Perhaps best known for being home to the bustling island city of Port Vila, Efate is so much more than pumping bars and fantastically cheap duty-free.

A regular port for many cruise ships, it also stacks up as an affordable and exciting destination for holidaymakers after a longer stay.

Offering everything you could possibly desire from an island getaway, it has the added benefit of being a mere few hours away from the east coast of Australia.

The competition in the South Pacific is rife when it comes to beautiful destinations offering unique experiences and Efate proudly holds its own in this regard.

From adventure to relaxation and everything in between, we think these experiences are the crème de la crème.

 

Don’t go chasing waterfalls… or do!

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Suitable for all fitness levels, Mele Cascades will take your breath away and not just because you are essentially walking up a waterfall!

Located just a short drive from downtown Port Vila, Mele Cascades offers a gentle hike through lush tropical forest, peppered with many shallow pools and cascades on the journey up to the main waterfall.

Plunge down one of the natural slides into the cool water below, or nab a sun lounge overlooking the cascades and chill as you take in the beauty around you.

The rocky path is scrubbed monthly to ensure it isn’t slippery and a rope guides you along the trail for added stability. With the option of a self-guided or guided tour, our advice is twofold.  Wear reef shoes and visit on a day when the cruise ships aren’t in town to allow you the best possible chance of a relaxing time in this slice of paradise.

 

How’s the serenity?

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Vanuatu Ecotours have developed a truly unique kayaking experience that not only allows you to relish the ecosystems at play down the beautiful Rentapao River, but also to get a glimpse of authentic village life along the way.

Catering to all fitness levels and with the option of cushioned single or double kayaks, you will head down the river along the banks of the nearby village where locals will “welkam” you on your journey. You might see the villagers washing their clothes or cooking up a feast before you reach the bubbling cascades and head back toward the mouth of the river.

Cool off with a dip in the crystal-clear water, swing into a freshwater swimming hole, quench your thirst with some home-made lemonade and enjoy the many tales of Ni-Van beliefs and culture as you travel through several ecosystems.

The magical experience is accented by a moment of mindfulness toward the end of your journey, where you will be invited to close your eyes, rest your arms and listen to the myriad sounds around you. You will hear the ocean in the distance where it meets the river, the rustling of leaves, the lapping of water, the sounds of pure serenity.

 

Baby turtle doo doo doo doo doo doo

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Image: Tranquility Island Eco Dive Resort/Facebook

Located 45 minutes from Port Vila, Tranquility Island Resort is home to the Hawksbill Turtle Conservation Program.

Here you will find more than 200 juvenile turtles that are raised at the resort before they are tagged and released into the ocean at the age of one. Being critically endangered, this program is paramount to the breed’s survival, and visitors are invited to be a part of this process.

You can spend time with, feed and hold the baby turtles and, if you’re lucky enough, even witness them being released into the sea when they’re ready! If you fall in love with them as many people do, you are also welcome to sponsor a turtle and truly be a part of the conservation effort.

 

Embrace your inner Tarzan

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Image: Vanuatu.travel

Witness the resplendence of Mele Bay from up above when you soar through the jungle canopy with the help of six ziplines at Vanuatu Jungle Zipline.

Continuously connected to a safety line from go to whoa, you will traverse two suspension bridges and zoom across over one kilometre of zip lines across canyons, a waterfall and lush foliage.

Open every day of the year, rain, hail or shine, this is one of those experiences to tick off your bucket list.

 

Have you travelled beyond Port Vila in Efate?