Ask the TAFEA Tourism Office

This travel guide provides an informative insight to plan your Vanuatu vacation. It will help you discover the history, the people, and the geography of the archipelago of Vanuatu in order for you to better plan an enjoyable, trouble free and safe holiday in the"Happy Isles of Oceanie"

Vanuatu consists of 83 tropical islands; some with active volcanoes, and all rising high out of the deep South Pacific Ocean; Vanuatu is a land of vast geographical contrast and cultural diversity. Often called the ‘timeless islands’, Vanuatu is a land that is never raced, never hurried – a gentle, peaceful place where the people and visitors alike can simply take the time to enjoy natures’ blessed land.


Our Vanuatu Country Guide below will provide you with all you need about the best of amazing Vanuatu. If you are interested in City events, attractions and things to do, click on the TAFEA Destination Guide. Let us guide you through our beautiful island paradise with our in-depth local knowledge.  See our extensive photo and video library.

From uncrowded surf, to trekking volcanoes  – TAFEA is for young and old; for the backpacker or soft adventure traveller; from anthropologists to film stars; TAFEA welcomes all, with the spontaneous smile of the Pacific.

The capital (Port Vila), is a small cosmopolitan town, it lays claim to one of the most beautiful harbours in the South Pacific, with its array of dining experiences, duty free shopping and local markets. Port Vila is not representative of Vanuatu, it is in total contrast to the ancient tribal lifestyles found on all the other innumerable islands of the archipelago.

If you have found this travel website useful, Bookmark us or link to us, so that others can benefit from your discovery (see our "links" page for details) and when you have experienced our personal service, why not let others know in the South Pacific’s best traveller feedback website: Tripadvisor.

Growing Tourism:

In order to continue developing the country’s tourism industry and create further opportunities for sustainable livelihoods for its people, the Vanuatu Tourism Office in conjunction with the Vanuatu Hotels and Resorts Association and the Vanuatu Tour Operators Association have created a "Tourism Marketing Development Fund".

The Tourism Marketing Development Fund is supported by Vanuatu Hotels and member associations, including hotels, duty free stores, tour operators and the finance sector.

A Levy of  AUD$1.20 (100 vatu) per room night for all arrivals since the 1st April 2008 has been added to all bookings in support of the Tourism Marketing Fund unless otherwise stated in the property details.

We thank you for your participation.


Vanuatu lies on the Pacific "Ring of Fire" the active volcanic zone around the rim of the Pacific tectonic plate. Most of Vanuatu’s islands are the result of volcanic activity in the very recent past, a mere few million years ago which is young geologically speaking. There are some exceptional examples of volcanoes throughout the group, with five active volcanoes visible and several more in the sea. Each volcano has a character of its own, presenting a unique opportunity to witness Nature’s unbridled power.

For more information on the islands, please search under the island’s name.

General Information:

  • Population – 217,746 people (from the Vanuatu Statistics Bureau 2005)
  • Total Area – 12,200 square kilometres
  • Capital – Port-Vila, on the island of Efate (30,000 people)
  • Time Zone – GMT +11 hours (1 hour ahead of Australian Eastern Standard time)

Getting Married in TAFEA:

You will need passports and witnesses to prove your identity (each party requires a witness). Application forms from the local authorities lodged three weeks before the wedding date. Both parties need to be in Vanuatu three days prior to the wedding date. You can do it all yourself (if so, allow two months) or use the services of wedding experts. They will co-ordinate all aspects of your wedding; and can offer you a range of exotic locations.

Fishing in Vanuatu:

Locally made fishing tackle. Port Vila is the home of Demon Jigs and Lures. This highly sought after range of fishing tackle is made in Vanuatu and exported around the globe. See: and visit their factory. Ph: +678 54445 (ask for Steve.) Items include lead head jigs, assist hooks for jigs, bullet proof wahoo/mackerel/dogtooth tuna lures, arrow squid soft baits, tuna feather lures, glow in the dark poulet rigs especially made for Pacific waters and their unique hand carved fish bats.


Vanuatu runs off a 220-280 volts, 50 Hz AC system, using 3-point plugs. Most electrical goods shops in Vila and Luganville in Santo sell adaptors that are compatible with foreign designs.

Eco Tourism:

This website’s ‘Useful Links’ section has a comprehensive range of ecotourism informative sites that you may be interested in.

Shell Collecting: The collecting of dead shells on the beach is a favourite leisure activity on holidays in the tropics. Please look inside the shell in order not to be taking a hermit or young coconut crab home.

We strongly discourage live shell collecting or the purchase of shells from the local population, as it will only encourage the destruction of the reef. You could be fined on your arrival home as some shells are on the endangered list.

Suggested Reading on Vanuatu:

  • Kill a Bird with Two Stones by Jeremy Maclancy
  • Pandemonium or Paradise? by Kath & Bob Paul
  • Isle of Illusions by Paul Thoureaux

Vanuatu Coat of Arms:

The Coat of Arms has incorporated the Vanuatu Emblem, which is the pig’s tusk and the namele leaf (cycad leaf) in the background. Hon. Walter Hayde Lini (is the statue) who fought for the country to become Independent and was the first Prime Minister.

The Vanuatu Emblem:

The pig’s tusk and the Namale leaf (Cycad leaf) represent Prosperity and Peace respectively.

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