With 83 island paradises to choose from and an exciting cuisine and culture, Vanuatu is fully set up to give sun-seeking Aussies and Kiwis a relaxing tropical holiday close to home.

Vanuatu caters to everyone. Adults-only holiday islands appeal to romantic couples and those looking for a quiet getaway, while family-friendly resorts with kids’ clubs offer free meals for the little ones. Dive resorts will take newbies and experienced divers to the coral reefs and sunken war ships, and tribes on the outer islands introduce stressed out souls to the magic of island life.

Frequently Asked Questions about Vanuatu

What is the food like in Vanuatu?

Surprisingly, the Vanuatu fine-dining scene offers a nice blend of European, South Pacific and Asian flavours. The British and French have paraded around here long enough to make both eggs and bacon and croissants staple items on the breakfast menu. Fish and chips and steak tartare are popular dinner options. Immigration did the rest, so you can also find plenty of Chinese and a few Thai restaurants in Port Vila. The beer and wine flow generously too. But it's the local fare that you should get really excited about: coconut curries, stews cooked in the earth and juicy tropical fruits in abundance. Vanuatu is famous for its tender local beef and of course fresh seafood. Lobster anyone? Visit a kava lounge to mingle with the locals and try their earthy, peppery drink if you are game.

What's the local currency in Vanuatu and do I need to carry a lot of local money?

You can pay with your credit card and even Australian or New Zealand dollars in most resorts and in Port Vila. For visiting the smaller towns and paying in non-touristy shops and at the markets you should exchange enough money to the local currency of 'vatu' at the airport or in Port Vila. Ask for smaller denomination coins if you're planning on visiting remote places. ATMs and international money transfer offices are in Port Vila on Efate and Luganville on Espiritu Santo Islands. Prices in touristy places are similar to those in Australia, but local transport is much cheaper. On Sundays you can only buy alcohol in bars or restaurants, which will cost more than in the supermarkets. There is no need to tip for service and bargaining is not a custom on Vanuatu. If you think the price is unrealistic, either walk away or politely enquire about discounts or cheaper options. Keep some local money to pay your regional airport tax if you leave on a domestic flights to another island.

Why is Vanuatu so popular?

Vanuatu is only about four hours by plane from Brisbane and it's also on the cruise ship trail. Its tropical climate attracts sun-seekers from Australia and New Zealand. Vanuatu is also one of the friendliest and most peaceful nations in the Pacific. English is one of the official languages. The cuisine is highly culinary. The beer is cheap. The beaches and coral reefs are stunning. The Melanesian culture is fascinating. Starting to get the picture? Another reason for the hype is the reality show Survivor, which aired on US and Australian television and was shot on the main island of Efate. Don't worry though, you won't HAVE to fish, hunt for insects and make fires to survive. That's totally optional. While Vanuatu was hit hard by cyclone Pam in 2015, the country is keen to show the world that it's bounced back and has taken the opportunity to modernise its facilities. Airlines offer budget deals and resorts offer free transfers and sometimes include free kids meals and kids clubs.