Visitors Guide Q
Australian travellers to Vanuatu can book through Qantas but they will fly on Air Vanuatu under a code share arrangement. It’s recommended to use Qantas if you want to accumulate Frequent Flier points. Air Vanuatu honours Qantas Frequent Flier points.
You can hop on a quad bike with Adventure Quad Tours and ride through unspoilt scenic coastline and exclusive secluded beaches with experienced guides. Visit a traditional village, go off road on mud tacks if it is raining, have brunch and a beach swim or discover a cascade rainforest wonderland where you can also swim, wade and relax. Fabulous tour – here are the contact details – email: firstname.lastname@example.org – phone: 774 2442.
Vanuatu is pretty much disease free and would like to stay that way, so if you have any fruit or vegetables, throw them in the bin situated in the arrival area of the airport.
Queen Elizabeth has visited Vanuatu when the country was the New Hebrides and was represented by a High Commissioner here until 2005. ‘Nambawan pikinini blong Missus Kwin’, Prince Charles, has also visited. There was an unfortunate incident involving her Her Royal Highness on the island of Pentecost in 1974 when an out of season display of the naghol (land dive) was arranged. Normally the dive is held in the cooler months of April and May but, on this occasion, it was much warmer and no one knew that the warmth gave the liana more elasticity which resulted in a fatal accident.
Pedro Fernández de Quirós became the first European to see the Banks Islands in 1606. His mission was to discover gold and spread the word of Christianity, in that order). Sailing from Peru with three small ships, his voyage seemed doomed from the start. He enforced daily prayers and forbade gambling and swearing, which was not the most popular move for a crew of swarthy red-blooded Peruvian sailors.
He managed to avoid mutiny and he and the boys were warmly welcomed in the Banks, initially. He named the island of Gaua, ‘Vergen Mary’ and was swept ashore enthusiastically, the locals thinking they were envoys from the mythical culture bringer, Qat (hey, another Q word!).
It didn’t take long for Quirós to sully his welcome. He took two villagers hostages, who escaped, so he turned his attention to the Chief and took him prisoner.
Deciding he looked a little untidy, Quirós ordered that he be given a haircut and a shave, both tabu for local men and doubly humiliating to have it done by someone else! The white men fired a few parting shots as they were forced back to their boats. They headed south to Santo, naming it Terra Australis Espiritu Santo, thinking it was the southern continent. He named his landing place Nueva Jerusalema (New Jerusalem) and the river nearby, the Jordon.
Quirós hadn’t improved his manners and after taking food without paying for it, shooting a few pigs and killing a Chief, a fair bit of hostility was in the air. After 54 days, some doses of malaria and food poisoning the crew decided they’d had enough. Just after midnight on June 21st, they checked to see if Quirós was asleep and cast silently off. Quirós didn’t argue the case against leaving too strongly and they all returned to Peru, tired but happy.
A town of just under a thousand people in Sanma Province on Santo Island.
Quoin Hill is the largest hill in North Efate and was a base for American troops during World War II. There are still war relics to be found in the jungle there. Nearby is a quaint WWII museum, run by a local man whose father assisted the troops during the war. He will open the museum for visitors and take them in a canoe, through mangrove swamps to two fighter plane wrecks. One is beached and can be walked around, the other in shallow water, which can be snorkelled.