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Minibuses in Vanuatu

Public minibuses run in eastern Santo, eastern Malekula, Vila and Luganville. They have a red 'B' fixed to their number plates so you'll be able to spot them easily and rather than take a fixed route, they'll take you straight to your chosen destination. They're easy to flag from the road so use them to your advantage no matter where you are.

Car hire in Vanuatu

You can hire a car in Vila and Luganville but you might want to opt for a handy 4WD instead, which you can get from the same car hire companies. The minimum age for renting a car is 23 with an international driving license. There are no laws regarding the wearing of seatbelts, but it's highly recommended that you buckle up.

Taxis in Vanuatu

Regular sedans act as taxi cabs both in Vila and Luganville. In other more rural areas you'll find they're 4WD trucks with a red 'T' on the number plate. A short trip in Vila should set you back no more than 400VT (vatu), but if you hire a driver for the day expect to pay between 8000VT and 12,000VT.

Motorbike/scooter hire in Vanuatu

One of the best ways to get around Vanuatu. You can rent scooters for a reasonable price in Vila and the minimum age for hire is 17. It is essential that you hold a valid driving license and that you've had one for at least a year. Always ride with care as some roads are pretty dangerous and locals can drive recklessly.

Drink some kava

When you're in Vanuatu you simply have to visit a kava bar. As a member of the pepper tree family, kava doesn't have such a nice flavour but the locals drink it as a relaxant, so it's perfect after a long day of sightseeing. If a real drink is more your style, try the local Port Vila brew, Tusker.

Visit an active volcano

Yasur, on Tanna Island, is a live belching and frothing volcano. It's also Vanuatu's most active volcano. It takes just 10 minutes to walk up the cone, and the side of the crater rim is considered safe. At night time the sight is breathtaking, but be wary: tourists are still at risk from deadly gases.

Visit the underwater post office

Just off Hideaway Island in a marine sanctuary close to Port Vila lies the world's first underwater post office. It sits three metres under the water, roughly 50 metres offshore. The postcards sent from here are all waterproof and are collected regularly by trained scuba divers from Vanuatu Post. Weird but incredibly interesting and definitely worth a look.

Get wet at the Mele Cascades

One of the most exciting ways to spend a morning in Port Vila is to visit the gushing Mele Cascades. With just your swimmers, a towel and your reef shoes (it can get slippery), find a spot that suits you and soak up the views as well as the water. Entrance fee is 1500VT per adult. There are toilets and picnic facilities onsite.

DAY 1: Daytrip to Hideaway Island

This marine sanctuary is a popular destination for a daytrip in Vanuatu. As well as visiting the exciting underwater post office you can spend hours in the sun catching rays, snorkel to your heart's content or check out the coral on the glass-bottom boat. Numerous tour companies will offer to pick you up from your hotel for this trip, but it's easy to arrange yourself. It's just a four-minute crossing there and back on the Hideaway Island ferry.

DAY 3: Mele Cascades and casinos

Start the morning bright and early with a visit to the stunning Mele Cascades and beat the crowds if you can. If you're looking for some romance, take a picnic and breakfast on the rocks before swimming in the falls. After a nice nap continue the romance with dinner at Tamanu on the Beach and then have a flutter in the Le Meridien Port Vila Resort and Casino.

DAY 2: Take a Coongoola cruise

This spacious 23-meter sailing ketch was most recently used in the TV Show Survivor, but there are no survival techniques necessary in this fabulous daytrip to visit secluded beaches and coves. Dive or snorkel, feed the fish or walk the crystal white sands and tuck into a beach BBQ before climbing back onboard what was previously a liveaboard in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. A must-do cruise when you're holidaying in Vanuatu.

DAY 4: Take an Oceanwalker Helmet Dive

If you don't fancy snorkeling or scuba diving but still want to see the fish on the bottom of the ocean, here's a way to do it all without getting your hair wet. The Oceanwalker Helmet Dive entails a short walk down a ramp, into three to four-metre water in a purpose-built ocean walk helmet. Discuss what you saw underwater over a traditional, delicious Melanesian night dinner.


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