Best Time to Visit Vanuatu
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Best time to visit Vanuatu: Located in the South Pacific, Vanuatu is good choice for families, couples and an easy cruise destination from Australia and New Zealand. If you’re wondering when the best time to visit Vanuatu is, read on about Vanuatu seasons, weather and more.
Best months to visit Vanuatu
The two seasons Vanuatu has – Summer and Winter
Vanuatu has two distinct seasons, with a relatively cool dry period of winter and a warm wet season of summer.
The dry winter season in Vanuatu stretches from the months of May through October when the nighttime weather gets chilly. During these middle months of the year there are dry and sunny days with some possibilities of higher winds. At this chilly time of the year, you can expect to see the locals wearing a warm cardigan or beanie.
The wet summer season in Vanuatu stretches from the months of November to April when the days are pleasantly warm. During this warm season, brief showers are common in the afternoons so be sure to pack a raincoat or umbrella.
Visiting Vanuatu in June, July, August
Days are pleasantly mild with minimal humidity, and when it rains it is mostly brief showers rather than the heavier downpours. When the sun disappears, day temperatures fall to around 20 degrees Celsius and locals can be spotted wearing warm cardigans.
In July, all of Vanuatu moves deep into the dry season with lower temperatures that are conducive for sleep. At this hotter time of the year, the main islands get busier as masses of tourist flock in from Europe. The month of August experiences colder temperatures during the late evenings and nights, with the least rain across the islands.
Visiting Vanuatu in September, October, November
During the month of September in Vanuatu, the weather is ideal with dry, mild and cool days across the islands. Marking the gradual end of the dry months and the fast approaching wet season, October in Vanuatu is largely unpredictable. As the month progresses, you can expect more rain although this shouldn’t affect your travel plans too much.
November marks the start of the wet season, or summer as the locals call it, which lasts through to April. Temperatures begin to steadily rise, the increased humidity is tempered by the ocean breezes and the official cyclone season commences.
Visiting Vanuatu in December, January, February
December marks the beginning of the wettest season of the year, with almost double the rain experienced in November. Your outdoor activities and travel plans are likely to be affected by the strong winds, rains and waves. During the middle of the wet season in January, heavy rains are definite and cyclones are possible.
Temperatures are at their highest ranging from around 28 degrees Celsius up to 35 degrees Celsius. In February, downpours are often short but heavy, often preceded by humidity and usually followed by bright sunshine.
Visiting Vanuatu in March, April, May
The month of March accounts for the rainiest month in Port Villa, with frequent downpours in the northern islands. Roads are impassable, trips to far-flung islands on planes and boats can get uncomfortable and cyclones are most prevalent. April marks the imminent end of the wet season as the rains begin to reduce and the cyclone season ends.
That said, you should continue to remain alert about cyclones and hang on to your umbrella or wet-weather gear. The dry season or winter in Vanuatu officially kicks off during the month of May with temperatures starting to fall.
Best Time to Visit Vanuatu by Type of Trip
The wet season in Vanuatu is also its low season which stretches from November to mid-December and February to April. Outside the peak vacation time you can enjoy packaged deals and negotiable hotel rates due to many empty rooms.
Off peak Season
May, September and October make up the shoulder season which is a perfect time to visit Vanuatu. The weather is pleasant, tourists are fewer, hotels are cheaper and less busy, while boats and planes are readily available.
The peak time in Vanuatu stretches from mid-December to late January, and from June through August when room rates rise. High season is the major school holidays in Australia and New Zealand, and the main vacation period for European tourists.
Best months for a honeymoon
The months of May, June and September are the best time for going to Vanuatu Island to celebrate your honeymoon. This is the off peak season when the weather is pleasant and tourists are fewer thereby giving you more privacy.
The best weather in Vanuatu can be enjoyed during the months of May to September away from the wet season. At this time, visitors to the island can enjoy a range of outdoor activities including swimming, kayaking, sailing and trekking.
Best month to save money
If possible, avoid traveling to Vanuatu during the peak seasons from mid-December to late January, and from July through August. These seasons make up the major school holidays in Australia and New Zealand, and prime time for European visitors respectively.
Best months to go diving or snorkeling
The best time to dive, snorkel and explore Vanuatu’s legendary underwater world is during the months of May through October. At this time, the waters are calm and provide great clarity for seeing the colorful reefs and abundant marine life.
How to get to Vanuatu
Getting to Vanuatu from Australia is affordable and easy thanks to the wide range of cheap flights available. It takes about 4 hours to reach Vanuatu from the east coast of Australia via Air Vanuatu or Virgin Australia. Direct flights to Port Villa are available from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, while connecting flights are available from other cities.
International flights are available to Vanuatu from New Zealand, UK and USA arriving at the Bauerfield International Airport on Efate. Upon landing, shuttle transfers and taxis are available at the airport to take you to nearby resorts around the island.
How to get around Vanuatu
Due to the undeveloped road systems on the island mostly consisting of dirt tracks, transportation around Vanuatu is pretty basic. As a result, 4WD vehicles, mini-buses and vans make up the most common means of transportation in the Vanuatu islands.
Every island features small airstrips for light planes and small ports or wharfs where boats and small ships can dock. In Vanuatu, privately owned mini-buses provide transportation around the various islands and can simply be hailed from the road side. At Port Villa, you can find several rental companies that offer cars, vans, scooters, motorcycles and other vehicles for hire.
Tips & Facts for Travel in Vanuatu
- Flights are cheap from Australia and New Zealand, so consider spending some time in either of these countries as well.
- Vatu is the official currency, although Australian dollars are accepted at some hotels, restaurants and resorts in Port Villa.
- Like Australia, electrical plugs and voltage in Vanuatu come in the 3-pin, 220-240 volt range.
- When speaking English to the locals, be sure to speak clearly so they can understand you.
- Whenever you are outdoors during the summer months, be sure to always use sunscreen even when it’s mild or cloudy.
- If visiting during the wet seasons always remain alert for cyclone warnings.
- Be sure to take out comprehensive travel insurance before you leave that will cover you in case of an emergency.