The 82 lush islands of Vanuatu are the South Pacific's youngest nation. Born out of the Anglo-French New Hebrides Condominium, the Repablik Blong Vanuatu received worldwide attention in 1980 during its painful emergence into nationhood.
The main celebrations marking Independence Day each year are held in the capital, Port Vila, on the island of Efate. A cosmopolitan and attractive town, with yachts moored on the waterfront, Port Vila was the first European settlement on the islands, established in the 1870s. Port Vila's most fascinating landmark is the Cultural Centre, which contains one of the most complete artefact collections in the South Pacific.
On Independence Day, military parades march through Independence Park and canoes crowd the harbour. Street stalls sell local cuisine, which draws its influences from Melanesian, British, French and Chinese cultures, accompanied by kava. Be warned though that Vanuatu kava is the strongest in the world - it's narcotic rather than alcoholic. Don't leave without sampling the fresh local seafood, including cocnut crab, mangrove oysters and freshwater prawns, or a laplap (stuffed yam roll). To make laplap, the national dish of Vanuatu, root vegetables such as yams and taro are pounded in a wooden bowl, grated and kneaded to a paste, to which coconut cream and aromatic leaves are added. Pork or seafood is added then the mixture is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over hot stones in an earthen oven. There are also colourful performances of custom (traditional) dancing and string band music, celebrating the diversity of the country's many traditional Melanesian tribal cultures.
To organise travel to the event, contact a Flight Centre Travel Expert on 133 133 for assistance or use the form below.
Sorry, we can't find any online %1 holiday deals at the moment but one of our helpful Travel Experts can help you find what you're after! Send us an online enquiry, call us on 133 133.