The Island of Efate – Vanuatu

January 19, 2017
Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

If you’ve been following along on the blog you’d know I’d recently (early-mid December 2016) been on a cruise.  My first ever cruise!  It was an eight days and eight nights South Pacific Cruise on board the Legend of the Seas, the smallest of the Royal Caribbean fleet of cruise ships.  The Legend of the Seas is sadly being sold in March to another cruise line in Spain, so we were lucky to get that time on board her.  You can see previous posts that mention the cruise here, here and here!

I really was Lovin’ Life when I was on that cruise so I thought today I’d share some photographs taken on the day we stopped in at Port Vila on the Island of Efate in Vanuatu.

On arrival it was a little crazy!  We walked from the ship, through some markets and out the gates and were met by lots of taxi and bus drivers bombarding us, vying to get our business. For someone who has not travelled much I found it a bit scary and overwhelming.  Here’s a quick video I took, but this was after things had settled a bit.  Apparently before we arrived the drivers were so out of control the local police put a hose on them!

I wondered how on earth we would know which person was with our bus tour that we were booked on.  Luckily a lovely women named Violet arrived carrying a sign with our names on it and I felt instantly reassured that we were in the right place and with the right people.  Bonus was when we got on the bus and it was air-conditioned.  It sure was hot in Vanuatu!!

We had a great bunch of people on our bus and the tour was fantastic.  Our tour was with Manples Vanuatu Round Island Tours – run by JJ and his wife Violet.  They collect you from the ship and make sure you are back before the ship is due to sail.  In our case, we needed to be back before 4:30pm.  The tour takes you completely around the island and includes morning tea and lunch.  Where you stop might vary from tour to tour but I’ll share with you here where we stopped on our tour.

Blue Lagoon

First stop was at the Blue Lagoon and wow were there some exclamations of delight when we first saw it.  Just 30 minutes out of Port Villa, this is a piece of heaven!  The colour of the water that you see in the photo’s is for real!!  This stop included morning tea – beautiful fruits and nuts and dried banana and sweet potato.

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

Blue Lagoon, Efate, Vanuatu

blue lagoon, efate, vanuatu, lagoon

Phone Pic: Morning Tea at the Blue Lagoon. Our guide Violet on the left.

Orovy Beach Restaurant

Orovy Beach Restaurant is locally owned and located at north western corner of Emua Village, in the north of Efate Island. With magnificent  views of the offshore islands floating on the sparkling blue waters of Undine Bay, it’s an ideal spot for a lunch stop.

Orovy Beach, Restaurant, Vanuatu, Efate, Orovy Beach Restaurant

Orovy Beach, Restaurant, Vanuatu, Efate, Orovy Beach Restaurant

Orovy Beach, Restaurant, Vanuatu, Efate, Orovy Beach Restaurant

orovy beach, beach, restaurant, efate, vanuatu

Phone Pic: The outlook from where I was sitting at Orovy Beach Restaurant

orovy beach, beach, restaurant, efate, vanuatu, lunch, food

Phone Pic: Yummy lunch!

orovy beach, beach, restaurant, efate, vanuatu, lunch, food, fruit salad, fruit

Phone Pic: Delicious fruit salad for dessert

Havannah ‘Survivor’ Beach

We stopped at Havannah Beach for afternoon tea.  This spot is also known as ‘Survivor Beach’ because it is where the US film crew stayed when filming the ‘Survivor Vanuatu – Islands of Fire’ series (2004). Our guide explained that the actual ‘survivors’ were based on Moso Island directly out from the beach and conducted challenges on Lelepa Island just to your left when looking at Moso.
 
Efate, Vanuatu, Survivor Beach, Beach, Survivor
 
treehouse, survivor beach, havannah beach, beach, efate, vanuatu

Phone Pic: Beautiful treehouse at Survivor Beach (Havannah Beach)

treehouse, survivor beach, havannah beach, beach, efate, vanuatu

Phone Pic: The treehouse from further away. The kid in me so wanted to take my cuppa and biccy and climb up into that treehouse! I didn’t but in hindsight – I should have!

