Arriving at Port Vila Airport.
When you leave the customs hall at Port Vila you walk through a corridor which has a number of Car Rental desks and a lot of the Resort Accommodation desks on the left hand side as you walk out of the airport. If you are picking up your car from Hertz Car rentals,or one of the other vehilce rental companies, they will meet you as you come out of the hall. They will show you to your car in the airport carpark.
Firstly, when you get into your car, don’t forget that you are travelling on the wrong side of the road. A good safety tip is to remember to keep yourself (the driver) in the centre of the road.
The First instructions below are to get you to Bon Marche Supermarket and the Port Vila market so you can pick up food and refreshments.
To get to Bon Marchè (supermarket).
On leaving the airport drive on the main road until you get to a large round-about. Travel around taking the second sealed exit. Follow this road passing a large timber yard on your right, now you pass through some shops with ‘Vanuatu Agricultural Supplies’ on your left.
Soon after this you will come to a fork in the road, keep right along the water front. Follow the road along the waters edge into the main street of town; follow the road through the township. You will see the local market place on the right hand side (stop here and get your fresh fruit and vegetables).
Turn right out of the ‘Market’ car park and head up the hill. When you get to another round about Bon Marchè is on your right. Bon Marchè takes visa.
- You will have plenty of room in the fridge for cold items; the climate means you need quite a lot to drink….’sand dollar’ water is drinkable from the tap, although heavy with calcium.
- Although we do provide some basic provisions it is a good idea to take some items such as toilet paper, dish-washing liquid, salt, pepper; ‘just in case’.
- We have a freezer large enough to store several days supply of organic meat. If wine is your thing there is plenty to choose from here, French, Australian and New Zealand wines…the bread is sensational too.
- If you need to withdraw cash there is an ATM machine situated outside the main entrance of Bon Marche.
A large selection of Deli items is available, along with organic meats and yummy French breads.
Now it’s time to head out to ‘Sand Dollar’.
Go back the way you came, (when you get to town the road splits into a one way system, you have to keep right just past the local market; travel appox 20 meters then keep left and travel this one way road until the end and turn left…now move across the road to the right hand lane and turn right at the end. Continue the same way you came and when you get to the big round-about to the left. Keep an eye out for a company called Vanuatu Treasures on your right about a 200m past the round about; (just to check you are on the right road). Travel down this road taking care not to knock over any of the locals on the way!
As you make your way you will notice the golf club on your left and right. Keep going past the sign to Hideaway Island on your left; situated on a sharp right hand bend in the road. Now you will pass through the biggest village on the island; Mele village: Take care here, (lots of children and dogs). You will travel over a bridge now where the locals bathe; look to your left and you will see a cemetery.
Slow down now as you are approaching a fork in the road.
Turn off the main road to your left…black sand beach on your left. This road is very bumpy and you will travel on it for about 11kms.
Continue along this road and after about a 10 minute drive you will see a sign on your left for Benjor Beach Club, it is worth considering for a meal out one night. Keep driving through this area called Bukura, you will find houses spread out along the left hand side of the road. A large expat population lives here.
Further along you will see Unelco’s power generating wind turbines ( windmills) up on the hill to your right. You are now in the countryside… keep going for another couple of k’s until you get to a rather grand looking property on your right.
Arriving at Pangona Estate, Tuk-tuk Bay.
Drive on until you come to a coral wall with a large cream gate. If the gate is not open, you will be have given instructions by us on how to get into Pangona Estate. Once through, travel along this road for another 3 k’s…you will notice a huge Banyon tree on the side of the road on your right. You will see a property with a long fence on the left followed by another with a timber gate. We are the next property along.
By Greg Watt avid traveller and author of travel websites and blogs. You can keep up to date, share, and add to Vanuatu travel insights at Vanuatu Traveller's Facebook Page. You can also catch up on travel around the world through his posts at www.traveller-info.com , and contribute yourself to global travel discussions at Traveller-Info's Facebook Page. If you would like to check out what Greg is up to, have a look at his Google+ or Linkedin Pages.