7th June 2017
Ever wanted to send a letter from a couple of the oddest post boxes in the world? Or sample exotic cuisine such as flying fox? Perhaps you just want to spend some time relaxing in an island paradise? Whatever your reason for visiting, the good folk of Vanuatu are ready to welcome you. From impromptu bands at Bauerfield airport and local village markets to friendly ‘warriors’ blowing conch shell greetings, the Vanuatu locals are waiting for you.
In fact, thanks to the decision by Qantas to resume code-sharing flights to Vanuatu from Sydney with Air Vanuatu, the locals are expecting to host many more visitors. A previous code-share agreement was suspended in January 2016 due to safety concerns over the condition of the runway at Bauerfield airport. However, with the World Bank agreeing to loan Vanuatu the majority of the cost of the runway upgrade, Qantas is confident in resuming code-share flights.
This is good news for Vanuatu, as tourism accounts for roughly 20 per cent of the country’s economy. Among the popular attractions of the South Pacific nation are two unusual post offices located in Port Vila and on the island of Tanna.
Opened in 2003, an underwater mail depository sits in a marine park just off the shores of Port Vila, surrounded by stunning coral beds. The small, fibreglass post office is full of thousands of colourful fish and a postmaster collects special waterproof postcards for mailing.
Another equally unusual post office was established shortly after in 2005 on the slopes of the Mt Yasur volcano on Tanna Island. The most accessible, active cone-volcano in the world, Yasur erupts 10 to 20 times per hour. The post office is portable, allowing the postmaster to account for these eruptions on any one day. Commemorative post cards are on offer complete with burned looking edges for authenticity.