Mystery Island, Vanuatu | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Mystery Island, Vanuatu

Mystery Island is a small island of Vanuatu nearby Aneityum island. Mystery Island is famous for its white beaches and calm water.
Vanuatu (previously known as the New Hebrides Islands) is an archipelago nation consisting of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.

Culture

Vanuatu retains a strong diversity through local regional variants and foreign influence. In the north, wealth is established by how much one can give away. Pigs, particularly those with rounded tusks are considered a symbol of wealth throughout Vanuatu. More traditional Melanesian cultural systems dominate in the central region.

Climate

With such a large north-south area, Vanuatu has all the tropical variances possible. From hot and humid in... Read more

Mystery Island, Vanuatu

Destination:
Mystery Island is a small island of Vanuatu nearby Aneityum island. Mystery Island is famous for its white beaches and calm water.
Vanuatu (previously known as the New Hebrides Islands) is an archipelago nation consisting of 83 islands in the southwest Pacific Ocean, north of New Zealand and east of Australia.

Culture

Vanuatu retains a strong diversity through local regional variants and foreign influence. In the north, wealth is established by how much one can give away. Pigs, particularly those with rounded tusks are considered a symbol of wealth throughout Vanuatu. More traditional Melanesian cultural systems dominate in the central region.

Climate

With such a large north-south area, Vanuatu has all the tropical variances possible. From hot and humid in the north, to mild and dry in the south. The Capital Port Vila on Efate can expect 27°C in July to 30°C in January. Nights can drop to 12°C. Humidity from December to February is around 82% and 70% around July.

Rainfall from January to April is around 300mm per month - for the rest of the year around 200mm per month. The Banks Islands in the top North can receive above 4,000mm of rain in a year, yet the southern islands may receive less than 2,000mm.

Cyclones are natural phenomena to understand and respect. Mainstream tourism facilities are solidly built and experienced in cyclone management. Cyclones appear (in varying degrees with plenty of warning) on an average every couple of years from December to March. By following instructions given by the local authorities, you will be in no danger. Yachties commonly avoid cyclones from Nov through April. There are no effective cyclone holes for any size of the ship in Vanuatu. Yachties typically leave to the north of the equator, New Caledonia, New Zealand or Australia. There is a small boatyard in Port Vila with haulout facilities for yachts.

Tourism peaks in the months of July to December. The months of January to June are the quietest. Experienced travelers take advantage of these tourism troughs to travel, as airlines, accommodation providers and other tourism-related businesses discount heavily during this period.

The months of January to June are a little more humid but cooled by the occasional tropical downpour. The added bonus is that in this period, tourism numbers are low. You have more opportunities to mingle with locals and aimlessly do your own thing instead of being rushed by the crowd (except when cruise ships are in Port).

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Mystery Island, Vanuatu: Port Information


Cruise ships anchor offshore, and passengers are transported ashore by tender boats.
The island is very small, and everything is within walking distance. 

Get around Mystery Island, Vanuatu


Since the island is very small, you can easily explore it on foot.

What to see in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


Relax on romantic beaches, admire pristine nature.

What to do in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


Snorkeling, swimming, and other fun beach activities.

What to eat and drink in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


Eat

Lap-Lap

The traditional dish which you will most likely be offered once during your stay is a root vegetable cake called lap lap. Essentially this is either manioc (cassava), sweet potato, taro or yam shaved into the middle of a banana leaf with island cabbage and sometimes a chicken wing on top. This is all wrapped up into a flat package and then cooked in hot stones underground till it all melts together into a cake. The best place to pick up some of this is at the food market in the town center.

Tuluk

This is a variation of lap lap with the cake rolled into a cylinder with meat in the middle. It tastes a lot like a sausage roll. You can find these again in the market (usually from mele village people) but they will be served from foam boxes to keep them warm.

Steak

Vanuatu's meat is renowned in the region. At the airports, you will see signs reminding you to pack the 25kg of meat permitted to other nearby island nations. The reason the meat's so good is that it's all naturally grown, with no feedlots or other problems of westernized mass production. The result of this is that the steaks are very good indeed.

Seafood

As you may expect from an island nation, seafood is a common option and the quality is generally excellent. Reef fish are commonly found in restaurants, along with many varieties of prawns, lobster, and the delectable coconut crab.

The coconut crab is only found in parts of the South Pacific and the Indian Ocean and has been declining in numbers so rapidly that it is now a protected species in most areas. There is a minimum legal size requirement in Vanuatu of four centimeters, but the creature can grow to over 8 cm in length with a leg span of up to 90 cm. The crab gets its name from the fact that it climbs palms to cut down and eat coconuts - nothing to do with the flavor.