 
Tanna Coffee was our next stop.  I didn’t take any photo’s here.  It was a brief stop as time was running short and our final stop before heading back to the ship was to do some Duty Free shopping in Port Vila and everyone was keen to save our time for that.
 
As well as the places where we stopped, along the drive we saw a university, boarding school, villages, conference centre, supermarkets, and more.  I snapped some photo’s of these things with my phone through the windows of the bus, but this post is long enough now.  It’s important to mention though that there was a cyclone on this island in March 2015 – Tropical Cyclone Pam.  Around 11 people were killed in that cyclone with many more injured. The people are still rebuilding, with many still living in tents.
 
Look at the lovely welcome back to the ship we got!
 

Efate sure is a beautiful island but has a very, very hot climate.  A bit too hot for me!

Ciao for now,

Link up here at WOTM or with another of us in the Lovin’ Life Linky team:
Leanne of Deep Fried Fruit, Johanna of Lifestyle Fifty, Lyndall of Seize the Day Project,
Kathy of 50 Shades of Age, and Deb of Debbish
It doesn’t matter where you link up as it will magically appear on all six blogs.

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  • Deborah January 19, 2017 at 8:28 am

    All beautiful Min and some of those pics… the water looks so blue.

    I’ve not been to Vanuatu – several other Pacific Islands (Fiji, Solomons, Samoa) – but a friend used to visit for work and talked about how beautiful it was.

    • Min January 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks Deb! I was so late to start on this post that I was up until 1:30am last night putting this together! Not entirely happy with the editing of the photo’s but there wasn’t enough time and I was so tired last night. Glad I got it done though! Vanuatu is so beautiful but you need to take a tour to know and find the beautiful spots. The villages are so poor and basic but they have had a lot of support from various Governments – for example the USA paid for the ring road, the Japanese Govt has contributed significantly to several building projects and the Australian Govt helps out also, so positive stuff happening in Vanuatu!

  • Kathy Marris January 19, 2017 at 9:57 am

    I haven’t been to Vanuatu, but now your gorgeous photos have convinced me I should do so! It is a fairly cheap holiday from Australia. My son and his girlfriend had a holiday here in 2015 and they loved it. They snorkelled, went on a fishing charter and rode horses along the beach. It looked like a totally relaxing and beautiful place for a holiday. πŸ™‚

    • Min January 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

      It’s beautiful Kathy. So many other islands in Vanuatu I’d love to explore. The snorkeling is incredible and the water is so blue and clear – very idyllic! Didn’t get to see any western style resorts or anything but seeing the villages and how they live was more important to me since I was only there for the day. Great place for a holiday so long as you can keep cool. It’s incredibly hot and humid and would be much more so now in January and February etc. I’d probably live in the pool! lol

  • Nikki @ Wonderfully Women January 19, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    That lagoon! ❀❀

    • Min January 19, 2017 at 3:42 pm

      I know Nikki – it blew my mind! I have never seen something so incredibly beautiful in all my life. The colour of the water!!

  • Jo January 19, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Your beautiful photos have me yearning to book a holiday to Vanuatu. I know I should. If only to visit Blue Lagoon which looks so amazingly serene – and oh that colour:) My daughter visited last year and says it’s her favourite place on earth, so too does a girlfriend who’s been everywhere. Definitely time to go.

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:40 am

      Thank you Jo. Looking at the photo’s makes me want to go back too! The Blue Lagoon has to be seen to be believed. It’s just so insanely stunning! Vanuatu is certainly beautiful. I know you’d love it there. The heat was something I struggled with a bit though (but I am hopeless even in Brisbane heat)!

  • Janet Camilleri aka Middle Aged Mama January 19, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    I’ve been there twice, but haven’t been to any of the places you’ve mentioned! I think my favourite place there so far was when we visited the Cascades water falls – though I’m sorry we didn’t see the blue lagoon!

