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Vanuatu - September 2010, Travel Digest


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I feature which I wrote on Vanuatu for the September 2010 issue of Travel Digest. I travelled to this destination as part of this writing assignment.

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Vanuatu - September 2010, Travel Digest

  1. 1. Vanuatu Only a three-hour Sailaway Cruises - to Hat Island, flight from Survivor Beach and Paul's Rock Auckland, Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands and a destination increasingly providing a French getaway experience, as saraH Weeks discovers. T Vivacious Vanuatu he secret is out. Vanuatu is the new French Riviera for Kiwis. Some 21 per cent of arrivals are coming from New Zealand and these numbers are on the rise. Vanuatu shares Tours offer many other tours including a short Port Villa city tour with its visitors a unique blend of tribal communities, incredible for those with not much time, right up to tours on other Islands culture, stunning natural scenery, pristine underwater environments, like Tanna and Pentecost. accessible volcanoes and a country where visitors are welcomed by Norm Madden and Racheal Balgowan took on their new role as beautiful warm people, the local Ni-Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a place to owners of U-Power Sea Adventures earlier this year. Their enjoy unspoiled landscapes and a reminder how wonderful life can be in all its simplicity. Vanuatu was actually voted the world's happiest country in the Happy Planet Index not so long ago. With a reputation for offering memorable, fun and interesting experiences to suit all traveller expectations, tours and activities range from treks, waterfall abseil and mud-splash buggy rides, to deserted beach picnics, where visitors reconnect with loved ones, river outrigger canoeing, wreck dive explorations, to custom villages. There are events happening throughout the year, from cultural festivals, to game fishing challenges, marathons and relays, ocean swims, golf tournaments, horse racing and even the South Pacific's biggest music festival. WHaT TO DO sailaWay Cruises operate from Havannah Harbour on the north-western side of Efate Island, only a 45-minute coach ride from Port Vila, aboard the sailing trimaran Golden Wing. The full- The melanesian Port Vila. Vanuatu day cruise has three stops - Hat Island, Survivor Beach and Paul's a welcoming smile, friendly hospitality and personalised Rock, where the corals and marine life are about as good as it service are part of the culture at the melanesian Port Vila. gets in Vanuatu. Sailaway Cruises are a mix of relaxing on deck as Only 10 minute walk from the heart of Port Vila town. they sail or motor-sail between locations, followed by some Reasonable rates with quiet and comfortable atmosphere. serious snorkelling along fabulous coral reefs, a healthy lunch on Offering a number of guest room styles both board, time ashore for a jungle walk or beach excursion and then for short and long term guests. more snorkelling or scuba diving. Free wireless internet connection is also available at the BakrO TOurs have just opened their office in Port Vila and poolside. An ideal location for a business conference are 100 per cent owned and operated locally. They offer a wide in a relaxed Melanesian atmosphere. variety of tours and adventures suited for all age groups, including the Efate Round Island Safari, where you can experience beautiful Eton Beach, spectacular views, cultural village life, fire walking, a jungle canoe trip, a war museum (Vanuatu style) and Tel: (+678) 22150 | Fax: (+678) 22678 education on the Island, its history, all manner of flora, fauna and e-mail: wildlife. A final stop for afternoon tea and a swim at beautiful WebsiTe: Havanah Harbour gives you the opportunity to snorkel. Bakro Travel DigesT, September 2010 27
