PORT VILA

Vanuatu

Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu and is located on the island of Efate.Situated on the south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province, Port Vila is the economic and commercial centre of Vanuatu.

Info Port Vila

introduction

Port Vila is the capital and largest city of Vanuatu and is located on the island of Efate.

Situated on the south coast of the island of Efate, in Shefa Province, Port Vila is the economic and commercial centre of Vanuatu.

On March 13, 2015, Port Vila bore extensive damage from Cyclone Pam.

info
POPULATION : City: 44,040 
FOUNDED : 
TIME ZONE : VUT (UTC+11)  
LANGUAGE : Bislama, English and French
RELIGION : Christian 90%, Other 10%
AREA :
ELEVATION :
COORDINATES : 17°45′S 168°18′E
SEX RATIO : Male: 
 Female: 
ETHNIC : Melanesian
AREA CODE :
POSTAL CODE :
DIALING CODE :
WEBSITE :

Tourism

The capital of Vanuatu has various sights to offer. There are several memorials, e.g. opposite the Parliament where two traditional totem poles and a monument representing a pig's tusk can be seen. The Presbyterian Church of Port Vila is an impressive and sightworthy building opposite the Independence Park. A colourful wall painting can be seen on the administration building opposite the market hall. Another noteworthy wall painting is on the façade of the post office. The City Hall of Port Vila is an oblong and sightworthy building on a hill in the city centre.

Duty free alcohol and cigarettes are cheap in Port Vila. Buy your duty free before going to the airport as the airport duty free prices are slightly higher and the range not as great. Port Vila is a duty free zone for tourists.

History

The area occupied by Port Vila has been inhabited by Melanesian people for thousands of years. In Autumn of 2004, an archaeological expedition known as Teouma discovered a burial site of 25 tombs containing three dozen skeletons of members of the Lapita culture. Pieces of ceramics found at the site were dated to the 13th century BC.

In May of 1606, the first Europeans arrived at the island, led by the Portuguese explorers Pedro Fernandes de Queirós and Luis Vaz de Torres. In the 19th century when the islands were known as the New Hebrides, the British possessed economic control of the zone, though by the end of 1880, the economic balance began to favour the French; this transition can be seen in its nickel mines of New Caledonia and plantations. French citizen Ferdinand Chevillard began buying and clearing land around Port Vila to be converted into the largest French plantation on the island. Instead, it was converted into the municipality of Franceville, which declared independence on August 9, 1889, though this only lasted until June of the following year.

In the 19th century when the islands were known as the New Hebrides, the British possessed economic control of the zone, though by the end of 1880, the economic balance began to favour the French; this transition can be seen in its nickel mines of New Caledonia and plantations. French citizen Ferdinand Chevillard began buying and clearing land around Port Vila to be converted into the largest French plantation on the island. Instead, it was converted into the municipality of Franceville, which declared independence on August 9, 1889, though this only lasted until June of the following year.

After 1887, the territory was jointly administered by the French and the British. This was formalized in 1906 as an Anglo-French Condominium. During World War II, Port Vila was an American and Australian airbase.

In 1987, Cyclone Uma severely damaged the city. A powerful earthquake in January 2002 caused minor damage in the capital and surrounding areas. The city suffered massive damage from a category 5 cyclone named Cyclone Pam in March 2015, whose eye wall passed just to the east of Port Vila.

Climate

Port Vila has a tropical climate, more specifically a tropical rainforest climate, with noticeably wetter and drier months.

Rainfall averages about 2,360 millimetres (94 in.) per year, and the wettest month is April. The driest month is September. There are 113 wet days in an average year.

The area also has south-east trade winds. Temperatures do not vary very much at all throughout the year, and the record high is 34 C (93.2 F).

The coldest month, August, has an average high of 24 C (75.2 F), and an average low of 18 C (64.4 F).

The hottest month, February, has an average high of 29 C (84.2 F) and an average low of 23 C (73.4 F).

Climate data for Port Vila, Vanuatu

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)32
(90)
32
(90)
34
(93)
31
(88)
29
(84)
30
(86)
30
(86)
29
(84)
29
(84)
29
(84)
30
(86)
31
(88)
34
(93)
Average high °C (°F)28
(82)
29
(84)
29
(84)
27
(81)
26
(79)
25
(77)
24
(75)
24
(75)
24
(75)
26
(79)
27
(81)
28
(82)
26.4
(79.5)
Average low °C (°F)23
(73)
23
(73)
23
(73)
22
(72)
21
(70)
19
(66)
19
(66)
18
(64)
19
(66)
20
(68)
21
(70)
22
(72)
20.8
(69.4)
Record low °C (°F)19
(66)
19
(66)
18
(64)
16
(61)
15
(59)
14
(57)
14
(57)
12
(54)
13
(55)
13
(55)
16
(61)
17
(63)
12
(54)
Source: BBC Weather

Economy

Port Vila is Vanuatu's most important harbour and the center of the country's trade. The international airport, Bauerfield International (VLI) is also located in the city. Air Vanuatu has its head office in Vanuatu House in Port Vila.

