Vanuatu is the South Pacific neighbour where your family can experience adventure and soak up real island life.
Whether that be immersing the family in the cultural traditions and getting to know the local Pikininis (meaning kids in local Bislama) on the beach, taking the little ones snorkelling for the first time, rope swinging into a crystal clear blue hole or ziplining through the rainforest canopy; here are the best ways to experience a family adventure in Vanuatu.
1. The Incredible Family Resorts
With a huge array of family friendly resorts in Vanuatu, you’re spoiled for choice. Resorts like Warwick Le Lagon, Holiday Inn in Port Vila and Iririki Resort and Spa have free use of Kids’ Club for kids three years to 12 years of age, a range of fun, organised activities, children’s pools and much more.
To really impress the kids try Holiday Inn’s Overwater Family Villa, complete with board games, bean bags and a Playstation.
Hot tip: All the resorts have excellent kid’s clubs and nanny services (Pikinini Carer). The local Ni-Vanuatu ladies will look after them like they are their own.
2. Walk Over Water at Eden on the River
For an entire day of jungle filled adventure, look no further than Eden on the River. Watch your families faces light up with the thrill of scrambling over the suspension bridges and soaring through the trees on the jungle zip lines. To finish, the whole family can take a dip in the calm river or stroll through the tropical gardens, soaking in the lush surrounds.
How to: For the best experience get your hotel to call ahead (+678 7710765) and arrange a transfer. Tours start at 9.30am, 12.30pm, and 2.30pm. Times are flexible & alternative times can be arranged.
3. Snorkle off Hideaway Island or Zipline Through the Jungle
For an easy day trip from Port Vila, take a boat over to Hideaway Island and the Marine Sanctuary. Here the family can relax, and swim with fascinating fish and colourful coral, or watch the underwater world from afar 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. Those more adventurous families can check out Jetboating with Tropic Thunder Vanuatu or Vanuatu Jungle Zipline to whizz through the jungle.
How to: Grab your snorkel and swim a short distance from the shore at Hideaway island to post an underwater postcard to your loved ones.
4. Swim in the Bluest of Waters
Vanuatu is home to fantastic waterfalls like the Lolima waterfalls on Efate; pristine beaches like Champagne Beach on Espiritu Santo and, one of the most stunning natural wonders, the blue holes.
Located throughout the islands, these fresh water swimming holes formed out of the limestone landscape are filled with bright, turquoise blue water. Some of the “bluest” of them all is the Nanda Blue hole, on Espiritu Santo and the Blue Lagoon forty minutes outside of Port Vila.
Hot tip: Check with your hotel for the best swimming spots, chances are they can help organise a tour or transfer and the local knowledge they provide is unbeatable.
5. 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.
To really experience the authentic culture, start by mingling with the locals and head to a Kastom village (head to Yakel on Tanna island to see the village that the Oscar-nominated movie features).
Watch your kids befriend the locals and experience their traditional way of life – they’ll soon be dancing together on the beach bar or diving head first into the crystal-clear water.
How to: Tours to Yakel can be arranged by Tanna Travel or through your accommodation.