Although it costs roughly $10 US, the trip to the waterfall is a must do if you're in Port Vila. The 15-20 minute hike through the lush green trails is not too strenuous. Be ready to get your feet wet and you must walk across a few wet spots to find the waterfall at the end. Spectacular!
Moso is also known as 'Tranquility Island' and is the island the contestants stayed on while on Survivor. On the show, they called it 'Islands of Fire' (obviously sounds more scary) and made it look like there was a volcano on it.
Moso is not far from the island of Efate; you can sign up for a cruise from the tour place on the main street; and they'll pick you up from Port Vila. The trip we went on was called the 'Coongoola Cruise' (named after the boat you ride on - also the same boat the Survivors were on).
The trip included a boat trip to a turtle sanctuary on Moso, then around to the other side for some great snorkelling, a BBQ lunch (with plenty of fresh vegetables for vegetarians!) on a really beautiful beach, more snorkelling and a boat trip back. You'll very often see dolphins swimming at the front of the boat. There are nice snacks provided and lots of gorgeous scenery.
You won't see much of the Survivor areas but it's a really great day out, the tour guides are great, etc.
For a very reasonable price you can go snorkelling directly off the beach and hand feed fish.
About 20 metres off the beach the shelf drops down as far as you can see to deep deep blue and disappears in ocean depth.
Fish are absolutely amazing, all shapes and colors, so colorful they somehow seem artificial or 'painted', as well as starfish and whole schools of fish swimming beneath you.
Have snorkelled on Australias Great Barrier Reef but enjoyed this experience much better.
The island is only small but has a bar and restaurant right on the beach.
You catch a small runabout from a jetty on the mainland out to the island itself out from which is open ocean, the water color between the island and mainland is deep sapphire blue and a color which I have seen nowhere else.
The island accomodation was wiped out and rebuilt after a cyclone struck the island previously and one side of the island faces directly out toward the ocean.
A magical little get-away-from / forget-about-everything place.
A few minutes's drive from the city, this attraction is indeed an amazing example of Vanuatu's natural treasure! After passing through a chaotic town, Port Vila, the scenery quickly changes as you will be greeted with verdant surroundings, plenty of wonderful tropical plants and flowers which are nowhere near the size of their equal in Oz!
The climb to the top is especially STEEP but just the lower parts of the falls are scenic enough! The weather when we were there was a stinker but it didn't stop us from enjoying this wonderful part of paradise!
You don't have to pay for tours to come here. From the city, just ask a cab driver to take you there and haggle with him so you can be picked up after a couple of hours. Make sure you don't pay right away so he will come back for you to be safe! For the four of us, we paid $150 for the whole day as he showed as around Port Vila and took us to Hideaway Island as well. We got picked up around 3 pm to give us plenty of time to make it to our ship.
I found the best way to see all of Port Vila is to hire a car. You can travel around the whole island in one full day and take it all in. On the way you can drop past the Mele cascade falls and see how the real people of Vanuatu live.
The road is all dirt track with more pot holes than coconuts on the island so try to get a 4wd, we took a little 4 cylinder car and nearly lost the wheels a few times.
Keep your eyes open while taking a walk through the town of Vila and maybe you are lucky to see some of these graffities and murals there. Around the Vanuatu Holiday hotel I saw these murals in my pictures here !
b.t.w. this hotel is quite small and is also far away from the beach, maybe they have a pool, I dont know, as these murals were painted on a high wall around the hotal.
Dont miss to take a closer look at the traditional wooden sculptures that you will find in the car-parking of the restaurant "Le Rendez Vous".
Some of these sculptures are actually drums, called Tomtom, used also in order to communicate with other tribes far away or simply for making music.
I will also show some more pictures of them in my travelogue !
Right in the middle of town are the markets. They are open every day from just after dawn until whenever they feel like packing up and going home - usually this starts happening around 3 or 3:30. The last people are gone by dusk (around 5:30 in the winter).
The large, covered area of the market is dominated by food. You can get fresh fruits, veggies, seafood, laplap (a common food made from grated yams, bananas, taro, manioc, or kusava and covered in coconut milk -- sometimes with extras on top like local cabbage, crab, or other seafood, then wrapped in pandana leaves and baked over hot rocks or coals).
In front of and just to the side of the food stalls are clothing and crafts.
This is the catholic church of Vila and I was glad that I saw the inscription that you will see in my 2nd photo here, as this church does not look at all like a church and it was also surrounded by a high fence and a closed gate, so there was no chance to get a closer look.
Holy Mass is daily at 06.00pm
The markets in Port Vila are definitely worth visiting. They run every day except Sunday and you can buy everything from fruit and vegetables to wood carvings, jewellery and clothing. Prices are fairly good (especially for the local produce) and the people are very friendly.
We got this tour free with our accommodation/flight deal so we figured we might as well go along even though we didn't know what to expect. Bascially it was an educational tour on kava (the local drink)...
Funnily enough, our chef from the resort was the Chief and guide for the tour. He told us all about kava and then gave us a taste (our second kava drink). The tour was great and is worth doing...it costs 1500 vatu.
Here you can see some local houses that I saw while taking a walk through Vila. Most of the houses look quite european, but at least some of the hotels have straw-thatched roofs in order to imitate the local buildings of ancient times (my last picture).
A fave activity of my family is snorkelling. Hideaway Island is perfect for it as the clear waters here showcases the pristine beauty of this paradise!
We forgot our snorkelling gear so we bought new ones from the Hideaway Island shop. It was a bit expensive compared to shops here like Big W but it was still worth it. You can hire them also at the Island's shop but we thought we might also snorkel at the next island we were to sail to- Isle of Pines so we didn't mind.
Hop on a bus or taxi and go to see the famous Mele cascades if you don't want to tour the island due to lack of time. A 20-minute trip from Port Vila will take you there. The vista’s are amazing and the cool, soft sensation of the falls are worth getting wet for! Enjoy the hot mineral springs or shower in the cascading waterfall.
There's an admission fee.
If you have never tried sailing can be quite an experience. Hell of a lot of fun, specially when the wind picks up. In the shallows of the lagoon you can find and hold large sized spiky starfish and there are literally hundreds of them in the shallow water close to Erakor island.