Vanuatu | Paradise 3 hours from Brisbane

It’s difficult to fathom that it’s just a little longer to get to Vanuatu than it is to get to Melbourne. Vanuatu is literally paradise, less than 3 hours from Brisbane, only 2hours 45mins direct flight time away.

We arrived at Port Villa and transferred to our island resort, Erakor, which was only 20minutes drive and a 4-minute ferry ride from the airport. It was an actual, legitimate paradise. With a lovely, genuine welcome and island tour we were excited to find our family loft villa nestled into the side of the island. It was just what we were hoping for and only a few metres from the turquoise waters full of fish and coral. Bliss, and the perfect place to chill out and celebrate my birthday.

One quickly realises that Vanuatu runs on island time. Breakfast takes an hour, going anywhere takes a while – but that’s okay, as you too soon settle into island time. There’s not much point in wearing a watch or running to a schedule. Just relax and go with it.

Speaking of which, we chilled at Erakor Island Resort the majority of the time because it was just so beautiful and relaxing. We were mainly in or around the water and failing that at the restaurant (on the water) or sipping champagne on our balcony (next to the water).

We went into town once for dinner (hello crayfish) at Au Fare / Pizza Hot on the waterfront (many of the locals told us Reefers Rum Bar was great too). For dinner, we caught the ferry (it goes 24/7 – you just flash a torch to be picked up), and took a short taxi ride into town. We chose a lovely restaurant on the water where we could select our own crayfish from a cage still immersed in the water. Talk about fresh! When we got out, people were everywhere. Turns out it was the Port Villa Christmas carols – I really wish we had made it to the event. There were people everywhere and yummy-smelling food, it would have been cool to have been a part of something local like that.

The only other time we left the resort was to go on a half-day tour around the main island. The tour was fantastic- we visited the blue lagoon, local waterfalls and the turtle sanctuary and could happily have spent a day at each of them! What really made the tour though was our driver, Marius who was full of information about Vanuatu and the local way of life. He even treated us to visit his favorite Kava bar, to see the kava being made and enjoy a drink with him. Hilariously, they don’t like the taste of the kava, they just drink it to get the buzz so they can go play PlayStation and wash it down with sweet lollies.

All in all, it was a wonderful trip. I feel so grateful that my friends could join and we could experience Vanuatu and the wonderful people there together. We all can’t wait to go back and are working out what we can do to contribute to making Vanuatu a better place. At the moment this looks like sponsoring a child to go to school. There’s no free schooling and 11% of kids can’t afford to go. Another idea is bringing over some clothes donating and school supplies on our next trip.

It is paradise (be careful to pick your hotel, I think we lucked out) and is so close to Brisbane. I’d like to explore the island of Santo on my next trip.

Erakor Island Resort – Fab Vanuatu Resort

We spent five days at Erakor Island Resort – a true Melanesian slice of paradise!

If you’re looking for a break not far from Brisbane (only 2 hours 45 min plane trip!) and are looking for something a little tropical and very relaxing, this resort will be perfect.

Once you arrive in Vanuatu from your destination, it’s a quick taxi ride (or the resort can arrange pickups for $15pp) of about 20minutes to the ferry. There you jump on a boat for approx 4 mins (runs 24hours) that takes you across the sparkling and crystal clear waters of the lagoon that Erakor Island occupies.

We arrived at Erakor Island Resort to the lovely warm welcome of Blanca and Henry. They had our delicious welcome drinks waiting for us and told us all about the resort (takes approx 20 mins to walk around the entire island) and then took us on a tour in the golf buggy.

Erakor has no vehicles (other than the buggy) and is easily walkable by foot. The rooms are all spread along the waterfront and have their own beachfront access (anyone can walk around the island but there were rarely people out in our ‘slice’ of paradise and usually just drifting by on a floaty or kayak if they were there). It holds the oldest pacific chapel (open air) in the middle of the island and you’ll find two bars, a restaurant, a playground and the water sports area.

We booked the family loft villa and it was perfect. Literally 2m away from the sparkling turquoise waters of the lagoon. One main room with the king bed, an entrance, a large bathroom and upstairs in the loft, two single beds. My tip is to stay upstairs, it’s lovely and cool with all the windows. We spent most of our time on our balcony, staring out into the lagoon and swimming on whim.

I was really impressed that there were fans, aircon and airflow through the whole loft. It was beautiful and cool inside every day even though it was hot outside. Just as I like it.

Another hot tip – we bought some duty-free alcohol which we were able to enjoy on the balcony. We would have cocktails with our meals at the restaurant (even pina colada’s at breakfast) and join in for happy hour with live music and then purchase ice, lime, soda water etc to take back to our room and enjoy.

The lagoon is just breathtaking. If relaxing waterside on holiday is a good time for you, this place is perfect. The lagoon is full of coral (hence why you’ll want reef shoes) and there are starfish everywhere! All different colours – you can pick them up too. There are some little fish and sea cucumbers throughout the lagoon. Oh and hermit crabs everywhere! Usually quite small but some big ones too. There’s no current, it’s fairly shallow most of the time but more than enough to swim and float in.

Any non-motorised activities are free, the activity hut is full of reef shoes, snorkels, flippers, floaty rings etc.

It isn’t a super-luxe resort, it’s a beautiful, relaxed island resort. I highly recommend a trip for families and groups of friends, we loved it and will most definitely be back.

*Had to borrow images of the accom from their website as I forgot to take any!


Brisbane-based lifestyle and travel blog image featuring mountain and sea scenery

Want new blogs to your inbox?

Yeah you do!

Add your email to receive new blogs to your inbox. We promise not to spam.

You have Successfully Subscribed!