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First trip to Vanuatu

Melbourne, Australia
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188 posts
34 reviews
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First trip to Vanuatu

Hi All,

Hope I can get some help on our first trip!

I have checked the customs site and are a bit confused about what is legal in the way of food to take over. We would like to take fully packaged muesli bars over for a handy snack while traveling around, any thoughts? We would have it in our main luggage, not cabin.

We are on the 2am arrival flight and I'm finding fairly conflicting advice (T/A) on where to stay in Port Vila before we are taken to our resort accom the next day. Anyone got some tips on where to sleep for a couple of hours, a motel/apartment, close to the airport?

I've seen 'Goodies' is the place to exchange money, is it easy to find or should we just use the airport/bank?

Lastly should we take duty free alcohol over from Melbourne or would the duty free shop at the airport be open that time of the morning?

Also I see it's a good idea to avoid town on the cruise arrival days. Do I need to look through all the cruises (in their entirety) listed to see exactly what day they would be in Port Vila or is there any easier way?

Will take over some school/sport supplies, just like our trip to Samoa. It's a great idea!

Thanks for any help!!!!

Melbourne
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389 posts
130 reviews
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1. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

No need to take anything a supermarket called BON MARCHE has all the things you need they have a few but the big one is a few minutes from the centre of town it is as good as any Coles or Woollies you will go into in fact the bakery area is better.

The locals will tell you when to keep away from the town centre when the ships are in as the prices go up But if you show you are staying in Town it can make a difference it did for us.Buy your alcohol at the Airport at vila much cheaper. school supplies great pens and pencils are needed. Which resort are you staying at as most will arrange early morning check in as the flight arrival times . If you are near to town two things a must have Lunch at Chill it is above the Main Market very modern with local seafood then a coffee in the middle of town on the water side they use the local coffee TANA you can also go out to the Factory /shed to see to roasting taking place.

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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2,422 posts
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2. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

Hi, I agree with obanacas… no need to bring in food as you can get this type of thing at Au Bon Marche at Numbatu (No2) PLUS other snack food from asia and europe. Also have a look at Leader Price which is a bit like Aldi.

I would contact your accommodation re early check in but if they will charge a full day just ask the bus driver to take you to Emilys Cafe/Sportsmens Hotel. They are open 24/7 for food & drinks and also have rooms with shared facilities from about $35/night or you can lash out and get one with private ensuite.

When you arrive and are waiting for your bags to come off the carousel change some AUD to vatu at the desk there to last you til you get into town to Goodies. There are 3 Goodies in town and a bus driver will drop you off at one…just ask.

Get your duty free grog at the counter next to baggage carousel too..however they only stock the common brands nothing fancy! But it is cheaper than buying it in Australia. You can buy your duty free to bring home at Fung Kwei or similar and they will have it ready for you to collect in the departure lounge as you leave.

I don't think town is THAT bad on cruise ship days. Just be aware that some places will have a menu in AUD which can be more expensive than the normal menu and that market sellers may assume you are from the ship and assume payment in AUD (which will be more than if you pay in vatu). If you pay for everything in vatu you will be fine. Also a lot of cruise ship people head off on tours around the island etc so maybe do this type of trip when theres no ship.

Great you can bring some goods to donate. Try to donate them out of town as there is more need the further away you get…however they all appreciate the help.

have fun!

Melbourne, Australia
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188 posts
34 reviews
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3. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

Thankyou both for all the information. Very handy.

We are hoping to stay at Eratap (still waiting on confirmation) but they charge you your first night in full even though you arrive at 2am. Can see why when they have to keep the villa empty for us but we think it would be better to stay in town then travel out the next day. Therefore we should be able to do a bit of shopping before getting to the resort. Emily's sounds perfect.

Thanks for all the shopping/exchange info too. We also like a good coffee,any idea on the name of the coffee shop, or is it pretty easy to find?

Would a bus be around at 2/3am? Or even a taxi?

Love T/A to help with our holiday.

Melbourne
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389 posts
130 reviews
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4. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

The coffee shop is almost in the centre of town with the outside area covered by the roof of uptstairs its on the same side as the service station/carwash. You will see lots of locals rather than tourists I will try for the name will advise as it was a place we found and just kept going back.

Australia
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for Port Vila, Vanuatu
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154 reviews
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5. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

There will be buses and taxis to meet all flights and everything at the airport opens to meet flights too.

There is a board as you come out of the arrivals area on the left which has set taxi fares to various accommodation or if there is a mini bus just jump in that.

As far as coffee goes, Tanna Coffee green beans are processed just outside Port Vila..they also have a basic cafe there and it smells great! You can ask them to show you around the process and watch them roast beans. You can buy beans to bring home too. In town go to Au Peche Mignon (french cafe, opposite side of road to fruit markets)....just ask a bus driver to take you there from outside Emilys….150vt pp bus fare. They do nice coffee. So does La Tentation on the waterfront or Numbawan Cafe…there are lots of good places for a coffee!

6. Re: First trip to Vanuatu

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