3rd November 2015
On the surface, Vanuatu is a relaxing island paradise perfect for romantic and family holidays. Its ancient culture, pristine beaches, fantastic holiday resorts and lush mountainous terrain make it a truly majestic tropical island to explore and enjoy. However just beneath the surface of its crystal clear waters lies a rich underwater ecosystem which offers an otherworldly experience for snorkelers and divers.
Vanuatu diving boasts some of the most sought after dive sites in the world, from wreck dives to reef dives, soft corals to caves and walls and grottos. Whether you're a novice or an experienced diver, there are a great range of dive options to suit all skill levels, many of which are conveniently located within half an hour of Port Vila. Located off Espiritu Santo, The President Coolidge is one of the world's most famous dive sites, however it is only recommended for experienced divers and requires several days to explore.
However some of the more popular Vanuatu dive sites accessible for all skill levels include the colourful coral and fish of 6-15m deep Fila Island Reef and the sheer wall and two bombora formations of the 10-18m deep to drop off of Twin Bombies. Fore something a bit different, the Lacksands Reef and Caves offer a series of swim-through tunnels and interlocking caves home to a variety of fish and rays.
For budding underwater photographers, Ollies Lolly near Hideaway Island is ideal, offering heaps of big and small fish as well as a variety of hard and soft corals at a depth of 9m. If you're looking for lots of options, Mele Reef offers an extensive range of dives rising up from the centre of Mele Bay. 6m from the surface you'll find everything from shallow reefs to vertical walls.
Wreck dives include the Konanda, an island trader damaged in a cyclone in 1987 and then sunk; the Star of Russia, a grand sailing ship resting at the bottom of Port Vila Harbour; the Semle Federsen, a cargo-carrying trading vessel and the Tasman, a wreck dive with a difference - a Qantas S26 Sandringham, a bulky plane with a wingspan in excess of 30m.