TORBA Province , made up of the two most northerly groups of islands in the archipelago and Vanuatu ’s closest neighbours to the Solomon Islands , is comprised of 13 islands. The Torres group with 4 main islands and 2 islets, and Banks group 4 main and 3 smaller islands are what make up TORBA.
Remote, isolated and less frequented by visitors than any of the other 5 provinces, TORBA remains one of Vanuatu ’s best kept secrets. There are flights to TORBA 3 times a week but to some of the outer islands of the group, only when there are passengers or there is cargo. A cargo boat carrying passengers and food supplies frequents once a month. The main mode of transport is walking or canoeing between islands. However, one should not assume that its isolation translates to a lack of services. TORBA has a total population of 9,359 people scattered across the volcanic and coral islands. Its main attraction is the dormant caldera of Mt Garet, now a lake (Letas), which has experienced some activity in the last few years.
A TORBA delicacy is the endangered coconut crab. These can be requested though the laws are quite strict on catching the crabs based on size and maturity. TORBA is also famous for its preserved breadfruit dish, which is prepared months in advance, dried and preserved for rationed future consumption. Its proximity to the Solomon Islands provides Torbans with a unique culture, more similar to those of the Rennell and Bellona people of the south Solomons. Its famous sea snake dance is akin to that of the Malaitan people of the Solomon Islands as well as the fairer skin and ginger coloured hair. TORBA province speaks simplicity, raw beauty and untouched innocence.