Going to the Pacific IGF in Vanuatu? Here’s what you need to know.
Country: Republic of Vanuatu
Capital City: Port Vila (on the island of Efate)
Land Area: 12, 189 km2 , (4,706 sq miles)
Population: 264,652 (2013, National Statistics)
The Republic of Vanuatu is an island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu is only 2.5 hours flying time North East of Brisbane, 3.5 hours from Sydney, Australia and 2 hours from Auckland, New Zealand.
Vanuatu is a tourist destination and so is well served by regular International flight services into Port Vila. The national carrier Air Vanuatu operates regular services to Port Vila from Auckland, Brisbane, Sydney, Noumea and Nadi. Vanuatu is well served from Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland, meaning that Asian delegates travelling via major Asian hubs such as Singapore and Hong Kong will connect through to Vanuatu via Australia and New Zealand. Other options via Papua New Guinea, Fiji and New Caledonia are also available.
The weekly flight summary is provided below;
6 flights from Sydney
6 flights from Brisbane
4 flights from Auckland
4 flights from Noumea, New Caledonia
5 flights from Nadi, Fiji
3 flights from Suva, Fiji
2 flights from Honiara
1 flight from Port Moresby.
Other international carriers flying into Port Vila include Air Calin, Virgin Australia, Fiji Airways, Air Nuigini and Solomon Airlines. Contact details are provided below;
Airline / Phone / Website
Air Vanuatu/Qantas +678 23 878 www.airvanuatu.com
Air Calin/Air France +678 22 739 www.aircalin.com
Air New Zealand +678 22 666 www.airnewzealand.com
Fiji Airways +678 22 836 www.fijiairways.com
Virgin Australia +678 22 836 www.virginaustralia.com
Vanuatu operates within the visa waiver scheme with many countries obtaining a visa upon entry provided that a valid, ongoing or return airline ticket and passport is held.
Countries exempted from the necessity of having visas to land in Vanuatu Exempted list of countries
Countries that fall into the category of places from which entry is authorized. Countries that need a visa to enter Vanuatu
Click here for some important visa information.
Vanuatu has a low level crime rate but like most capital cities there are instances of robbery and assaults within Port Vila. During daylight hours Visitors are free to go about their business however it is advised to exercise caution when alone at night.
Vanuatu is on the ring of fire and as such is subject to a number of geohazards such as earthquakes, volcanism and tropical cyclones. Tropical Cyclone Pam in March 2015 caused significant damage to parts of Vanuatu, including tourist infrastructure in some areas. The cyclone season is from November to April each year.
Airport taxi service is always available at the airport. There are other tour companies that operate on prior bookings or hotels can arrange for transfers. All taxi’s accept Vanuatu VATU’s (VUV) and can change your currency at exchange shops.
Banking and Currency
Port Vila is well serviced by the financial services sector. Both credit and debit cards are widely accepted and there are numerous ATM’s around Port Vila. The Vanuatu currency is the Vatu although Australian dollars are accepted by many shops, restaurants and hotels in Port Vila. There is a preference for cash to be used if at all possible.
On Efate Island where Port Vila is located, the best time of year is April/May to October when temperatures range from 18 to 28 degrees Celsius. The most current weather information for Vanuatu can be found on the Vanuatu Meteorological Services website www.meteo.gov.vu.
Port Vila is fully supported by 2 full service carriers and a number of ISP’s providing wifi services to the public.
The national languages of Vanuatu are Bislama (pidgin English), English and French. Generally people in Vanuatu will understand these languages.
Privately owned mini buses are the most common form of transport in Port Vila and run unspecified routes through the municipal area. Public mini buses have a red ‘B’ on their number plate. As they do not have a fixed route, just flag one down and advise the driver where you would like to go. Bus fares within the greater Port Vila area are 150VT per trip.
Taxis are available but operate without a meter so talk to the driver and agree on a price before you get into a taxi.
Rental car company offices are located at Port Vila’s international airport and in downtown Vila (Efate).
There are a number of hotels of all standards within an easy walk or commute of the Vanuatu Convention Centre. Here are the recommended hotels that are close to the conference venues.
Hotel / Website / Capacity (Rooms) / Estimated cost range per night in $AU / Distance from conference venues
www.grandvanuatu.com / 74 / 250-400 / 5 mins walk to the venue
www.marinerapartmentsportvila.com / 10 / 100-200 / 10 mins’ walk to the venue
www.melanesianportvila.com / 77 / 120-280 / 10 mins walk to venue
www.kaivitimotel.com / 37 / 150-200 / 10 mins walk to venue
Coconut palms Resort
www.coconutpalms.vu / 46 / 100-200/ 10 mins walk to venue
Iririki Island Resort
www.iririki.com / 130 / 360-800 / 5mins by/ferry and/5mins walk to venue
www.mangoesresort.com / 29 / 5 mins drive to venue 1
www.ramadaresort.com.vu / opened in April 2016 / 70 / 5mins drive to venue
www.warwickhotels.com/le-lagon-resort / 143 / 10mins drive to venue
Poppys on the lagoon
www.poppys.com.vu / 230-630 / 10mins walk to venue
Chantilys on the Bay
http://chantillysonthebay.com / 20 / 5 mins drive to venue