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torres, the forgotten islands of Vanuatu

CLICK TO GET THE MAPThe Torres Islands are in the Torba Province of Vanuatu, the northernmost island group in the country. The chain of islands that make up this micro-archipelago straddle the broader cultural boundary that distinguishes Island Melanesia from several Polynesian outliers located in the neighbouring Solomon Islands . To the north is Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands , to the south Espiritu Santo , and to the southeast the Banks Islands . To the west, in the ocean, is the deep Torres Trench, the subduction zone between the Australian and Pacific Plates.

This is the forgotten islands of Vanuatu , visitors to Torres are few, however the islands are lightly populated and natural resources are mostly abundant. They have white sand beaches and there's rumoured to be surf on Hiu Island . The small village of Lunghariki on Loh hosts the administrative centre for the Torres Islands (a vacant looking government building).

There is a community phone (38565) and medical clinic but no bank, no police station and just a couple of very basic stores. There's almost no copra production in the Torres Islands and ships visit only when there's a reasonable load of cargo booked, only a few times each year.

The cost of flying to the Torres Islands is a big deterrent to travellers. If you skip Vila and start your travels in Santo, it's more affordable. Air Vanuatu has a weekly international service Brisbane (Australia) - Santo.

There's one Air Vanuatu flight a week to the Torres Islands. It lands at Linua, adjacent to Loh Island. At low tide you can wade across the estuary between Linua and Loh. When the water is high, people use canoes.

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