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Pele Island

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pele Island is just seven kilometres off the north coast of Vanuatu's main Island, Efate. The small island is fringed by reefs and is a good day trip from the capital city, Port Vila.

Destination Pacific operate tours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. An hour's coach ride from Port Vila to Paonangisu and a 20-minute boat trip gets you to Pele, which is a real little gem. You won't see any signs of tourism here, only white sandy beaches offering fantastic swimming and snorkelling at the spectacular coral reef on Pele Island.

Villagers will welcome you and give you the chance to see how a modern village operates in Vanuatu. Expect to receive the reception of a lifetime when you visit the school. The children positively beam!

After some snorkelling, tuck into a barbecue on the beach. Delicious salads and fresh tropical fruits, accompanied by locals singing and strumming guitars.

Eco-tourism is a new activity in the Marine Protected Area (MPA) and welcoming visitors to the wonderful coral gardens has introduced many benefits to local communities.

Enjoy the thrill of touching a dolphin as it swims and jumps alongside your boat. A pod of 27 spinner dolphins lives in nearby waters, and you will soon see how they got their name. When excited, they regularly do quadruple backflips in the air.

Another wonder is snorkelling amongst giant clams. Their fluorescent colours glint in the sunlight and are quite beautiful. You will also see white tip reef sharks, hawksbill and green sea turtles and spotted eagle rays.

The Nguna-Pele Marine Protected Area is run by a local non-governmental organisation made up of sixteen island communities dedicated to the protection and conservation of marine resources. It is the first of its kind in Vanuatu and serves as a model for other island-initiated conservation efforts.

The chiefs and people of member communities have each set aside a significant area of village-owned reef, which is permanently off-limits, to serve as a resource factory.

Each community has elected volunteer MPA staff members to conduct regular reef surveys, tag sea turtles, plant coral and conduct on-going environmental awareness sessions.

The total area of protected reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and inter-tidal lagoon covers more than 3000 hectares. Donations from visitors are the main source of income and are put to wonderful use.

The total area of protected reefs, sea grass beds, mangrove forests and inter-tidal lagoon exceeds 3000 hectares. Donations from visitors are the MPA's main source of income.

Costs

Destination Pacific Islands has Pele island tours, including transfers, village visit, gourmet lunch and snorkelling gear for around $88 per person.

Pacific Blue has flights to Port Vila. Conditions apply.

Fares from;
  • Brisbane, $259
  • Sydney, $329
  • Melbourne, $349
  • Darwin, $399
  • Perth, $409

Prices quoted are correct at June 28, 2007

Location


Vanuatu, in the South Pacific

For further information

Destination Pacific Islands
Airport Drive
Tagabe Road
Port Vila, Vanuatu
Ph: 0011 678 22 595
Fax: 0011 678 22 587
Website: www.destinationpacific.vu
Email: destinationpacis@vanuatu.com.vu

Virgin Blue
Ph: 13 6789
Website: www.virginblue.com.au

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