Handy Travel Tips for Vanuatu

Translating to ‘Land Eternal’, Vanuatu is renowned for its natural beauty, from pristine beaches and vibrant coral to dense rainforests and towering volcanoes. Although it is so close to home, life on the islands is very different to the daily life of an average Australian. When holidaying in Vanuatu it is worthwhile to research travel tips and to familiarise yourself with basic information on Vanuatu’s geography, language, climate, culture as well as currency, medical services, visa requirements and everything else. Having this knowledge makes your Vanuatu holiday even more enjoyable and gives you to opportunity to discover experiences that aren’t on every tourists’ to-do list.

But don’t you worry about all the researching, we’re sharing all our Vanuatu Survival Guide with you right here!

Essential Information

  • The capital city is Port Vila, on the island of Efate
  • Vatu (VAT) is the official currency but Australian Dollars are widely accepted
  • The international airport is Bauerfield
  • Electricity plugs are the same as Australia/New Zealand’s 3 pin angled plug (230V/50hz)
  • Vanuatu seasons are the same as Australia
  • The local people speak Bislama as well as English and French
  • Vanuatu is one hour ahead of Australian Standard Time and there is no daylight savings in summer
  • Tipping and bartering are not a part of the Vanuatu culture and traditions
  • Tap water is considered safe to drink
  • Air Vanuatu is the countries international and domestic airline
  • No VISA is required
  • Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your intended stay
  • Business hours are generally 7:30am until 4:30/5:00pm. A lot of shops close between 11:30am and 1:30pm for siesta.


  • Travel between islands is by air or boat
  • There are taxi’s, buses and sometimes rental cars available on the main islands
  • You can hire a car with an Australian Drivers licence
  • Vehicles drive on the right side of the road
  • There are no roads on most of the outer islands meaning the only mode of transport is by foot or boat
  • Outer islands can be accessed by air or somethings by boat. The outer islands ‘airports’ are basic with grass runways and most not having electricity or chairs.


  • Sharks are common in the waters around Malekula and Espiritu Santo. It is advised you seek local advice before swimming there
  • ‘alo’ is hello is Bislama
  • Dress is casual and comfortable but conservative. Save the beachwear and short shorts for the beach and resort, and remember Vanuatu has a tropical climate so pack light

Check out My Vanuatu Holiday Expert’s top picks for experiences, things to do and tours to make the most out of your Vanuatu holiday! Take a look at our Holiday Package Deals or contact My Vanuatu Holiday Experts today!