Travel Story: Vanuatu Weekend Getaway
Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Vanuatu is a very popular destination for Australians looking for a tropical escape due to its short flight time from Australia's east coast and the warm friendly local greeting received by all visitors to this beautiful part of the world. Virgin Australia has flights 4 times a week to Port Vila from Brisbane and as we had velocity points to burn we decided to get away for the weekend and get some tropical sun.
Day 1: Arrival & Check In At Iririki Island Resort
After our excellent business class flight with Virgin Australia from Brisbane to Port Vila we met our transfer driver which the resort had organised for us, if you make a transfer request when you book online the resort will organise this service for a fee. We headed to the waiting mini van with other resort guests and started our journey to the port. Once at the port we all boarded the resort ferry along with our luggage and were taken across to the island, we choose Iririki Island Resort as we were able to book it using our velocity points through Virgin Australia holidays, you can read more about the hotel in our review here. Once on the island the friendly staff offered us a welcome juice and checked us in, they offered to take us by golf buggy to our Premium Waterfront Fare but as we wanted to get orientated with the resort we decided to walk. The staff arranged to send our luggage by golf buggy and by the time we reached our Fare the bags were waiting at the front door, Iririki Island Resort was originally built in 1987 and was rebuilt after Cyclone Pam damaged the resort considerably in 2015 with the most recent rebuilding works being completed in 2016. We were impressed with the size of the Fare and the large deck area overlooking beautiful Mele Bay, we chose the waterfront option instead of the overwater option as the waterfront Fare's face west so you get the sunset from your deck and are located next to the adults only infinity pool. The room was large and spacious with a large seperate bathroom near the front door. After getting unpacked and enjoying a celebratory sunset glass of champagne on the deck we headed to the beach as there was a beach BBQ occurring that night with island dancers and fire twirlers, unfortunately we didn't know about this until we arrived and all the private tables had been reserved so instead we headed to the Azure Restaurant (If you want to book the beach BBQ before arrival we recommend contacting the resort to find out which nights it is on and book in advance). We enjoyed the pulled beef and cheese banana baskets and the scallop and prawn starters, for the main we had the seafood risotto and seafood spaghetti. All dishes were excellent and made with local produce, the service was also excellent (you can read more about the restaurant in our hotel review here). After dinner we went to the infinity bar for a nightcap where they had a music playing so we sat back and enjoyed the music and our cocktails.
Day 2: Snorkelling & Day Spa Visit
On our second day in Vanuatu we headed to the Azure restaurant for our included buffet breakfast which was excellent except for the coffee which was disappointing (it would have been good if they had an espresso machine rather than percolated coffee). After breakfast we headed to the day spa for a massage which we had booked when we checked in, the day spa is located in a group of huts on the highest point of the island and has spectacular views over the bay. The staff at the day spa were amazing and we would highly recommend the day spa to anyone staying at or visiting the resort (you can read more about the day spa in our hotel review here). In the afternoon we decided to get the underwater camera wet so we headed to snorkelers cove to do some snorkelling. The resort has complimentary snorkels, flippers, kayaks, catamarans and bicycles so there is plenty to keep everyone entertained on the island (you can read more about the resort's facilities in our review here). We had brought our own snorkel masks and reef shoes so we jumped off the end of the jetty to go exploring, the island is surrounded by reef and the coral and fish were absolutely beautiful. In the evening we headed to the infinity bar for sunset drinks followed by dinner at the Azure restaurant, this time we had the beef tenderloin and grilled chicken supreme mains which were both excellent.
Day 3: Island Exploring, Kayaking & Flight Home
On our last day in Vanuatu we had the included buffet breakfast again at the Azure restaurant, the restaurant has definitely been a highlight of our stay with its amazing views over the bay both day and night. After breakfast we headed to the water-sports hut to borrow some kayaks so we could kayak around the island, it was a great way to see the island and all the coral and fish in the crystal clear water. We kayaked past the overwater Fare's and then around the island following the coral reef down the ocean side of the island. On the southern end of the island there are many shipwrecks left as a result of cyclone Pam, it was cool to be able to get up close to so many of them. After our kayaking adventure we walked the island exploring the areas we hadn't yet been to and then sat down to enjoy a local beer at the infinity bar, just after lunch we headed to reception to board our airport transfer.
Before we knew it the weekend was over and we were flying home again with Virgin Australia and their great inflight service and food, it was a short trip but we enjoyed every minute of it and would highly recommend Vanuatu and especially Iririki Island Resort to anyone who's looking for a tropical get away. So that ends this travel story, if you have any questions about this trip feel free to comment on the blog, Until next time!
Want More Information?
For more information about Virgin Australia's services you can visit their website www.virginaustralia.com
About The Author
Rob has been passionate about cruise ship holidays and exploring the world since the first cruise he went on when he was only seven years old. Since then Rob who is a Photographer and his partner Mike of 18 years have travelled the world on over 25 cruises with over 10 different cruise lines visiting every continent across the globe as well as many remote tropical islands along the way. In addition to cruise holidays they enjoy relaxing at beach side holiday resorts and first/business class air travel as well as transcontinental rail journeys. Between them both Robert and Michael have worked out the best way to maximise frequent flyer reward points allowing them to travel first/business class at economy class prices or in some cases travelling first/business class for free.