Iririki, Port Vila, Vanuatu | CruiseBe
Average: 8.8 (9 votes)


Natural sights
island, beach, nature beauty

Iririki is a privately lease held island, located in Mele Bay, just minutes from Port Vila, the Capital of Vanuatu. Iririki Island translates to ‘Small Island’ or ‘Safe haven’, and is now a luxurious 4.5 star island escape, a favourite with tourists worldwide and a particularly with Australians and New Zealanders. The whole island is long term leased to the IRIRIKI ISLAND RESORT, which is owned and operated by Australian Businessmen Shane Pettiona, Darren Pettiona & Peter Stockley.


Current usage

Iririki Island Resort continues to operate as a tranquil island holiday haven located only 15 minutes from the airport and 3 minutes from Port Vila town centre. Access is provided to guests of the resort via private ferry, with over 147 individual pieces of accommodation, choices ranging from traditional fares at the water’s edge, to a variety of modern studio style apartments. The island offers multiple dining and entertainment options, with restaurants and bars to truly experience the essence of Vanuatu. Island life can also be enjoyed at a variety of pools spread throughout, including a swim-up bar and a signature restaurant 'Micheners' offering world class dining. The resort also features a wide range of relaxing massages and treatments available from 'Spa Iririki'. A new Casino / Entertainment is due to be opened in May 2016 and will be located temporarily within the existing Watermark Restaurant, providing hospitality and gaming services. The plan includes 4 main gaming floor tables, 2 VIP private area tables, 20 state of the art slot machines. Complementing these will be a Jazz / Blues adult lounge, VIP Lounge, and Karaoke / Sports Lounge. Revolutionary concepts in casino gambling will be offered, including blackjack tables actually in the shallow beach water and a double ended American Roulette will surely become a favourite. Active guests are also well catered for with snorkeling, jet-ski hire, catamarans, bicycles, and gymnasium, tennis and games rooms. The resort also caters for wedding and conferences.


Iririki Island is the traditional land of Ifira Islanders. 1910 | The first British Hospital in the New Hebrides was erected on Iririki Island in memory of the well-known missionary, John G Paton Memorial Hospital. Patients were seen for such ailments as broken bones, meningitis, and rheumatic fever, and Pacific islanders were trained in tropical disease management. 1913 | Iririki Island housed the British Residency who leased the island from missionaries for 99 years. The Residency was located at the peak of Iririki (reached by climbing 179 steps) affording it magnificent views to Port Vila and the surrounding Bay. The original household was built for the Queen for an overnight visit, and subsequently accommodated the British High Commissioner. 1980 | At independence, the residence was abandoned although is now currently in use. 1983 | After consideration by the Ifira Islanders, they leased the Island to Peter Nicholson to develop into a resort. 1987 | Cyclone Uma hit Iririki Island and Port Vila with 200 km (124 mi) winds and flooding, with the resort taking up a year to return to full operation. 1991 | Former Geelong AFL player Rick and Ngaire Graham took over Iririki as owner, turning the Resort into a Child free sanctuary. 1994 | On 1 August, American author James A. Michener wrote the classic book ‘Tales of the South Pacific’ after serving in Vanuatu during the Pacific War, subsequently the Resort choose to honor James’ time on Iririki by naming their signature restaurant ‘Micheners. 2004 | The Resort was sold to a private consortium of Australian business men 2009 | Policy changed to a family friendly resort 2015 | Cyclone Pam bore down on Iririki at speeds over 300 km (186 mi) per hour, requiring considerable refurbishment. The resort will be relaunched in May 2016.


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.


Port Vila has a tropical climate, with little variance in temperature throughout the year. Temperatures can reach a high of 93.2 °F (34.0 °C), with an average low of 84.2 °F (29.0 °C). The region also enjoys south east trade winds. November to February are generally quite warm and a little humid, with April to October providing perfect weather conditions. With warm ocean temperatures ideal for all water sports.


The official currency in Vanuatu is Vatu (VT); however, Australian dollars are readily accepted at many locations. All major credit cards are accepted.

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