  2. 2. Vanuatu exciting Sea Safari Guided Tour lets you command your own Zego sports craft. U-Power Sea Adventures lets you Your water adventure will take you to command your own Zego sports craft on guided safari tours. stunning beaches and show you the many coves and sites in and around the Port Vila gateway. Start your tour through the main Port Vila anchorage, where you can view the million dollar waterfront mansions and the fleet of yachts anchored, before heading out of the harbour on your sea exploration. Guests are able to drive their own Zego boat, together with a companion in tandem. You may encounter a sea turtle, nemo or even a dugong! Parasail 70 to 80 metres in the air while enjoying the beautiful Port Vila harbour marine life and breathtaking views with POrT vila Parasailing. No experience is necessary and their professional crew will guide you through on and off road, on open buggies and 60km of roads, small tracks and beaches, your parasail flight. Flights last eight to ten quad bikes that are very easy to operate. scenic tours along 30km of small tracks to minutes and your landing will be soft and Listen to the operating briefing, put explore the hill side of Port Vila or a Jungle dry as you are reeled back to our state-of- yourself in the driver seat, follow the guide Safari, featuring 40km of bush tracks and the-art parasailing vessel. It's a perfect who will take care of your safety and different roads - an awesome tour! family activity! You will fly high, stay dry become a member of the happiest tourist vanuaTu HeliCOPTers is the key and make memories to last your life time. community! You can also rent one of their to unlocking all the amazing beauty within Buggy Fun provides an adventure of a cars, scooters or motorbikes. Guests can the islands. Whether flight seeing, a lifetime with excitement and heaps of fun choose from a fun adventure in buggy leisurely champagne luncheon on a by offering visitors the discovery of Efate Jungle tour to the beach, which covers secluded island, inspecting your property Ten minutes from Port Vila, between panoramic hills and a blue water lagoon. We have over 500 acres of hills, rainforests and white sandy beaches to explore, with more than 50 horses and ponies. • Beginner to advanced horse rides: Rainforest ride, Erakor beach ride, Waterfall ride, Sunset ride or Combo industry deal Cultural ride Book three nights or more at Poppy’s on the Lagoon, Port • Tube rides Vila and enjoy 20 per cent • Water skiing discount off unlimited accommodation at Friendly • Mountain bike trails Bungalows on the island of Tanna. Available until 31 March 2011. Phone: (678) 23425 PO Box 1206, Port Vila, Vanuatu Email: Phone: (678) 23347 Mobile: (678) 56947 PO Box 920, Port Vila, Vanuatu Email: Web: 28 September 2010, Travel DigesT
  3. 3. purchase, impressing someone with a dramatic entry to a restaurant, viewing an active volcano, flying down a jungle canyon or being transferred to your resort, Vanuatu Helicopters knows how to find the real Vanuatu. Operating from the floating helicopter pontoon nestled in the harbour in Port Vila, their water taxi delivers you to the helicopter, or request to be collected from your resort. vanuaTu seaPlanes offer flights which include a most pleasant 15 minutes of harbour cruising and transfers to and from the jewel of Vanuatu - Iririki Island. You'll also note that there are numerous unique features which guarantee you and your partner an unforgettable experience. They have designed three unique flights to astonish and please couples. The Southern Coast with its myriad of lagoons, bays and islands and mixture of local villages and the capital Port Vila, the Wild Western coast line with the remarkably photogenic western isles and Havana Harbour steeped in history and the Everlasting Efate ultimate flight, combining these two shorter flights for a one-hour island circumnavigation - their most popular flight. WHere TO eaT Tourism businesses are thriving in the capital with new restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. k & T resTauranT & THai Massage is owned and managed by James Lee and is located in the Vila Mall building opposite Vanuatu National Provident Funds building, specialising in oriental Chinese cuisine and in a separate room a professional masseur offers Thai massage. THe rOCk Café, also located in the town's new Vila Mall The property boasts an à la carte swimming pools, eight private pools and a building, serves delicious coffee and light restaurant, beach bar, infinity-edge well-regarded restaurant. snacks. savOur CHinese swimming pool and a swim-up bar. There eraTaP BeaCH resOrT opened in resTauranT, located near Le Lagon are 36 fares with a beachfront or garden December 2007 and has gained a junction and Pango Road intersection, has view options and the resort has also been reputation for its natural beauty, elegant recently opened. la TenTaTiOn is also expanded to include 16 new luxury villas. villas and excellent service. With the a new restaurant in the