Port Vila, Vanuatu
Situated on the south-western coast of Efate, Port Vila is the capital of the Vanuatu islands. Arguably one of the most attractive towns in the Pacific, it is located around a beautiful natural harbour, which has become a popular cruise ship destination.
How to Get Around
- 10 minutes to the town centre (taxi A$15/shared taxi van A$3)
- 3 minutes to Iririki (free).
- Currency - the local currency in Vila is the Vanuatu Vatu (VUV), although Australian dollars are accepted in many shops and restaurants. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 vatu denominations. Notes are not in circulation.
- Time Zone - Vila uses Vanuatu Standard Time. It is 11 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
- Weather - Vila’s climate is subtropical and humid. Being equatorial, temperatures remain fairly consistent, averaging 26° Celsius year round. The dry season – from May to October – offers sunny days and pleasantly cool evenings. November to April is the hot, wet season.
- Port Vila Market - open every day expect Sunday, Vila Market is conveniently located next to the wharf. The stalls are run by Ni-Van women and sell a range of local produce, from seasonal fruits and vegetables to flowers, jewellery and woodcarvings. It also offers a spectacle of live traditional cooking. Prices are set around the market so there is no bargaining.
- Mele Cascades - situated only 10 kilometres from Port Vila, Mele Cascades is a series of gushing waterfalls with pools of clear, turquoise waters. A slippery rock stairway, surrounded by lush tropical flora and fauna, takes you up to the top and offers plenty of bathing opportunities along the way. Wonderful views can be enjoyed from the lookout. There is also a bar and restaurant on site.
- Ekasup Cultural Village - just a short drive from the town centre, Ekasup Cultural Village offers a unique insight into the ancient customs of Melanesia. Through a series of talks and demonstrations, Futuna islanders in traditional dress showcase village life, including how they hunt, fish, preserve food and prepare medicines. The entertainment also includes song, dance and sampling local fare.
- National Museum of Vanuatu - part of the Vanuatu Cultural Centre on the Rue d’Artois Nambatu, the National Museum displays authentic exhibits relating to the history and culture of these islands. Artefacts include masks, tools, carvings, ceremonial headdresses and examples of Lapita and Wusi pottery. It also hosts temporary exhibitions including art and sculpture, and the opportunity to watch sand drawing.