This website has a very strong link with Oceania.
It happened to me so many times to quickly rotate the globe and then stop it with a finger.
For some strange reason (perhaps simply by statistics, since the blue planet is covered for about 70% by water) often the finger ends up in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean.
Looking better, it can happen to “touch the ground” of a small island/atollo of which you do not even know the existence.
So I decided to go to some countries in Oceania.
The most difficult part of organizing a trip to this part of the world, especially for those with little time and lots of curiosity, is to choose where to go.
There are in fact hundreds of islands that make up the 25 or so nations that can be visited in this area, occupying almost a third of the earth’s surface.
I wrote the list of all the nations first and I inquired about the reasons why I should go. I assigned preferences and started to reduce the list to almost a third.
Then I started to look for all possible flight routes.
Vanuatu became a must-visit destination as soon as I discovered that on one of the islands in this country it is possible to climb into the crater of an active volcano and look at the magma explosions while being careful of the flying red-hot stones.
My trip to Oceania also took me to Fiji, Tuvalu, Tonga, Cook Islands and New Zealand.
HOW TO GET TO VANUATU
Bauerfield International Airport in the capital Port Vila, is the main gateway to Vanuatu.
It’s also the base of the national airline Air Vanuatu, which has many domestic and international flights to Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.
Santo-Pekoa International Airport is located in Luganville, on the island of Espiritu Santo, the largest island in Vanuatu.
Air Vanuatu operates several domestic flights and also to Nouméa – La Tontouta International Airport, New Caledonia’s main airport.
The local airline also connects Tanna Airport with several islands in Vanuatu.
Although it’ s an important airport because of the Mount Yasur Volcano on the island, tickets are still written by pen, there is no check in and luggage is unloaded from the plane and delivered directly by hand.
I hate electronic boarding passes and keep the paper ones, so this is a great memory.
A small curiosity: on the return trip from Port Vila to Fiji, I travelled in Business Class for the first time.
I had obviously booked the cheapest ticket, but about 5 days before departure I received an email from Fiji Airways asking me to make an offer to change from Economy to Business.
With any hope, I offered € 30,00.
After a while they accepted my offer.
For me, used to low-cost travel with just one hand luggage, it was an incredible discovery, another world: numerous advantages at check-in, baggage control and priority access to the plane, reserved access to the airport lounge (with huge sofas, televisions, food and buffet drinks included), tablet available inside the plane and a reserved menu, and to top it all off, luggage delivered first on arrival.
The only problem with Business Class is that come back to Economy becomes much more difficult.
WHAT TO DO IN VANUATU
Mount Yasur Volcano (Tanna Island)
The choice of Vanuatu as my travel destination was largely influenced by the opportunity to see an active volcano in Tanna Island.
And I mean standing on the top of the crater and seeing the magma explosions: a unique experience, no other volcano in the world can compete with it.
The volcano is reached after an off-road trip along a very uneven road and an easy walk.
You arrive at a large and safe area from which you see the smoke and hear the explosions.
There will be enough time to take photos and videos but the guides will try to shorten the time as much as possible, using the excuse of danger to stop you going to the most scenic points.
Point 8 is the best place to see the inside of the volcano, the magma explosions, the glowing flying stones, the lava lapillus and the smoke that becomes more and more fiery red, accompanied by the shock waves.
Port Vila (Efate Island)
Vanuatu’s capital city overlooks a beautiful bay on the south-western part of Efate Island.
I’m from Cagliari and I don’t need to travel to find clear sea and dream beaches.
I didn’t come to Vanuatu to “beach myself” in a resort but I have been to the beach anyway.
And I can say without any doubt that the sea in Vanuatu is very similar to that of Sardinia, better than many places in the Caribbean and Oceania.
There are various sites for wonderful diving, otherwise you can still enjoy snorkelling, kayaking, helicopter flights, trekking and much more.
I also recommend wandering around the market stalls and sampling fish and various typical foods (I discovered some local products that I had never seen).
Land Diving – Nangol (Pentecost Island)
Every Saturday from April to June, men climb a wooden tower 20-30 metres high and then jump down with a rope tied around their ankles, falling into the ground below.
The lianas are assigned to each jumper by a village old man.
They must be flexible, elastic and full of sap.
If the liana is too long, the diver can hit the ground hard, but if the liana is too short, then the diver can collide with the tower.
Before diving, men often carry out unfinished business and disputes, in case they die.
Around the tower, songs and dances take place to support their courage.
The ritual of diving from land, the predecessor of modern bungee jumping, is part of Vanuatu’s culture, particularly on Pentecost Island.
La sua buona riuscita garantirebbe un raccolto abbondante, l’eliminazione di problemi fisici, un miglioramento della salute e della forza di un subacqueo.
If you go to Vanuatu at the right time of year, it is definitely a must-see.
WHERE TO SLEEP
I stayed at Raynold’s Board & Lodge, choosing the shared room for 6 people with shared bathroom, wifi working everywhere, fan.
The house is large with everything you need.
At 100 meters from the property there is a bus stop to the airport, while the city centre is about ten minutes walk.
Among the islands of Vanuatu, Tanna is chosen to see the Mount Yasur Volcano.
The majority of tourists arrive from the resorts for the daily tour, but with the limited time they miss almost all the magic of the place.
If you want to take your time to see the volcano and discover the surrounding area, I recommend sleeping at the Tanna Volcano View Tree House.
The lodge is just a few steps from the entrance of the park and you can also sleep in a tree house, from which you have a perfect view of the active volcano.
In addition, this location allows you to participate in the hike at sunrise, when there are no tourists from the resorts.
The place is also a good starting point for a walk in the surrounding area.