centre of Port Vila, The villas are located right on the ocean addition of plunge pools to the aimed at the upmarket client and luxury and each features three individual king size Honeymoon Villas, a brand new Spa, beach market, offering views of the harbour, an suites, a private pool and courtyard side lounge pavilions for all villas and new extensive wine and tapas list and a daily suitable for groups and families, oversized furnishings throughout, it continues to specials board. le Cafe Du village terraces and sunbathing pavilions. A new impress. The resort has just 12 waterfront overlooking Iririki Island offers French bar is also being built. villas set amongst eight acres of tropical Mediterranean dishes, traditionally Overlooking Erakor lagoon, MangOes gardens and the best beaches on Efate prepared using fresh, local produce. resOrT has been designed to pamper Island. With limited guests and no you in privacy. A peaceful "child-free" development for miles around, privacy and WHere TO sTay escape, offering you bliss and relaxation. personalised service is assured. Breakas BeaCH resOrT is a Set amidst lush tropical flower gardens POPPy’s On THe lagOOn boutique property, located on its own and crystal clear pools. Mangoes features resOrT, set on the shores of Erakor white sandy beach on the Pango peninsula. 29 luxurious individual bungalows, three Lagoon, provides four-star Travel DigesT, September 2010 29
  4. 4. Vanuatu self-contained accommodation. The want to explore the natural beauty of the finest quality French, Australian and New owner-managed property has a reputation city. Situated on its own private 16-acre Zealand wines to complement your meal for being meticulously maintained, friendly island, the resort is just 5km from the city and we have a great selection of cheeses and very welcoming. The lagoon is safe for centre. Set amongst tropical palm trees, on offer just before descent." swimming and water sports and the the 21 self-contained unique waterfront Of course economy class is pretty good gardens have been designed to show off a bungalows offer spectacular views of the too, with in-flight entertainment, wide range of tropical plants. The resort is sea, as well as the melodious sound of complimentary meals and alcoholic drinks. just a 15-minute walk to Port Villa’s town water lapping at the shore. Placed on the A generous baggage policy, Qantas centre. The owners also manage Friendly crystal clear blue waters of Erakor Lagoon, Frequent Flyer points and unmatched local Bungalows on the Island of Tanna, home of the Roxy's Restaurant serves Vanuatu's knowledge. Beyond the capital Port Vila Yasur Volcano, the most popular tourist most delicious food for you to feast on. there is the world's most accessible active attraction in Vanuatu. volcano on the island of Tanna and world THe Melanesian POrT vila HOW TO geT THere class wreck diving on Santo. Both are HOTel is a three-star hotel conveniently air vanuaTu, the national carrier of easily reached with Air Vanuatu's brand located close to Port Vila town and only Vanuatu is the only airline to offer business new ATR-72 aircraft. 8km from Bauerfiled International Airport. class from Auckland to Port Vila. Be The Melanesian staff are trained to focus welcomed aboard their new Boeing 737- geTTing arOunD on anticipating the needs of guests, 800 with a glass of French champagne and There is a lot to do in beautiful Vanuatu. ensuring rooms are kept exactly the way refreshing towel. Canapés are served at The land of sunshine and warm friendly guests like it. They can also assist with your leisure, followed by a delicious three- people! Melanesian TOurs is a travel arrangements within Port Vila and course meal. highly personalised company providing beyond, advise on local restaurants and "We take our in-flight experience tour and airport transfers directly to places of interest and entertainment and seriously - from the moment you step customers or through many hotels and they are available anytime, day or night. aboard we want you to feel as though your resorts in Port Vila. They also provide free Located in a beautiful unspoiled island holiday has already begun," says Air service and bookings of tours at the same paradise, erakOr islanD resOrT & Vanuatu chief executive Joseph Laloyer. " price as the tour operators sell their own sPa is an ideal place for those who Our Business Class chef has selected the tours for in Vanuatu. ( 30 September 2010, Travel DigesT