Pronounced as van-wah-too, Vanuatu means 'Our Land' - the word for land (vanua, fanua or fenua) is one of the most common Pacific words. The country's people are called Ni-Vanuatu, meaning 'Of Vanuatu' - warm and friendly.
Prior to independence from the UK and France in 1980, this archipelago of about 83 islands was known as the New Hebrides. James Cook gave it this name during his expedition in 1774 because of dark, rugged islands reminded him of the Hebrides group, off Scotland's west coast.
Previously known as the New Hebrides, Vanuatu forms an in complete double chain of islands stretching from the north to the southeast, some 900 kilometers north of Sydney Australia and 800 kilometers west of Fiji. The capital, Port Vila, is located 17 degrees 44 minutes South Latitude, 168 Degrees 19 minutes East Longitude.
International: Air Vanuatu has regular service from Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Noumea and Nadi. Other airlines operating in Vanuatu includes Air Caledonie, Air New Zealand, Solomon Airlines, Air Pacific and Virgin Blue.
Domestic: Air Vanuatu Domestic services all major islands in the country.
Bauerfield Airport is 10 minutes from the capital of Port Vila. Two other airport now received international flights are Pekoa in Luganville on Espiritu Santo and White Grass airport in Tanna.
Duty Free Allowances for passenger over 15 years of age: 250 cigarettes or 250g of tobacco or 50g of cigars, 1.5 litters of alcohol (sprits/liquor) and 2.25 litters of wine
and 24 cans of beer, 25 centilitres of eau de toilette and 10 centilitres of perfume.
*A total of VT50,000 of unused goods excluding restricted or prohibited items.
All food, fruits, animal products and plants must be declared upon entry into Vanuatu. Many such items are allowed though; some required a valid quarantine certificate from the country of origin.
The local currency is the Vatu. Although Australian Dollars are accepted by many shops, restaurants and hotels in the Port Vila and a few Luganville(Santo), they are not readily accepted outside of town or throughout the islands.
To check today's exchange rate click here.
The dry season is May to October with an average temperature of 23 Celsius. The green season is from November to April with an average temperature of 28 Celsius.
11 hours ahead of Greenwich Meantime.
Port Vila is said to be the most beautiful capital in the Pacific. It lies on a horseshoe-shape bay on the south-west coast of the island Efate. Port Vila is charming mixed cultures, blending elements of Melanesian, English, French and Chinese tastes.
One of the main attractions of Port Vila is the famous Port Vila Market which comes alive everyday, except Sunday when the stall holders return to spend a day with their families. Wander through rows of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers, shells, artifacts and souvenir stalls. Make your visit to Port Vila memorable, let The Melanesian Port Vila be your Home Away from Home!
Efate is home to the capital, Port Vila. Port Vila is the international gateway for Vanuatu. Port Vila is said to be the most beautiful capital in the Pacific. It lies on a horseshoe-shape bay on the southwest coast of the island Efate. Port Vila is a charming potpourri of cultures, blending elements of Melanesian, English, French and Chinese taste.
Along the main street there are duty-free shops, restaurants, and handicraft galleries. Port Vila comes alive everyday except Sunday when the stall holders return to spend a day with their families. Wander through rows of tropical fruits, vegetables, flowers, shells, artifacts and souvenir stalls. Within walking distance from the town, The Melanesian Port Vila offers accommodation with impeccable service which makes your stay in Vanuatu memorable.
The Earliest evidence of human occupation in Vanuatu comes from a site on the island of Malo, first settlement in about 1400 BC by people of the Lapita culture. In the course of a millenium voyages, they left thier distinctive pottery at a string of sites from northeast Papaua New Guinea all the way to Samoa.
Vanuatu is a Y shape chain of islands, extending 1176 kilometers in a north-south direction between the equator and tropic of Capricorn. Efate Island is the gateway of Vanuatu where the capital Port Vila is located.
Vanuatus Population was estimated at around 350,000, of wich all but 5000 were Ni-Vanuatu. The "others" included about 2,000 Europeans, with the remainder being mainly Asians and other Pacific Islanders.
Two-Thirds of the population lives on Efate, Santo, Malekula and Tanna.
The republic of Vanuatu achieved its independence from UK and France on 30 July 1980. Since then it has remained in the South Pacific Commission and joined 28 other international organization including the UN, the Commonwealth and the french League of Nations.
Vanuatu has a Westminster-style constitution. Vanuatu's single legislative chamber or parliament, sits in Vila. Its 50 members are elacted for four year term.
The Prime Minister and the council of ministers comprise the executive, or cabinet. All minister must be member of parliament.
Vanuatus climate varies from wet tropical in the North to Sub-Tropical in the South, with much drier rain-shadow areas in between. Southeasterly breeze produces fine sunny days and pleasantly cool nights between May and October. This is the dry season and the best time to visit.
The establishment of Port Vila as a tax haven in 1970 fuelled a construction boom that saw its remarkable colonial dwelling replaced by concrete structures.
Tourism is the country's largest foreign exchange earner after agriculture. Over 60% of the country's tourist come from Australia, with another 17% comes from New Zealand.