Vanuatu is well known for its wonderful diving, so we took along some of our masks, snorkels, fins and regs on our recent holiday.
Santo is well known for its million dollar point – where the US Army pushed a large number of tanks and planes and sunk ships after the end of WWII. We didn’t get the opportunity to get to Santo this time, however we did a great couple of dives in Port Vila Harbour.
The first trip we did was with Nautilus Dive. Their shop is just up the main road near the main anchorage. They have a huge selection of dive sites all within 40 minutes boat ride on their well set up – barge like boat, and all located within the protected side of Port Vila Harbour.
Our first dive was on the Konanda Wreck. This boat was damaged in a storm back in the 1990’s and it was then intentionally sunk as a recreational dive wreck. It was great fun swimming around and through the wreck, with lots of fish and great visibility and then over to a nearby reef which had some lovely coloured coral and fish.
Our second dive for the day was on another nice reef with a cool swim through.
The water was about 24 degrees C and visibility was incredible – at least 20 – 30 metres. Nautilus dive is a great company to go with. There were plenty of staff on board, we got a great briefing and the boat had a toilet and was easy to get on and off. They also had two bars which they dropped over the side – one at 5m and the other at 3m which you could hold on to when you were doing your decompression stops. I would highly recommend this company.
We also did a dive on Hideaway Island – which is a little resort Island within Port Vila Harbour. You can do day trips out here and the snorkelling from the beach is fantastic. They have a good dive shop and lots of different dive spots on the reef surrounding the Island. We did a nice dive out the front of the Island and swam back to shore. We were speaking to another couple from Australia who were staying on the Island and they had done quite a few dives over the week and were pretty happy with what they had done, however I was a little disappointed with the number of fish and colour of the coral that we saw on that dive.
We also visited a cool looking eco resort called Tranquility – which is based on an island out from Havana Harbour – about 40 minutes drive from Port Vila and then a boat ride from there. They said that they had some great dive spots including turtles and also a resident dugong. It looked like a cool place, so we will have to check that out next time we visit too.
Further around the Island, there is a flying boat plane which you can do snorkelling trips on from the WWII museum. We didn’t get time to do this, but heard through other people that it is quite a fun thing to do.
So if you are a diver heading to Vanuatu, there are plenty of options! We can’t wait to get back!