Air Vanuatu is the national airline offering regular domestic and international flights between Port Vila, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Noumea, Santo, Nadi and Honiara. Air Vanuatu also operates all domestic flights to most of the islands of Vanuatu.
Air Vanuatu sales office in Port Vila open 7:30am to 5pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 11:30am Saturdays
Other airlines operating to Vanuatu include Air Calin, Pacific Blue, Air Pacific and Air New Zealand
Sales & Reservation Office:
Port Vila, Vanuatu +678 23848
Australia 1300 780 737
New Caledonia +687 286677
New Zealand +64 373 3435
Air New Zealand
Airport Tax —International departure tax in Vanuatu is included in all airfares. A separate, provincial departure tax of 200vt applies for departures from most of the domestic airports. The 200vt is not included in domestic fares, but is to paid separately on the day of your flight at the airport.
Climate —The best time of year to visit is April to October when temperatures range from 18 to 28 degrees Celsius and it is generally the dry season. Light weight casual clothing plus a sweater is usually sufficient. November & December are warm but not generally unpleasantly so and January to March is hot and often more humid. This is also the wet season and prone to cyclones, however it is also the low tourism season so it can be a good time of year to take advantage of travel deals. For the most current weather information and a forecast summary throughout all island provinces and capital Port Vila, visit the Vanuatu Meteorological Services website.
Language —The three official languages of Vanuatu are English, French and Bislama (a pidgin language). A further 120 distinct languages are used by local people in the islands. Tourism is still a new business on many islands of Vanuatu and the locals may have little experience and training. Don't hesitate to talk to your hosts and tell them about what you like and what could be improved. Usually they try to meet any reasonable request, but please be patient.
Shopping — Special purchases include grass skirts from Futuna and Tanna, baskets and mats from Futuna and Pentecost, carved forms and masks from Ambrym and Malekula, woodwork from Tongoa and Santo, and pig tusks and necklaces made of shells or colourful seeds from villages near Port-Vila. In the outer islands special purchases can be made of locally made crafts, but remember that anything that you do purchase (apart from cloth) will need to be declared at customs when you get home. Most wooden pieces are generally alright to take home, it will pay to call into the quarantine office on the road to the Port Vila airport to get any items signed off.
The many Duty-free shops sell a selection of luxury items.
Fresh food produce, lunch or dinner can be purchased from the large food markets, theres one in just about every major island.
Shopping hours : Usually Mon-Fri 07.30am-5.30pm and most shops open on Saturday morning until 12 noon. If there is a cruise ship in the shops will stay open longer on a Saturday.. The Chinese retail stores are open for longer hours and are also open on Sunday mornings from 08.00am into the evenings. Some shops close from 11.30am -1.30pm for lunch (except restaurants, banks, supermarkets and the post office). The market in the town centre is open every day 24/7 (except Sunday) for flowers, fruit, vegetables and handicrafts.
Time — Vanuatu is one hour ahead of AST (Australian Standard Time) and 11 hours ahead of GST (Greenwich Standard Time or UT). There is no daylight saving in summer.
Tipping — In accordance with Vanuatu Custom neither tipping nor bargaining are practised in Vanuatu . A smiling thank you is sufficient gratuity.
Visas & Entry Requirement — All visitors traveling to Vanuatu require a passport valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond return date. Transit passengers continuing their journey by the same or first connecting aircraft and holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport do not require a visa. Visas are not required from most countries, however you must have a valid, ongoing or return airline ticket and your Passport must be valid for six months beyond your intended stay.
Water — Vanuatu ’s town water supply is treated and very safe to drink. However some people react to water in different places and if you are travelling to outer islands bottled water can be readily purchased in Port Vila and Luganville as supplies in the outer islands are limited.