A Malaysian-owned forestry company dominates the town's economy. The local hardwood, kwila, is exported mainly to China, but is now in danger of extinction. Vanimo attracts lots of shoppers from the other side of the border and often comes close to running out of basic supplies.
There are no scheduled flights from Indonesia, but a charter is possible to arrange.
Vanimo is reached by a north coast road from Aitape and Wewak.
From Jayapura in Indonesia by road takes around 3 hours. Public transport services are available on both sides of the border. From Jayapura to the Indonesian border there are taxis (RP 200,000 per person / 2 Hours). In PNG, Public Motor Vehicles travel regularly the coast-hugging road between the Wutung border crossing and Vanimo (K10 / 50 mins).
Vanimo is an increasingly popular surfing location. A short drive west of Vanimo finds surfing that is good from September to March, with breakers of up to 3 meters. But this is not an area for the inexperienced.