This article belongs to Travelwise column.

Vanuatu is a small island nation located in the Western Pacific east of Australia. Consisting of numerous small islands, the country was once ruled by both the British and the French when it was then known as the New Hebrides.

The current capital is Port Vila

Population is a mixture of Melanesian, French and British numbering a bit over 300,000 people.

Vanuatu is a democracy and has been since independence in 1980.

The economy is a fairly basic one consisting mainly on tourism and agricultural income. A bit of mining has and still is taking place in the country.

In terms of tourism, facilities mainly consist of resort island style establishments ranging from fairly basic facilities to more luxurious ones. None of the facilities are really 'over the top' though.

Overall, value for money aspects in terms of facilities and services are good, keeping in mind that most of the bits and pieces that normally come with resort facilities have to be imported from either Australia or New Zealand.

Vanuatu is totally safe and visitors are able to wonder around at leisure without there being any safety concerns.

Travel into and from Vanuatu is mainly conducted via Australia and New Zealand with the main transit points being Brisbane and/or Auckland. Sydney, being the terrible airport that it is, is best avoided as a transit point.

Local inter-island flights are also conducted.

Air Vanuatu is the national airline running 737-800 flights from Australia and New Zealand.

Totally safe. A good opportunity to take in village life and to watch local culture unfold. Resort and accommodation facilities range from the basic to the more luxurious. All are good value for money. Well worth visiting.

71 out of 100

Henk Luf