Getting around Vanuatu

Airport Transfers - Port Vila

Simply contact us to organise your airport transfer. Air-conditioned buses that will take you to local markets and supermarkets before dropping you safely to your holiday home. Ensure the perfect start for your holiday, especially if you are arriving late at night or are travelling with a large party or small children. If you arrive after 7pm in the evening, you may miss the supermarkets too. Please email us to organise a breakfast or dinner hamper to be waiting for you - so much easier!

Drivers speak English, are reliable, and friendly.


Local Transportation

Getting around Port Vila is very easy, and sometimes an adventure! You can catch a ‘bus’ - which we call minivans or people movers at home - for 150 vatu per adult and 100 per child up to around the age of 12. Small children up to age 4 ride free. There is no set bus route. You simply stand on the side of the road and flag a bus down. The driver will take you, and any other passengers he collects, on a route of his choice. You may get a free tour of the back streets of Port Vila! But don’t worry, you will eventually get to your destination.

You can also arrange to hire a driver and bus for a half or full day. Rates are negotiable, starting from around 4000 vatu for a half day. This can be an excellent and cost effective way to see the island, especially if you want to freedom to stop and start at your own discretion.

If you want a more direct route around town, you can catch a taxi. Rates start from 500 vatu per trip for one person. Taxi fares are one of the few things that can be negotiated in Vanuatu, so don’t hesitate to ask if there is a better price!

Getting around Luganville is also easy. You can catch a bus from 100 vatu and you will generally be taken where you want to go straight away. Longer trips can be negotiated with your driver.

On Tanna, there are just a handful of buses. The roads are really only 4WD and your tour operator will have a transfer vehicle for you. If you are staying on Tanna for a night or two, the hotel or bungalow operator will care for your transportation needs. Alternatively, there are some Public Transport (PT) vehicles, but they can be hard to track down. Best to ask your tour operator to take care of it for you. For more information on Tanna, please see our Outer Islands page.

For easy to download PDF maps of Vanuatu, please click here.

Island Hopping

Getting from island to island is easy. Air Vanuatu has daily services between Efate, Santo and Tanna, with twice weekly services to some of the other main islands such as Pentecost, Ambyrm, Malekula, and Anatom. The schedules do vary, so best to check their website. Air Vanuatu has (most of the time) an arrangement with Qantas, so you can also earn and use Frequent Flyer points. For more information on Vanuatu beyond Port Vila and Luganville, please see out Outer Islands page.

If island hopping via air, pack light. A 10kg luggage limit and 4 kg carry on bag that will be weighed is essential as space and weight are limited, lots of cargo is taken on every flight. But you may only need your camera and sense of adventure, so packing light is easy! 

If you have the time and a real sense of adventure, you can also island hop on a Vanuatu Ferry. Best to look them up on their Facebook page for up to date schedules and contact information. They have an office in Port Vila too, between town and the Numbatu area if you want to talk with someone face to face while in Port Vila.

You can also book an air taxi or scheduled flight with Unity Airlines, a flight to Tanna with Air Safari or use the local carrier Belair Airways to get to a range of islands around the country. I have flown with Belair and it was a fantastic experience, I would happily do it again. It was a great (and quick!) way to get from island to island and not as expensive as the national carrier can be.

Independent Cruising

Sailing in the South Pacific on your own yacht is the ultimate way to take a month, year or decade to explore this untouched paradise.

The outer islands truly are untouched gems waiting to be explored. You literally could be the first person to ever set foot on some of the uninhabited islands of this island chain. Experience this for yourself only in Vanuatu, the jewel of the South Pacific.


Hire Vehicles and Driver’s Licences

Hiring a vehicle while visiting the Port Vila area is an excellent idea. Outside Port Vila there are just so many things to see, do, and experience, that having the freedom to explore the island at your own pace is ideal.

There are several hire companies operating in Port Vila. They all have much the same range of vehicles and prices, but seasonal specials mean that you can sometimes pick up a bargain. If you are staying for a couple of weeks, try and negotiate a better rate. Most companies have depot’s in town and the option of collecting your vehicle from the airport.

While not essential, a 4WD hire vehicle will ensure that if it has rained a little, you will be able to pass through any flooded creeks (even in Vila) with ease. The usual restrictions about not driving on dirt roads don’t apply here. Lots of roads are dirt or coral. The ring road that circumnavigates the island is sealed though, but has a few rough patches since TC Pam and TC Cook.

Thanks to the US Navy being posted here in WW2, you will drive on the RHS while in Vanuatu. This just adds to the sense of adventure. Your overseas licence will be fine, no need for an international one. Excesses tend to be expensive, so you may want to double check your travel insurance to see if you have an option to cover your excess should you have an accident.

You can even rent mini-mokes, mini-cars, scooters, and quad bikes!

World Car Rentals (Cars and Mokes)
BNFree Island Cars (Cool Island Mini Cars)
Blue Bee Rent A Car
Europcar
Avis
Budget
Hertz



You can also phone a local company (no website) called Coral Car Rentals for great rates, their number is +(678) 774 3465. 

If you are venturing to the outer islands, your accommodation will always organise your transport for you as there are sometimes no hire vehicles. For more information please see our Outer Islands page.