Vanuatu (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. Warm and welcoming, the local people come from over 100 villages spread across the 83 islands of the tropical archipelago. With a rich (and sometimes mysterious) traditional culture, the ni-Vanuatu people greet visitors as friends, introduce them to ‘island time’ and share their knowledge and love of the country that was officially named ‘the happiest nation on the planet’.
Discover What Matters” is the slogan of Vanuatu and whilst visitors certainly can enjoy colourful cocktails, fine resorts and swaying palm trees, the focus is on exploring and discovering what the country has to offer and, in the process, discovering more about yourself.
In Port Vila the buses are mini vans seating about 10 people, which largely traverse the main road and go and stop where you would like them to go. You can easily tell a bus as their licence plate starts with a “B”
There are three official languages: English, French and Bislama. Bislama is a pidgin language – and now a creole in urban areas – which essentially combines a typically Melanesian grammar with a mostly English vocabulary. It is the only language that can be understood and spoken by the whole population of Vanuatu, generally as a second language.
The local currency is the Vatu (VT) 100VT is worth approximately 1USD, 1.20AUD, 1.50NZD or 0.70EUR
With such a large north-south area, Vanuatu has all the tropical variances possible. From hot and humid in the north, to mild and dry in the south. The Capital Port Vila on Efate can expect 27°C in July to 30°C in January. Nights can drop to 12°C.