Drink

Kava is a local drink, made from the roots of the plant Piper methysticum, a type of pepper. Kava is intoxicating, but not like alcohol. Its effects are sedative. Some travelers have experienced a hangover from its consumption.

Kava is consumed in private homes and in local venues called Nakamal. Some of the resorts also offer kava on occasion for travelers to try.

Kava is served in a "shell" or small bowl. Drink the whole shell-ful down steadily, then spit. It's handy to have a soft drink on hand to rinse with afterward, as the taste of kava is strong and not very pleasant.

It is worth noting that the kava available in Vanuatu is generally a much stronger variety than the kava found in other Pacific islands such as Fiji, where it is comparatively mild. Four or five large shells in a typical kava bar will leave the inexperienced drinker reeling (or worse) after a couple of hours, and it can take a day to recover.

Good advice to experience kava as pleasantly as possible is to go with an experienced drinker and follow their lead, take the small shells, and stop after an hour and a half. It's quite easy to find a local kava drinking buddy, just ask around your hotel and you'll find volunteers - maybe at the cost of a shell or two.

Kava bars (or Nakamals) are normally dark places with very dim or no lighting at all. This is because bright lights and kava intoxication do not go together well - so be careful with flash photography, which may not be received very well in such venues.

Alcoholic beverages are also widely available. Resorts, bars, and restaurants serving tourists have a wide range of drinks available. The local beers are called "Tusker" and "Vanuatu Bitter".

Shopping in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


The woven grass bags and mats are widely available and very attractive.

Safety in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


Vanuatu is, on the whole, a safe and friendly environment. You are unlikely to encounter any trouble unless you do something extremely provocative. Take the same precautions you would anywhere else.

There are no seriously poisonous snakes, spiders, or insects on Vanuatu. However, there are various poisonous aquatic animals that you should beware of if you are swimming, snorkeling, or diving in the area. The most dangerous of these is the stonefish. Saltwater crocodiles are present, but the likelihood of an attack is minimal.

Language spoken in Mystery Island, Vanuatu


There are three official languages: English, French, and Bislama. Bislama is a pidgin language – and now a creole in urban areas – which essentially combines a typically Melanesian grammar with mostly English vocabulary. It is the only language that can be understood and spoken by the whole population of Vanuatu, generally as a second language.

It is a mixture of phonetic English woven in a loose French sentence structure spoken with ‘local sound' producing some comical outcomes e.g., ladies brassieres or bathing top is called "Basket blong titi"; no offense intended. An excellent Bislama dictionary is available from good book shops: 'A New Bislama Dictionary,' by the late Terry Crowley. Some common Bislama words/phrases include:
  • Me / you - mi / yu
  • Him / her / it (neither masculine nor feminine)
  • this here - hem/ hemia
  • Us /we / all of us - mifala / mifala evriwan
  • You / you (plural) - yu / yufala
  • I do not know/understand - mi no save
  • See you later / ta ta - Lukim yu/ tata
  • I am going now - ale (French derivation of allez) mi go
  • One/ two / three - wan / tu / tri
  • How much (is that) - hamas (long hem)
  • Plenty or many - plenti
  • Filled to capacity / overfilled - fulap / fulap tumas (too much)
  • Day / evening / night - dei / sava (literally supper) / naet
  • Hot / cold - hot / kol
  • What / what is that - wanem / wanem ia (literally wanem here?)
  • Why / why did you - frowanem (for why?)
  • Please / thank you / sorry (very sorry) - plis / tangkyu / sori (sori tumas) - sorry too much
  • Do you know - yu save (pronounced savee)
In addition, 113 indigenous languages are still actively spoken in Vanuatu. The density of languages per capita is the highest of any nation in the world, with an average of only 2000 speakers per language. All of these vernacular languages belong to the Oceanic branch of the Austronesian family.

LOCAL TIME

11:34 pm
November 20, 2019
Pacific/Efate

CURRENT WEATHER

23.26 °C / 73.868 °F
scattered clouds
Thu

23.59 °C/74 °F
light rain
Fri

23.91 °C/75 °F
light rain
Sat

23.13 °C/74 °F
light rain
Sun

23.11 °C/74 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

VUV

1 USD = 0 VUV
1 EUR = 0 VUV
1 GBP = 0 VUV
1 AUD = 0 VUV
1 CAD = 0 VUV

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