Becky Roberts and Tom Leuschke at the apartments they manage in Port Vila.

Becky Roberts and Tom Leuschke at the apartments they manage in Port Vila.

What inspired your move, and how long have you been there?

My husband Tom and I have been living in Port Vila, Efate Island, Vanuatu for three months. We found out about a joint management job and thought it would be an exciting adventure.

 

What do you do there? 

Tom and I manage Mangoes Resort and The Terraces boutique apartments in Port Vila.

What are the greatest advantages to living there?

The beautiful weather means there is always a fun outdoor activity to get involved in, the beaches are never crowded and the snorkelling and sea life is outstanding.

 

Disadvantages?

Clothes shopping is limited.   

Clear water and crowd-free beaches prevail on Efate Island.

Clear water and crowd-free beaches prevail on Efate Island.

 

How expensive is it compared to New Zealand? How much is a beer?

Villages lost a lot of their crops to Cyclone Pam and produce at the markets can be pricey depending on the availability. Prices vary but eating out is on par with New Zealand. A local Tusker beer from a kava bar is about NZ$3.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

When we have spare time we will go for a walk up to the beautiful cascades or summit gardens or head to the other side of Efate for a long lunch, because we're still new we try to do something new every week.

 

What's the local delicacy and would you recommend eating it?

The national dish is laplap, pudding made of grated root crops or plantain mixed with coconut milk and baked in a earth oven. We have not tried it yet. We have plenty of tropical fruit and veg bought from the market. Mangoes restaurant makes fresh coconut cream which Tom will often use in the cocktail of the day.

 

Easiest way to get around?

Taxis and B-buses. B-buses are mini vans that take multiple people – prices start from around $2.

 

What's the shopping like?

The duty-free shopping is great in Port Vila. Beautifully made handicrafts are readily available, which I'm planning to stock up on for Christmas presents.

 

Best after-dark activity?

There are many great restaurants to eat out at, from delicious French to cheap and cheerful Chinese. On Fridays the Beach Bar has fire dancers and a great atmosphere. The Saloon Bar is a bit of fun for a game of pool and a Tusker.  

 

Best time of year to visit?

Vanuatu is warm all year round, which means any time is a great time to visit. Dry season is from May to October and wet season is from November to April.

 

What are the top three things you recommend for visitors?

To walk, eat and swim as much as you can – it's not complicated to get around. Cascade Waterfalls next to Mele village has a great walking track and you can cool off in the natural pools on the way to the top. Our favourite restaurant is Francesca's, located in Lelepa, north Efate. It's right on the water and has the most incredible sunsets – ideal with a cocktail in hand. For swimming, go to the Blue Lagoon swimming hole, about a 25-minute drive from Port Vila. Pack a picnic and watch the locals do back flips and other impressive moves off rope swings.  

Cool off in the Blue Lagoon swimming hole, about a 25-minute drive from Port Vila. Phil Doyle

 

Cool off in the Blue Lagoon swimming hole, about a 25-minute drive from Port Vila.

 

Besides family and friends, what do you miss most about home?

So far besides family and friends we miss clothes shopping. 

 

How easy is it for you to get back to NZ?

It's very easy for us to get back – Port Vila is a three-hour flight from Auckland. 

 

For Kiwis looking to move there, which industries are seeking fresh talent?

Hospitality, tourism, healthcare and education.

Source: http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/kiwi-traveller/71663582/expat-tales-island-dream-in-vanuatu

Find Tour

Hot Tours

tourism-export-council
inboud-tour-operator
qualmark