Vanuatu has no shortage of stunning sun-kissed beaches. The South Pacific island nation is renowned for its soft, white-sand beaches, which are often lined with coconut trees and back on to amazing turquoise waters. In 2018, some 350,000 international tourists flocked to Vanuatu, which has experienced significant visitor growth over the past two decades. And the nation’s beaches are a key drawcard, along with friendly locals and a relaxed island culture which is sure to quickly put tourists in holiday mode. Vanuatu ranks as the fourth-happiest country in the world – and you can see why when you visit.
Things to do at Vanuatu Beaches
You can enjoy the usual beach activities in Vanuatu – swimming and sunbaking. Most of the nation’s beaches provide a great spot for a dip and have lovely soft sand on which to place down a towel and have a peaceful rest in the sun. However, for those who are a little more adventurous, Vanuatu offers some amazing snorkelling and diving opportunities. Its waters are generally calm and clear and the area features many coral reefs which are easily accessible.
There are even some great shipwreck dives on offer, including the SS President Coolidge and Million Dollar Point at Espiritu Santo, as well as the Star of Russia at Port Vila. Best of all, the waters of Vanuatu are warm. Ocean water temperatures range between 22 and 28 degrees Celsius (71 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit) throughout the year.
Best Vanuatu Beaches
Located on the north-east coast of Vanuatu’s largest island – Espirtu Santo – this is Vanuatu’s most famous beach and one of the best beaches in the South Pacific. Palm trees and other green foliage back onto a fine white-sand beach which has crystal clear blue water. Visitors describe it as “mother nature at her best” and a “Champagne experience all the way”. The clear and relatively calm waters are ideal for snorkelling, with a small reef that hugs the coast being easily accessible. Plenty of colourful coral and fish can often be found.
Port Olry Beach
Just 10 minutes’ drive north of Champagne Beach on the island of Espirtu Santo, this beach is similar but larger than its more famous sibling. It too has pristine calm blue waters which are a sight to behold on a sunny day. Tourists describe it as “absolute magic” with “some incredible water colour”.
It is a great spot for a swim, or to just sit back and enjoy a drink or a bite to eat at the beachside restaurant and bar.
A tiny uninhabited island located in the south of Vanuatu, Mystery Island is a popular destination for cruise ships to visit. Also known as Inyeug, the small island features some stunning white-sand beaches lined with coconut trees and is surrounded by bright blue waters and reef. Residents from the neighbouring island Aneityum venture across to welcome guests on days that cruise ships visit.
The island is set in a protected marine reserve where plenty of fish, turtles and rays can be found by those who head out for a snorkel.
Located on the tiny Bokissa Island just off the southern coast of Espirtu Santo is this picture-perfect beauty of a beach. Just a 30 minute fast boat ride over from the town of Luganville, this private island resort features 16 beachfront bungalows and 175 acres of amazing beaches and rainforests.
As you’d expect, the main beach on the island is idyllic, the water is clear and snorkelling opportunities in the reef around the island are top-notch. You can also take a short boat ride to some world-class dive spots, including reefs and ship wrecks.
Conveniently located just a short drive out of the Vanuatu capital of Port Vila on Efate Island, this lovely beach is the place to go for keen surfers. But it’s also worth a visit even for those who aren’t into riding big waves. Located in a little bay and lined with palm trees, the area also had some nice resorts including the luxury adults-only property Breakas Beach Resort.
The tiny Hideaway Island is a private resort island just off the coast of Efate Island near the capital of Port Vila. The beach on the island is described as “like a dream” and an “unspoiled island paradise”.
And what lies under the blue water that laps up the beach is even more amazing. The island is located within a protected marine sanctuary, with a deep blue lagoon providing an ideal spot to enjoy some snorkelling, scuba diving or other water sports. You can find some great coral reefs and thousands of tropical fish. This is also where the world’s only ‘Underwater Post Office’ is located – a post box that you can swim down to and post a letter. Day trips are available to the island for those not staying at the resort.
Located on the east coast of Efate Island is this little gem. The beach is sheltered by a reef, making its waters calm and full of colourful marine life below the surface. The beach itself has lovely, soft white sand and the waters are shallow which make it an ideal place to take the kids for a dip.
Black Sand Beaches
If you are looking for a beach that is a bit different on your trip to Vanuatu, try visiting a black sand beauty. Tanna Island is one of the more interesting places to take a swim in Vanuatu, given its black sand beaches which have been formed by Mount Yasur, a volcano that rises 361 metres above the island. Louniel Beach on the north-east coast of the island and Iwaru Beach to the south are among the best black sand beaches to check out and also offer some great surfing for those who want to bring their surfboard.
A pristine spot on the island of Guau – one of Vanuatu’s outer islands – this beach offers great snorkelling and swimming on the north coast of the island. Off the beaten track, it is one of Vanuatu’s best kept secrets and lies at the end of the three-day Lake Letas, Mount Garet and Siri Waterfall hike.
Vanuatu Beach Weather
Vanuatu enjoys a warm sub-tropical climate which means its beaches can be enjoyed year-round.
Average temperatures throughout the year range from 25 to 28 degrees Celsius (77 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit). The warmest months are December to April, with the coldest months coming from May to November. However, the warmest months are also some of the wettest. On average, between 19 and 23 days of rain are observed per month between January and May each year.
Getting to Vanuatu
Vanuatu is easily accessible from Australia, which makes it a popular overseas holiday destination.
All flights from Australia to Vanuatu land at the main international airport of Bauerfield in Port Vila.
Direct flights are available from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The approximate non-stop flight times to Port Vila are 4 hours from Melbourne, 3.5 hours from Sydney and 3 hours from Brisbane.
Located in the South Pacific, Vanuatu is a nation made up of 83 islands. First inhabited by Melanesian people, parts of the nation were claimed by France and the United Kingdom before an independence movement saw the Republic of Vanuatu formed in 1980. The capital of Port Vila is located on the Island of Efate and the official currency is Vatu. In 2020, Vanuatu had a population of 307,150 people across all its islands.