Vanuatu is one of the most exotic places on earth. It’s appeal is further amplified to Australians by its proximity to the land down under. However, there are things any tourist needs to be aware of so they can properly prepare for the holidays to Vanuatu from Brisbane.

Facts about Vanuatu

The Republic of Vanuatu consists of 83 islands and the archipelago sits in between Australia, New Caledonia, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Fiji in the South Pacific. Its people, the Melanesians, first settled the islands around 3,300 years ago and spoke Austronesian languages.

Spanish explorers came to the largest island in 1606 and claimed the islands as part of the Spanish East Indies. The United Kingdom and France arrived in the late 1800s and also laid claims to parts of the islands. The two countries agreed to manage the archipelago together in 1906 through an Anglo-French Condominium. Its people began seeking independence in the 1970s, which led to the creation of the Republic of Vanuatu in 1980.

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Differences in the Law

The laws in Vanuatu and Australia are different. That’s due, in part, to the occupation of varying cultures over the centuries in both places. These cultures often implemented their own laws, which can conflict with other places. A good lawyer will advise you to understand the differences before you travel so you don’t inadvertently break local laws.

Vanuatu law combines native customary law with French civil law and English common law with a lot of British and French statutes applying as well as indigenous custom. Its parliament also makes modern laws which apply to all people living and visiting there.

The republic is highly restrictive on weapons, so leave everything at home. Citizens can’t own most guns including handguns, semi-automatic or fully-automatic weapons. Possession of rifles and shotguns is regulated under the law.

There are some things under free import for travelers 15 years old and older. That includes cigarettes, beer, liquor and wine, and perfume, but each has restrictions on the amounts.

There are items which the republic prohibits as well. That includes drugs, pornography, cultural artifacts, explosive and flammable material, plants, some seeds and nuts and fresh fruit and vegetables. Other items can be brought to the islands, but are restricted. Those include:

Medication. You must have prescriptions and it must be in its original packaging.
Dry and processed foods. Items like rice, tea, nuts, and noodles must be in original packages with a commercial label.
Things made from plants, like straw hats, frames and wood items, must be declared and inspected.
Camping equipment and used sports gear, like shoes, golf clubs, scuba gear, also has restrictions.

Specific questions should be submitted to your lawyer before your trip.

Getting to Vanuatu from Brisbane

Many wonder how far is Vanuatu from Brisbane? The island cluster is only 1,206 miles away with travelers crossing the Coral Sea. There are two primary ways to access the islands.

Flights to Vanuatu from Brisbane involve two airports. Brisbane Airport, close to the city center, operates 24 hours a day and Bauerfield International Airport in Vanuatu’s largest city, Port Vila, handles all international flights. It is smaller than many other international airports, but is efficient in handling global traffic.

Air Vanuatu Airlines has daily flights with one stop and Fiji Airways also provides regular flights to the islands. Other airlines servicing Vanuatu include Air New Zealand, Air Pacific Airlines and Virgin Australia. Flight time is typically 2.5 hours.

Those who want to visit more of Vanuatu’s islands may want to consider cruises from Brisbane to Vanuatu. While Port Vila has modern elements, like fine dining and modern culture, the culture changes to more indigenous life are you head to islands further out. The outermost islands offer the most pristine natural beauty, world-class snorkeling areas, and authentic native culture the most adventurous would enjoy. Princess Cruises offers Brisbane to Vanuatu holiday packages.

Many would enjoy Vanuatu whether they are looking for a family trip or a tropical adventure full of waterfalls and village encounters. Research the areas you plan to visit to guarantee you are aware of all the best sites, food, and customs.