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Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Picton NSW
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Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi

We are going to be two of those " Cruise People" stopping at Champagne Bay for the day. Are there towns/villages close by that we can go to & if so how do we get there. I know the beaches are lovely but we would like to have a look around the island.

Thanks Scoobie

Brisbane, Australia
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for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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1. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi Scoobie,

Champagne beach is in the quiet north east region. The closest settlement is Lonnoc Beach just to the north. Further north again is port Olry where there is a small village beside the sea.

The township of Luganville is a bit of a drive away but you may find there will be drivers on the lookout for passengers. Luganville is a small frontier town with a few shops banks and cafes.

If you go with a driver he will likely take you to a couple of spots, like one of the blue holes, enroute.

Hope this helps,

Jen

Picton NSW
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2. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi Jen

I've looked at P & O's costing for tours to one of the blue holes & it's about $49 AUS pp, any idea what a driver would charge us for a half day tour & is that enough time to go to Luganville & a blue hole. If we want to do a bit of shopping i.e. gifts where would be the better place Luganville, Port Olry or Lonnoc Beach or they pretty much the same as Port Villa.

Scoobie

Brisbane, Australia
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for Vanuatu, Port Vila, Espiritu Santo
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3. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi Scoobie,

There is very little shopping available in Luganville. There is virtually none in Lonnoc Beach or Port Olry. You can have a nice lunch there though.

In Luganville there is a small craft market where you can purchase carved timber items and beads but really Vila is the only place with Duty Free shops and extensive market areas.

A half day would probably get you to Luganville and a blue hole. My guess it would cost about the $40 mark as transport costs in Santo are usually higher than Efate. But you can be sure that P&O would have a decent mark-up so whatever they are charging can probably be had for well less if you are prepared to wing it.

Hope this helps,

Jen

Picton NSW
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4. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi Jen

I guess we will shop in Vila then

If we hired a driver for the 1/2 day where would you suggest we go for sight seeing?

Scoobie

Picton NSW
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5. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi Jen

I forgot to ask about exchange rates, I would guess the rates onboard wouldn't be great so do you know if it would be better to exchange money before we leave or do it at Vila?

Scoobie

Moreton Island...
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6. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Exchange to Vatu at Goodies in PV. Be much easier if you are only stopping at Champagne Beach and want a driver from there.

The locals set up markets at the beach for the cruise ship day. Sell similiar stuff to PV but more expensive.

Nothing much in Luganville to buy as Jen mentioned. Port Olry is a village by the sea, I couldn't even find a shop when I visited. Lonnoc Beach Bungalows restaurant had a few gifts for sale on a table when we stopped.

If I was stopping at Champagne beach and if you can find a driver go south to the blue holes, worth seeing IMO. We were in Santo for over a week, so we had plenty of time to organise a driver, however I have no idea if there are drivers at Champagne Beach when cruise ships stop there.

Hope someone else will be able to give you that information.

Picton NSW
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7. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Hi lifetraveller

We stop at PV, Champagne Bay & a few other islands that we can swim at so we wanted to do a bit of sight seeing & thought Champagne BAy might be good for that. Is Goodies at PV a store & do they have better exchange rates then a bank?

Scoobie

Adelaide
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8. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Vanuatu, and certainly Santo, is not a big shopping destination. There is so much more to do than to waste time going from one knock-off chinese store to another looking for imported 'souvenirs'.

If you do really want to visit Luganville, the only things I would bother looking for is locally grown coffee, vanilla beans, pepper etc. at the LCM supermarket. There is a small market, some cafes, a lovely french restaurant and various junk shops.

There are no shops as such at Port Olry or Lonnoc, only a couple of little local stores which have a food few basics (which may or may not be out of date :) ) but with the most amazingly beautiful beaches. If you are only at Champagne for a day, I would spend time there just relaxing, swimming and snorkeling. Then hire a driver for a short trip to one of the blue holes and into Luganville or up to Port Olry. Unless you are very keen on visiting town, I'd stick with Port Olry, maybe head there for lunch at the Little Paradise restaurant right on the beach.

Definitely exchange AUD at your stop in Port Vila, Goodies being the best. There are a few of them scattered around the main street, anyone can tell you where to find one. Check out the exchange rate at www.goodieforex.com - sure to be way better than on board.

And scoobierae, don't worry about being one of 'those' cruise people. The very fact you're asking questions and are interested in finding out more about your destinations means you aren't :) You will love Vanuatu.

Cheers, Barbara

Picton NSW
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9. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

Thanks Barbara

Do you know if there are drivers at Mystery Island when the cruise ships come in, we would love to go to one of the Blue holes but I'm a bit worried that if we don't book with the cruise company & take our chance on getting a driver on the island we may out smart ourselves & miss out all together.

Scoobie

Adelaide
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10. Re: Champagne Bay............Things to do in 1 day

I don't know much about Mystery Island, but there are some great pics from a friend of mine at https:/…5759987953601044241 . It is a tiny uninhabited island off Aneityum Island, south of Tanna, and I'd be surprised if there were even any roads. There is a short report on it here - tripadvisor.com.au/…45820040 . Maybe private message the contributor who put up the report to ask any questions.

I don't know if you have Mystery Island mixed up with Santo, asking about Blue Holes. They are on Santo, some also near Port Vila, but as far as I know, not on Mystery.

Cheers, Barbara