An archipelago of 83 islands, is a tropical paradise located in the South Pacific, around a 3 hour flight from Australia.
Efate, one of the most significant in size is known as the ‘mainland’ of Vanuatu, with Port Vila as it’s capital, and the commercial and political centre where the majority of commerce and tourism takes place.
Port Vila is also one of the largest offshore Finance Centres within Vanuatu.
Vanuatu is a land of diversity; coral seas, rainforest, tropical islands, and a haven for water sports. The tranquil beauty of this harmonious society with it’s rich culture and colourful history is an untouched paradise, with an ideal climate for snorkelling, wreck diving, exploration of miles of pristine beaches and some of the best game fishing in the world.
Capital: Port vila
Population: July 2008 estimate 215, 446
Area: Total 12,189 km2
Time: GMT +11.
The three official languages of Vanuatu are English, French and Bislama (a pidgin language). A further 113 indigenous languages are used by local people in the islands.
The unit of currency in Vanuatu is the Vatu (VUV), although Australian Dollars are widely accepted in Port Vila. The Vatu has no subdivisions. Exchange facilities are readily available at banks and kiosks in Port Vila.
Banking services are sophisticated and major credit and debit cards, as well as travelers cheques, are widely accepted in Port Vila, but cash is required in the countryside away from tourist resorts. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted. There are ATMs accepting most international cards in Port Vila. Banking hours are generally weekdays between 8am and 4pm.
Electrical current is 220-240 volts, 50Hz; plugs are flat three pins.
- The international direct dialing code for Vanuatu is +678.
- The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the United Kingdom). No city codes are required.
- There are public telephones near the post office and near the Telecom office in Port Vila, with phone cards available at both these offices.
- There is GSM mobile phone coverage of the islands (contact your service provider to ascertain whether your phone is compatible) and local pay-as-you-go SIM cards are available from the local network provider, Telecom Vanuatu Limited (TVL).
- There are Internet cafes in Port Vila, and most hotels and resorts have Internet access.
- Travelers arriving in Vanuatu may bring in the following goods without paying customs duty:
- 250 cigarettes or 250g tobacco or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos;
- 1.5 liters of spirits and 2 liters of wine;
- 250g of eau de toilette and 10g of perfume;
- new items up to a value of Vt50,000;
- personal effects and sporting goods for personal use.
- Buses are cheap and abundant in Port Vila and can be stopped with a hand wave to pick you up.
- They also travel out of town and drivers act as unofficial tour guides on day trips to beaches and places of interest.
- The letter ‘B’ before the registration number designates a licensed bus.
- Drivers are friendly and helpful. In the city taxis are small cars dubbed ‘ticos’ with a ‘T’ on the number plate, and can be hailed anywhere.
- National Tourism Office, Port Vila: +678 22515, or www.vanuatutourism.com
- Emergencies: 22222 (Police); 22100 (Ambulance).
- Vanuatu Honorary Consulate, Cape Town, South Africa: +27 (0)21 434 6570.
- Vanuatu Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 (0)9 277 6060.
- United States Embassy, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (also responsible for Vanuatu): +675 321 1455.
- British High Commission, Suva, Fiji (also responsible for Vanuatu): +679 322 9100.
- Canadian High Commission, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for Vanuatu): +61 (0)2 6270 4000.
- Australian High Commission, Port Vila: +678 22777.
- South African High Commission, Canberra, Australia (also responsible for Vanuatu): +61 (0)2 6272 7300.
- New Zealand High Commission, Port Vila: +678 22933.