Vanuatu is a group of 83 islands in the Pacific, governed as an independent republic. It is a peaceful and gentle culture which celebrates life's simple pleasures in a place of diverse customs made possible by a mixed population of Melanesians, Polynesians, French, Chinese, Pacific Islanders and Vietnamese.
The beaches seem to improve as you go from one island to the next. Divers delight in the clear waters, reefs and shipwrecks. Naturalists adore the untouched forests, reefs and wonderful birdlife. Vulcanologists can't get enough of the many smoking peaks. This is one place that really is for everyone.
Many people go just to the capital, Port Vila, on the island of Efate, but for those who seek scuba diving among shipwrecks, marlin fishing, snorkelling, hammock siestas, seclusion and candlelit dinners, Bokissa might just fit the bill.
The coral eco island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu's largest island, and with just 28 guests allowed at any one time, it is seriously private. The island's 70 hectares are covered in thick, ancient and protected namalee trees. Some are more than 3000 years old and are so sacred only the island chief is permitted to touch them.
Shoes are optional, jackets and ties not allowed and meals are served to the toll of the island drum.
The resort's centrepiece is a 25-metre freshwater pool with swim-up bar. The upper deck provides sea-gazing during the day and star-gazing at night.
Farés have absolute beach frontage and are air-conditioned. Wood shutters regulate light and air and netting keeps mosquitoes out. Each faré has an ensuite, vanity, minibar and can be configured for single accommodation up to quad-share.
Kayaking expeditions along the Malo River are popular. The shallow freshwater is full of fish. You pass under a low bridge built by Americans during WWII and as you paddle the scenery changes, as does the water. From the saltwater lagoon the water slowly becomes fresh until you finally reach a magnificent blue lagoon. About eight metres down in the centre is a bubbling natural spring.
Bokissa Island is part of Vanuatu, an island group in the Pacific Ocean.
Full day kayaking tours are $65 per person. Barbecue lunch is included.
Flight Centre and Talpacific Holidays have seven-night packages, including return airfare, two nights in Port Vila, five nights' accommodation and most meals. Valid for sale until August 8, 2005, and valid for travel between July 21, 2005, and March 31, 2006. Conditions apply and fares start at:
- Brisbane $1828
- Sydney $1954
- Melbourne $2094
- Adelaide $2408
- Perth $2630
To book, call Flight Centre on 131 600.
Please note that the prices listed are valid at the time of filming.
Bokissa Eco Island
PO Box 69
Ph: (02) 9668 9024
Fax: (02) 9668 9067