Port Vila is the capital of the country and the only town on the country’s main island of Efate. Not only is Port Vila the gateway to other incredible dive destinations throughout Vanuatu, but it is also a great destination to escape to for a convenient tropical dive holiday. The town itself has a rich colonial past clearly seen as you walk from one side to the other (which takes approx. 30 minutes)It is home to a variety of restaurants, cafés, bars and small shops. At times it can be quite busy as it’s a stop for cruise liners.
Away from the town, you will find an island overflowing with natural beauty and warm Melanesian hospitality. The island has a rugged coastline, rolling green countryside, fast-flowing rivers, cascading waterfalls and isolated sandy bays and lagoons. The interior is a dense and verdant rainforest disturbed only by a few walking tracks to remote weather and radio beacons.
Port Vila is the perfect destination for divers and non-divers alike, with plenty of things to see and do around the island as well as plenty of easy reef dives and snorkelling sites. There are a variety of accommodations available; from stunning luxury resorts to clean and basic backpacker style lodgings. Whatever your budget, Port Vila makes for a fantastic tropical holiday!
Port Vila has a pleasant tropical climate with relatively high humidity.
Dry Season: May to November
Winter is the drier season with average night and daytime temperatures between 21°C – 26ºC during the day.
Wet Season: December to April
In the wetter Summer season, average night and daytime temperatures range between 22ºC – 29°C during these months.
Port Vila is known for its reef and small wreck diving sites. If you’re looking for colourful, warm water diving, then Port Vila is for you! Visibility can reach up to 40 metres, and conditions are usually extremely calm. You’ll find a marine landscape of flourishing reefs, drop-offs, grottos, overhangs, tunnels and chasms. The Pacific currents that run through this area supply valuable nutrients to a variety of marine life.
The water temperature varies during the year:
December to April: 28°C to 29°C
A 3mm wetsuit is recommended. February and March are when the water is at its warmest.
May to November: 26°C to 27°C
A 5mm wetsuit is recommended for the most comfortable dive.
This is a stunning cavern dive that is extremely weather dependent. The cavern is vast and bright with beautiful shafts of light filtering down through the open roof. The Cathedral is home to shrimp, nudibranchs and leaf scorpionfish and entry is at 22 metres.
Two coral bommies lying side by side give this dive site its name. Dive along the reef plateau in 12-18 metres before dropping off to the white sand below at 25-30 metres. Butterfly-fish swim amongst the yellow and blue staghorn coral, leaf scorpionfish hide in nooks and crannies, and turtles are often spotted.
Star of Russia
The 90 metres long ‘Star of Russia’ is a three-masted, square-rigged sailing ship built in 1874 by Harland and Wolff (of the SS Titanic). Still intact, the steel hull sits upright on a sandy bottom in 34 metres of water. Divers can gain easy access to the wreck as the wooden decking has perished. Schools of fish now reside inside, and batfish can be found hanging around outside while crocodile fish lie on the ships’ beams.
A 45-metre island trader that was severely damaged by Cyclone Uma in 1987 and later scuttled in the harbour; she now sits upright and intact on a sandy bottom at 26 metres and is an easy, fun wreck dive. Penetration is possible in the holds, cabin and bridge areas.
An ex Qantas Sandringham flying boat that hit a reef on takeoff in 1951, the Tasman was salvaged but later sank during a cyclone and is in excellent condition lying in approx. 40 metres of water. Visibility can often be affected in this part of the harbour.
There are plenty of hikes and walks around the island to suit all abilities. Whether you want to take a long stroll along the beach or hike up to the cascades and waterfalls, there is something for everyone. The beautiful blue waterfalls at Mele Cascades are not to be missed! Be sure to take your swimmers for a mid-walk dip.
Enjoy a day on horseback, riding through the hills and remote villages surrounding Port Vila. Relish the stunning views and tranquillity while learning about the Melanesian culture. Whatever level of experience you have, there is a riding tour to suit you. Finish off with a dip in Mele Bay on the back of your horse.
Kayaking & SUPs
Many hotels in and around Port Vila offer kayak or SUP rentals. Glide over calm waters and stare down at flourishing reefs. Enjoy the tropical south pacific surrounds while taking it easy on gentle waves.
Start your Dive Adventure here!
Simply fill in the following booking form, a member of our team will get back to you within 24-48 hours to confirm your booking and take a deposit.
Please wait for our booking confirmation before purchasing your air tickets or making any other non-refundable travel arrangements.
Additional payments may be required throughout the booking process. Details of this will be advised by our reservations team at the time of booking confirmation.
*Time period is a guide only, subject to change according to your specific booking.