Port Vila is the only town on the main island of Efate, and is the capital of the country and the gateway to your adventure holiday in Vanuatu. Port Vila is a bustling waterfront town with an excellent selection of fine cuisine restaurants, sidewalk cafes, duty free shopping and market place. The island has a rugged coastline, a rolling green countryside, fast flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls, isolated sandy bays and lagoons. The interior is dense, verdant rainforest disturbed only by a few walking tracks to remote weather and radio beacons.
Port Vila and the surrounding area has a large variety of accommodation ranging from lodges and self-contained studio apartments to charming boutique hotels and deluxe international resorts. The vibrant Melanesian culture, welcoming smiles and natural warmth of the people will ensure your Vanuatu experience will be a relaxed and memorable one. Like the rest of the island, the crystal clear waters and waterfront area are beautiful with corals and tropical fish seen from the seawall.
Port Vila has a pleasant tropical climate with relatively high humidity. Winter is the drier season with average night and daytime temperatures between 21°C – 26ºC from May to November. In the wetter Summer season, average night and daytime temperatures range between 22ºC – 29°C from December to April.
Cyclone activity may occur between January to April.
Port Vila has a variety of dive sites with visibility ranging up to 40 metres. The outer areas of Mele Bay and the islands off the North Efate coast offer deep drop-offs, grottoes and overhangs with underwater tunnels and chasms formed over time by frozen lava. The running currents bring in an abundance of marine life and pelagic species while inside the protected waters of Mele Bay there are a number of interesting ship wrecks.
22ºC – 30ºC
Some of the more popular dive sites:
A stunning cavern dive that is extremely weather dependant. The cavern is wide and open with beautiful shafts of light filtering down through the open roof. The Cathedral is home to shrimp, nudibranchs and leaf scorpionfish and entry is at 22 metres.
2 coral bommies lying side by side give this dive site its name. Dive along the reef plateau in 12-18 metres before dropping off to the white sand below at 25-30 metres. Many fish are attracted to this site. Butterfly fish swim amongst the yellow and blue staghorn coral. Leaf scorpionfish hide in nooks and crannies and turtles are often spotted.
Star of Russia
The 90 metre long “Star of Russia” is a three masted, square rigged sailing ship built
in 1874 by Harland and Wolf (of the SS Titanic). Still intact, the steel hull sits upright on a sandy bottom in 34 metres of water. Divers can gain easy access to the wreck as the wooden decking has perished. Schools of fish now reside inside and batfish can be found hanging around outside whilst crocodile fish lie on the ship’s beams.
A 45 metre island trader that was badly damaged by Cyclone Uma in 1987 and later scuttled in the harbour. She now sits upright and intact on a sandy bottom at 26 metres and is an easy, fun wreck dive. Penetration is possible in the holds, cabin and bridge areas.
An ex-Qantas Sandringham flying boat that hit a reef on takeoff in 1951. The Tasman was salvaged but later sunk during a cyclone and is in good condition lying in about 40 metres of water. Visibility can often be affected in this part of the harbour.
Walk through luscious greenery and take a dip in crystal blue waterfalls at Mele Cascades. It’s a 15 minute drive from Port Vila to get to the cascades, and a visit can often be combined in a wider tour of the island. The trek up the falls is around a 40 minute round trip, it’s steep in places and in some sections you’ll have to walk through shallow pools of water. On your way back down be sure to take a dip and soak in the stunning surrounds.
The diverse countryside and ease of access make the countryside surrounding Port Vila the perfect location for recreational riding. Rides can accommodate beginners, intermediate and experienced riders. Experience peace and quite as you ride through with jungle trails and end with a dip on the back of your horse.
Kayaking & SUPs
Many hotels in and around Port Vila offer kayak or SUP rentals. Glide over calm waters and stare down at flourishing reefs. Enjoy the tropical South Pacific surrounds whilst taking it easy on gentle waves.
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