Efate, the Republic of Vanuatu's main and most populous island, is home to its capital, Port Vila. During WWII, it was an important US military base, but these days, it is one of the Pacific's most beautiful holiday destinations. In fact, Vanuatu has been voted the happiest place on the planet!
It offers beach and island resorts, hot mineral springs, cascading waterfalls, fishing, golfing and horse riding along deserted beaches.
Vanuatu was under joint French and British rule until 1980 and a legacy of that is wonderful cuisine. French patisseries are hard to resist! Known as the gourmet capital of the South Pacific, Vanuatu's many restaurants and cafés have the influence of Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Melanesian and Mediterranean cuisines. You can even indulge in an Aussie meat pie and sauce, American chilli dogs and cappuccino.
Bustling markets selling tropical fruit, vegetables and seafood, wonderful flowers and handicrafts trade around the clock as constant streams of people from outer islands arrive to buy and sell.
Just 15 minutes from Vila is Mele Cascades, one of the island's most beautiful places. A winding track takes you through lush tropical rainforest to the magnificent cascades and a dip in one of many plunge pools is a refreshing reward. Take along a picnic lunch and visit a village along the way.
Just a 10 minute stroll from the city centre is Fatumaru Lodge. The owners visited there 10 years ago and were captivated by the islands and their people, so never left. The eight-room Lodge has absolute waterfront, access to a private sandy beach and plenty of activities. Swim, kayak, cycle, fish and dive or just relax on the sand and wait for a spectacular sunset. The owners will assist in making plans for expeditions.
Large studio apartments have queen beds, sofa, equipped kitchen, dining table and over-the-water private terrace. There are ceiling fans and air conditioning.
Crafts from outer islands have been used extensively in Fatumaru's décor and furniture is of beautiful teak.
There's every possibility you will be offered kava to drink as the sun is setting. Popular throughout the Pacific for its unique qualities, it's not for everyone, and can be very potent. It is used to induce relaxation, calm and to pacify the soul. It plays an important role when formal discussions are being held and when decisions need to be made.
Vanuatu's main island.
Talpacific Holidays has seven-night packages including accommodation at Fatumaru Lodge, airport transfers and a Port Vila tour for $569 per person twin share. They are available between April 1 and May 31, 2007.
Pacific Blue has flights to Port Vila.
One-way fare from;
- Brisbane, $259
- Sydney, $329
- Melbourne, $349
- Darwin, $399
- Perth, $409
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares are Internet only and one way. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at February 1, 2007 and are subject to change.
Prices quoted are correct on February 01, 2007
Ph: 0011 678 32456
Fax: 0011 678 23455
7/255 Adelaide Street
Ph: (07) 3218 9900; 1300 137 727
Fax: (07) 3229 7073
Ph: 13 6789