tipping

There is no tipping or bargaining, it goes against local tradition.

Diving

The diving in Vanuatu varies from the Hideaway Marine Park, the numerous wrecks in Port Vila Harbour and the outer reefs around Vila. Espiritu Santo offers the amazing President Coolidge, the largest recreational diving wreck in the world. Average water temperature is 26°C. A 3mm suit is recommended. Dive operators supply tanks, weight belts and dive guide services. There will be an extra charge if equipment hire is required.

Departure Tax

A local tax of Vatu 200 is payable at the airport for departure on domestic flights within Vanuatu.

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