Discover serenity and happiness at Vanuatu
Discover serenity and happiness at Vanuatu
Discover serenity and happiness at Vanuatu
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Destination

Explore the Culture and World of Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a captivating destination brimming with remarkable sites, breathtaking scenery and an abundance of things to do. But before you arrive, there are some things you might like to know. Here you’ll find the answers to frequently asked questions, and we also provide  you with a brief lesson on Vanuatu’s culture and history.

Rich with History, Vanuatu Beckons You for a Visit

Formerly known as the New Hebrides, Vanuatu is a group of 83 islands in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia and west of Fiji. In 1906, British and French settlers agreed to administer the islands jointly in what was called the British-French Condominium. This governing body lasted until the people of Vanuatu were granted independence in 1980.

Efate is Vanuatu’s main island and is home to the capital, Port Vila. With a rugged coastline, rich marine life and an abundance of restaurants and bars, Efate is the most developed of Vanuatu’s islands and is the ideal base from which to explore the rest of the country.

Vanuatu’s spectacular natural landscape gives rise to a bounty of activities and attractions that exhilarate the spirit and feed the soul. Guests can zip through dense jungle tops or stand atop active volcanoes. Vanuatu also has some of the world’s best dive sites, and PADI certified courses as well as leisure dives are available at a range of wreck and reef sites. The island's coconut-fringed beaches, serene botanical gardens and relaxed vibe are also perfect for holidaymakers looking to slow down and enjoy an idyllic island getaway.

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Immerse Yourself in Vanuatu Culture at Holiday Inn Resort

Vanuatu is recognised as one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Apart from the Ni-Vanuatu people, small communities of French, British, Australian, New Zealand, Vietnamese, Chinese and other Pacific Islanders make up the country’s population.

With no written language, storytelling and song and dance are of paramount importance to Vanuatu’s culture.  Art, in its many forms, from body decorations and tattoos to elaborate masks, headwear and carvings are also a vital part of ritual celebrations and social life. Similar to Australian aboriginal stories and Maori legends of the past, Ni-Vanuatu culture is abundant in mythic legends. 

Staple food on the islands includes mostly root crops such as yam, taro and manioc. Seasonal fruits like breadfruit are also important mainstays. Kava, a derivative of the pepper tree family, is a significant part of Vanuatu culture. Traditionally, it is cut and chewed into a pulp, then spat into a bowl. The mushy pulp is then squeezed into a liquid that’s drunk by both men and women as an evening soporific after a hard day’s work.

The country has 113 distinct languages and countless dialects, but a lingua franca evolved over the years with the arrival of European communities. Bislama, derived from the bech-der-mer (sea cucumber) traders, is essentially a phonetic form of English, with much simplified grammar. If listened to closely and spoken slowly, it can be understood by most English-speaking people.

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Resort Location

Vanuatu is an archipelago of 83 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,750km east of Australia.

Direct flights with short fly times are available from:

Brisbane – 2.5 hours

Sydney – 3.5 hours

Auckland – 2.5 hours

Noumea – 1.5 hours

Fiji – 2.5 hours

Located just a few minutes away from the vibrant town of Port Vila and 15 minutes from the Bauerfield International Airport, Holiday Inn Resort Vanuatu is the resort of choice in the South Pacific for holidaymakers and honeymooners.

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Useful Information

What is the local currency and where can I exchange money?

The local currency is Vatu (VT or VUV). You can change your money at the resort, at one of the local banks, at currency exchange kiosks in town or at the airport.

 

How do I get from the airport to the resort?

You can either book an airport transfer with the resort or catch a taxi or local bus at the airport. The taxi ride costs a little more than the bus. Please contact the resort if you would like to book a transfer.

  • Taxi: Approximately 2,000 Vatu per taxi, from the airport to the resort
  • Public Bus: Seat in shared transfer bus 1,500 Vatu per person, from the airport to the resort
  • Private transfer: For up to 4 people, 6,500 Vatu per car, from the airport to the resort

How much does it cost for a round of golf at the resort?

It’s free for resort guests as is the rental of golf clubs.

 

How much are the water activities at the resort?

All resort activities are free for our guests.

 

Can the chef cater to dietary requirements? What about allergies and intolerances?

Absolutely. It would be best if you could let us know before you arrive so we can prepare beforehand.

 

Is it easy to get into town from the resort?

Yes it is. We have taxis on standby in front of the hotel. A trip to town costs around 700 vatu. The public bus costs about 150 vatu per person for most trips around town.

 

Is Wi-Fi available at the hotel? How much does it cost?

Yes we do have Wi-Fi although Internet speed on the island can be variable more than in other countries. We charge 500 vatu for 30 minutes, 750 vatu for one hour or 1,000 vatu for a week.

Wi-Fi is complimentary for IHG Rewards members.

 

What language is spoken in Vanuatu and how do you say 'hello'?

The native language spoken in Vanuatu is Bislama, a pidgin form of English, so if you listen carefully, it’s likely you’ll pick up some of the words. For example, 'hello' is 'halo' in Bislama and 'thank you very much' is ‘tanku tumus’.

 

Where is the nearest supermarket?

There are a few large supermarkets in town where you will be able to find most things. Freshwata Au Bon Marche supermarket is only about a 10-minute walk or a five-minute bus ride away.

 

Is it safe to walk into and around town?

It is safe to walk around town during the day.

 

What is the weather like?

Summer in Vanuatu falls between November to March with average temperatures reaching 28°C. The summer months can be warm and we experience humidity which is generally well cooled by the sea breezes.

Winter occurs during April to September and even then, temperatures still average 23°C or higher. Swimming can be enjoyed year round as the water temperature only varies slightly from 22°C to 28°C.

 

Is it safe to swim in the lagoon?

Yes.

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Local Attractions

There is so much to see and do during your stay in Vanuatu. Visit our Resort Hub to learn more about these attractions and the many more options available.

Mount Yasur

Located in the southern part of Vanuatu on Tanna Island, a 45minute flight away from Port Vila, Mount Yasur is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, erupting several times an hour for the last 800 years – at least. It is also one of the most accessible active volcanoes, with many tours offering tourists the chance to stand at the edge of a volcano spewing out fiery lava, feel the earth rumbling beneath their feet and hear the whizz of volcanic rock flying through the air. Always go with a guide and follow their directions; they know the safest places for you to stand. Day tours from the Resort are available.

Hideaway Island

Exactly as its name implies, Hideaway Island is a secluded retreat from the rest of Vanuatu. Just a five-minute taxi ride from the centre of Port Vila, this island is a marine sanctuary teeming with colourful sponges, corals, anemone and tropical fish. The small island also features the world's only underwater post office. Mail a special postcard to anywhere in the world with the help of a neoprene-clad postman.

Mystery Island

This tiny, uninhabited islet on Aneityum, Vanuatu’s southernmost island, is perfect for day trips from Port Vila. Called Inyeug by locals, Mystery Island is ideal for those who are interested in unlimited amounts of blue skies, white sandy beaches, aquamarine waters and picture-perfect views.  

Ekasup Cultural Village

A short five-kilometre drive from Port Vila, the Ekasup Cultural Village introduces visitors to the ancestral way of life of Vanuatu natives. Tribesmen guide you through exhibitions and mini-workshops that demonstrate how the Ni-Vanuatu would traditionally prepare and preserve food, their weaving culture, and fishing and hunting techniques.

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