21 February, 2019
Vanuatu's location out between the Coral Sea and the isles of the South Pacific make cities like Auckland and Wellington prime departure points for off-the-beaten-track vacations to this paradise of white-sand bays and smoking volcanos. It's actually possible to do the hop direct in just over three hours, while other cheap flights to Vanuatu from New Zealand involve a stopover (usually in Australia) to complete the trip in 15-20 hours. Deals will jet you into the island capital of Port Vila. That's a hubbub of fish markets and hotel resorts, but is also the gateway to the adventure mecca of Tanna (think mountain hikes and lush rainforest) or the mysterious tribal settlements of long-lost Malakula.
Tanna is a bean-shaped isle where adventures are everywhere. Come to climb volcanos. Come to wander primeval rainforests.
Efate has white-sand beaches and snorkeling lagoons, but there's also lively Port Vila and its South Sea fish markets to get stuck into.
From cotton-tinged Lonnoc Beach to its encircling coral gardens, Espiritu Santo is every inch the tropical South Pacific island you're dreaming of.