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English, [[French phrasebook|French]], a creole ([[Tok Pisin phrasebook|Bislama]]) and over 100 local languages are spoken in Vanuatu. Knowledge of English and French is usually enough.
English, [[French phrasebook|French]], a creole (Bislama) and over 100 local languages are spoken in Vanuatu. Knowledge of English and French is usually enough.

Revision as of 02:42, 3 June 2007

Quick Facts
Capital Port-Vila
Government parliamentary republic
Currency vatu (VUV)
Area 12,200 km2
Population 196,178 (July 2002 est.)
Language English, French, creole (known as Bislama or Bichelama) official; plus 100+ local languages
Religion Presbyterian 36.7%, Anglican 15%, Roman Catholic 15%, indigenous beliefs 7.6%, Seventh-Day Adventist 6.2%, Church of Christ 3.8%, other 15.7% (including Jon Frum Cargo cult)
Country code +678
Internet TLD .vu
Time Zone UTC+11

Vanuatu [1] (previously known as the New Hebrides Islands) is an archipelago nation consisting of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.




Other destinations



The British and French who settled the New Hebrides in the 19th century agreed in 1906 to an Anglo-French Condominium, which administered the islands until independence in 1980. European settlers released several saltwater crocodiles on the island, although today's population on the island officially stands at 2 or 3 medium-sized individuals on the Banks Islands and no breeding has been observed. Despite its proximity to Papua New Guinea, crocodiles do not naturally occur on Vanuatu.




Get in

By boat

Vanuatu's port cities are Port-Vila and Santo.

By plane

An international airport is located in Port-Vila, with flights from Nadi in Fiji by Air Vanuatu [2] or Air Pacific [3]. Air Vanuatu also has flights to Port-Vila from Auckland, Sydney. and Brisbane.

Get around


In Port Vila the buses are vans, which largely traverst the main road and go and stop where you would like them to go. Wave at them to stop one heading in the direction you want to go. They are plentiful within the city and outside the city you can usually arrange for a bus to meet you at a particular time. If one looks full, just wait for the next one. The buses are used by locals, but are very friendly, cheap, and easy to use by tourists. Fare is usually calculated per person.


Taxis are plentiful within Port Vila. Fare is calculated per taxi.


English, French, a creole (Bislama) and over 100 local languages are spoken in Vanuatu. Knowledge of English and French is usually enough.




The traditional dish which you will most likely be offered once during your stay is a root vegetable cake called lap lap. Essentially this either manioc(kasava), sweet potato, taro or yam shaved into the middle of a banana leaf with island cabbage and sometimes a chicken wing on top. This is all wrapped up into a flat package and then cooked in hot stones underground till it all melts together into a cake. The best place to pick up some of this is at the food market in the town centre and should cost you about 100 vatu ($1.20AUD).


This is a variation of lap lap with the the cake rolled into a cylinder with meat in the middle. It tastes a lot like a sausage roll. You can find these again in the market (usually from mele village people) but they will be served from foam boxes to keep them warm.



There is a choice of all levels of accommodation.


  • Le Lagon is the most popular and largest of the resorts. It has been operating on the Vanuatu for over 30 years. They offer substantial discounts for children, as as a result there are lots of kids here during the Australian school holidays.





Stay safe

Stay healthy

Malaria is endemic within some areas of Vanuatu, but not Port Vila. If you are venturing outside the resort areas, check with your doctor before you travel.

No matter what the locals tell you, the water in Port Vila and elsewhere in Vanuatu is not safe to drink. Unless you want to spend your holiday with stomach cramps, stick to bottled water. Stay away from food likely to have been washed in water.



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