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:41 am

      I haven’t seen the Cascades waterfalls! I’ll have to keep that in mind if I go back. I’d have to go back to the Blue Lagoon again – it’s heaven on earth. So special! πŸ™‚

  • JODIE FILOGOMO January 20, 2017 at 12:16 am

    Ohhh, Min….what a wonderful experience!! That lagoon was breathtaking with it’s vibrant colors!!
    I do love the aspect of cruising around because you only have to unpack once yet can go to many places!!
    We are thinking of taking my mom (the 70’s model on my blog) for a cruise for her 80th birthday next year! Maybe we’ll look into this destination!
    jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:43 am

      I had to pinch myself when I was at the Blue Lagoon – in case I was dreaming! It just looked too good to be true – but it was true! I love that aspect of cruising too – only unpacking once and never having to cart that suitcase around again for the duration of the holiday. Being waited on and cooked for and entertained was good too! I’m sure your Mum would love a cruise for her birthday. By the way – she doesn’t look anywhere near old enough to be turning 80 next year!

  • Kat January 20, 2017 at 2:48 am

    That clear blue water and all of the fresh fruit! That looks absolutely incredible. Vanuatu is now on my bucket list thanks to this beautiful post, thank you!

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:45 am

      Thanks Kat! I hope you get to Vanuatu – it’s gorgeous there. All that fruit you see tasted better than any fruit I’d ever eaten before. Incredibly flavoursome, sweet and juicy – divine!

  • Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit January 20, 2017 at 4:46 am

    Wow. Stunning photos Min! Stunning.
    I’ve heard good things about Port Vila.
    #TeamLovinLife

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Thanks Leanne – definitely a tropical oasis over there! πŸ™‚

  • Carol Cameleon January 20, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Absolutely stunning! The lagoon looks amazing and that little restaurant does too. #LovinLifeLinky

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:47 am

      Thanks Carol! The lagoon is something everyone should experience I believe. The restaurant is the first one I’ve been too that has sand for flooring LOL It was a wonderful experience. πŸ™‚

  • Lyndall @ SeizeTheDayProject January 20, 2017 at 7:42 am

    Oh Min, the Blue Lagoon is magnificent! It just invites you to go and jump in πŸ™‚ I’d also love to climb up into the gorgeous tree house at Survivor Bay. Love all your pics πŸ™‚ #TeamLovinLife

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Lyndall! Glad I’m not the only one that feels drawn to climb up into that treehouse! lol The Lagoon just blew my mind. I’ll have to go back there one day – it’s such a special spot.

  • Di from Max The Unicorn January 20, 2017 at 8:21 am

    I really want to go to Vanuatu now, your photos are amazing and it looks so beautiful!

    • Min January 20, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Thanks Di! It is beautiful over there. Hot … but very beautiful. πŸ™‚

  • Vanessa January 20, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I am still so much in awe of that lagoon.

    • Min January 24, 2017 at 1:43 pm

      Me too! x

  • budget jan January 20, 2017 at 10:59 am

    It certainly does look very beautiful. Obviously you enjoyed your day. Do you think you would have liked to stay longer? Was there one particular area that you thought you might like to holiday in for a longer period?

    • Min January 24, 2017 at 1:45 pm

      I’d like to go back to Vanuatu for a holiday for sure! I think I’d need to see more of the islands before i could say where I’d like to stay though. I only saw of Efate what you see here in this post (plus a school and so on). I didn’t see any resorts or holiday accommodation. Mystery Island was purely for tourists – no accommodation at all!

  • Ruth January 20, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Well, you knew how to chose a cruise for your first experience! I would love to take a similar cruise. That blue lagoon is incredible. The color is surreal. I can imagine how you reacted when you saw it for the first time. #TPThursday

    • Min January 24, 2017 at 1:46 pm

      It was a great cruise for a first experience! Not too long. Not too short. Great locations to visit. πŸ™‚ x

  • Nancie January 24, 2017 at 10:17 pm

    I vaguely remember the Survivor season that was shot here. Your photos are lovely, and a tour seems to be the way to go when you’re stopping for a short time. Thanks for linking up this week. #TPThursday

    • Min January 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

      Hi Nancie – I have to admit that I don’t watch Survivor so have no memory of the season that was shot there! The tour was fabulous – a great way to see as much as possible in only one day. πŸ™‚