Adventure - - Gear Guide -

and hap­pi­ness of the ni-Van­u­atu peo­ple will leave an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion on even the most sea­soned trav­eller.’ Rob, Marc and the team are the ex­perts at putting to­gether spe­cial itin­er­ar­ies for those want­ing to get to the outer is­lands, and Rob em­pha­sises that Van­u­atu is a great choice for groups such as tramp­ing clubs, as costs are shared and th­ese other-worldly ad­ven­tures can be had with­out hav­ing to pay an arm and a leg. ‘Sleep­ing in vil­lage bun­ga­lows is an­other good op­tion for the dol­lar-con­scious,’ says Rob. ‘They are com­fort­able enough with home cooked meals straight from the gar­den or the sea, and I think that Ki­wis are used to rough­ing it a bit given our own cul­ture of hol­i­day­ing in home­built baches and sleep­ing in tramp­ing huts.’ One tour that Van­u­atu Eco­tours of­fers is a 3-day ad­ven­ture on the pris­tine trop­i­cal is­lands of Nguna and Pele. ‘There is a long-stand­ing ma­rine con­ser­va­tion area around the is­lands and the start of the tour is a half day trek to an ex­tinct vol­cano and some great snorkellin­g in that con­ser­va­tion area. There is a cute lit­tle beach­side bun­ga­low that we stay at and the next day we trans­fer to Pele for a trek around the is­land; think white sands and turquoise la­goon on one side and rocky cliffs and iso­lated coves on the other,’ says Rob. ‘There are other walks we can do for those want­ing more or less, or if con­di­tions aren’t right. But all up, it’s a favourite be­cause there is so much jammed into those two small is­lands and they are only a short boat ride away from the main is­land of Efate.’ Rob also had six years in Pa­pua New Guinea where, again, he ran an ad­ven­ture tour busi­ness. ‘PNG of­fers its fair share of ad­ven­ture – though not al­ways the sort of ad­ven­ture you want!’ smiles Rob. ‘But Van­u­atu is not only safe and free from dan­ger­ous snakes and the like, but it’s just three hours from Auck­land. To me, it’s a nat­u­ral fit for Ki­wis es­pe­cially given our love of the out­doors and our sense of ad­ven­ture.’ Cur­rently Van­u­atu is not a hot-spot for trav­ellers from New Zealand, and the num­ber of Kiwi vis­i­tors has been over­taken by long­haul and Euro­pean trav­ellers who have al­ready dis­cov­ered what Van­u­atu has to of­fer. ‘My ad­vice to Ki­wis is brush off your tramp­ing boots or walk­ing shoes, leave the ther­mals at home, and come and taste a dif­fer­ent kind of South Pa­cific ex­pe­ri­ence,’ con­cludes Rob.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.