Hideaway Island – This is a great place to go for kids of swimming age, if it’s a busy time of year they will make loads of friends here. The snorkeling is really great as it’s a marine reserve, and there is an underwater Post Office where you can dive down and send waterproof postcards to your friends. There is a restaurant/bar and lots of shade so you can lounge away the afternoon. It’s not flash, but it’s loads of fun for a day out. Phone: +(678) 22963
Coongoola Cruise - The Coongoola is Port Vila’s most famous day cruise. The 23m wooden sailing ketch sails the calm waters of Havannah Harbour and takes you to Happy Tok Beach at Sun & Moon Bay (the prettiest beach we've ever seen), and Moso Island (turtle conservation area and caves). Snorkel, sunbathe, swim, and to top it off, you may get to sail with dolphins on the way home. Pick up time from Vila is 8:15am, and return around 5:30pm. You can also sponsor and name a tagged turtle and release it back to the ocean from the turtle sanctuary. The atmosphere and food is good (BBQ beach picnic - vegetarians should pack their own - also take your own wine if you don’t like beer or soft drinks). The only complaint we have about this tour is that at certain times of year there can be lots of really annoying flies at the beach, so enquire whether this is the case before you book. Phone +(678) 25020
Moonlight Cinema – Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings the Nambawan Café (in the heart of Port Vila, on the water in front of the Art and Crafts market), has a free ‘Moonlight Cinema’ where recent release or movie classics are shown on a big screen with the harbour as a backdrop. Grab a beer and a snack and relax with the locals. Phone +(678) 7744826
Picnic at Eton Beach – This is probably the nicest white sand beach on Efate (there isn’t very many). It really is beautiful, with a gorgeous turquoise lagoon, and lots of little whares to set yourself up in for the day for a picnic. The locals own and look after this beach and as such will charge you a small entry fee.
Cascade Waterfalls - Mele Cascades is famous in Vanuatu. The climb to the waterfall is not difficult and, once there, it’s a rewarding experience. You can hop into the pool at the base of the waterfall and swim under the cascade itself. It’s the outpouring of an underground spring, so the water is cool, clear and refreshing. There are five pools at the top to jump into and it’s your choice to return via the track or the stream.
Horse Riding – Go horse riding at Sea Horse Ranch at the end of Devils Point Road. Have a lesson with Eloise, the owner - an amazing French instructor. The horses are beautifully trained, definitely not typical kick along riding school ponies.
Dive Course – if you want to get your PADI ticket you can do a course at Big Blue. Here you can learn to dive in the pool at Casa De Mar or at Pango. Phone: Maggie at the office +678 27518
Game Fishing – Vanuatu offers some of the best fishing in the South Pacific. Marlin, wahoo, dorado, yellow fin tuna, swordfish and a host of other fighting fish. The offshore reefs and ocean offer one of the best blue water and coral fishing playgrounds in the world. There are some excellent boats that leave from the Waterfront Bar and Grill. The catch belongs to the boat but anglers are invited to dine at the Waterfront that evening to join in eating the catch.
Helicopter Ride – Explore Vanuatu from the air with our good friend Simon, who owns Vanuatu Helicopters. The view is breathtaking, and it will really help you get your bearings. If you’re feeling really rock star you can organize for the helicopter to pick you up from your luxury Vanuatu accommodation at The Reef House. Phone: +(678) 55 44106
Nakamals – Try this for fun.... Kava is completely safe, it is actually used as a natural anti anxiety medication in western cultures as it helps you to relax, with no bad side effects and no hangover. Nakamals are kava bars. Kava is sold in 50 vatu or 100 vatu shells, the term shell coming from half a coconut shell that it’s served in. To drink kava, take your shell and drink it down in one go (try not to breathe). It has a relaxing effect. As for the taste it’s like bitter peppered muddy water only worse. Ronnie’s Nakamal is popular with a lot of locals and expatriates. Wherever you see a light hanging from a tree, it means the adjacent house is selling kava. Unlike in Fiji, there is no ‘ceremony’ like hand clapping. You can take along a plastic bottle for take away if you’d like to savour the wonders of kava back at The Reef House, where no one can see you grimace.
Click here to book your luxury Vanuatu self-catering accommodation at The Reef House.