Major industries in the city remain agriculture and fishing. Tourism is also becoming important, especially from Australia and New Zealand.

Vanuatu is a tax haven, and offshore financing in Port Vila is an important part of the economy.

Vanuatu is still dependent on foreign aid, most of which comes from Australia and New Zealand, although in recent years aid has also come from the People's Republic of China. One example was New Zealand paying to train doctors selected from the local community, then paying part of their wages during the first year after qualification. Australia has paid consultants to work in Port Vila Central Hospital.

35.7% of exports leave from Port Vila and 86.9% of imports arrive in Port Vila.

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Air Vanuatu flies into Vanuatu from many destinations around Australia and Vanutu's surrounding islands. It may be easier to fly into either Noumea,New Caledonia or Suva, Fiji and then take a connecting flight to Port Vila.

Transportation - Get In

By boat

Many cruise ships visit Port Vila and cruises are a very popular way of exploring Vanuatu and the surrounding Islands.

 


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

In Port Vila the buses are van and mini-buses with a red B on the left side of the number plate. They largely traverse the main road take you directly to your destination. There are no scheduled services and are perhaps best thought of as cheap, but shared taxis. Wave at them to stop one heading in the direction you want to go. They are plentiful within the city and outside the city you can usually arrange for a bus to meet you at a particular time. If one looks full, just wait for the next one. The buses are used by locals, but are very friendly, cheap, and easy to use by tourists. Fares are usually calculated per person. The cost is usually 150 vatu per person unless you are travelling a longer distance, e.g. Mele Cascades - in which case expect to pay 200 vatu per person. There are significantly fewer buses on the road on Sundays.

Transportation - Get Around

By Taxi

Taxis are plentiful within Port Vila. Fare is calculated per taxi. There are standard fares for journeys to and from the airport to most accommodation around Port-Vila a list of which should be available in the arrivals section of the airport (1500VT to the city centre). Around Port Vila, taxi's can be hailed for journeys. Price is calculated by a meter, and is usually around 500vt for short journeys.

Transportation - Get Around

By van

These white, public transport vans go up and down the main road of Vanuatu which connects the Main city to the shipping port and residential areas. For 100 Vatu they will take you one way to where ever you need to go along their route. They are by far the cheapest means of transportation in Port Vila. To get on board you simply find a marked stop along the main road and when a white van drives past flag it down and pay the 100 Vatu. The vans are unmarked however again they are regulated by the government and safe.

Transportation - Get Around

By pas bus

These are vans which have a number plate starting with "P", they are unmarked other than that letter however they are safe and regulated by the government. Many try to pick up passengers at the shipping port when cruise ships are in town so it is not difficult to find them. A fair price for one way from the Dock to the main city is 600 vatu and for a days hire a fair price is 6000 vatu however on busy days when large cruise ships are in town the price would often be higher.

Hotels

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Shopping

Duty free alcohol and cigarettes are cheap in Port Vila. Buy your duty free before going to the airport as the airport duty free prices are slightly higher and the range not as great. Port Vila is a duty free zone for tourists.

Coffe & Drink

Alcohol is reasonably expensive in Port Vila. Expect to pay between 300VT and 500VT for a local beer or between 400VT and 600VT for imported beers.

Sights & Landmarks

The capital of Vanuatu has various sights to offer. There are several memorials, e.g. opposite the Parliament where two traditional totem poles and a monument representing a pig's tusk can be seen. The Presbyterian Church of Port Vila is an impressive and sightworthy building opposite the Independence Park. A colourful wall painting can be seen on the administration building opposite the market hall. Another noteworthy wall painting is on the façade of the post office. The City Hall of Port Vila is an oblong and sightworthy building on a hill in the city centre.


Vanuatu Cultural Centre

The Vanuatu Cultural Centre, hosting the Vanuatu National Museum, is located at the Saralana Park in front of the national parliament, close to the National Library and the Malvatumauri (Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs). This institution is an important place for the preservation and promotion of the different aspects of the local culture. Traditional artifacts from several islands are on display in the museum. The centre host also the National Audiovisual Archives which is the most important fund of documents from the late 19th century until today.

Things to do

There are markets selling a variety of local goods such as fruit and vegetables. They close on Sundays unless there is a cruise ship in port.

Things to know


Language

Bislama is spoken by everyone as the day-to-day language. In addition, English and French are also widespread. Other Indigenous languages are also spoken in the city.


Religion

Christianity is the predominant religion across Vanuatu, followed by more than 90% of the population. The largest denomination is the Presbyterian Church in Vanuatu, followed by one third of the population. Roman Catholicism and the Church of Melanesia are also common, each about 15%. Cathédrale du Sacré-Coeur is a modern Roman Catholic cathedral in Port Vila. The seat of the Diocese of Port Vila, the church is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

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