Vanuatu Geography

Vanuatu Geography and Climate

Vanuatu is an island state located in Melanesia in the southwestern part of the Pacific Ocean. Vanuatu is an archipelago located about 1,700 km east of Australia, west of Fiji and southeast of the Solomon Islands. It is also not far to New Guinea from this archipelago. It is believed that the first inhabitants of these islands were Melanesians, and from Europe it was the Spanish expedition under the leadership of the Portuguese navigator Fernandes de Queirós who came here only in 1605. The country became independent in 1980 and the name comes from the word for country or home on Austronesian language, namely vanua together with the word tu which can be translated as “stand”.

Geography and climate

Vanuatu consists of several islands and these islands are today a very popular tourist destination. It is said that the Champagne beach in Vanuatu is the most beautiful in the world and you can believe that when you see pictures of it. In total, the country consists of about 82 islands, all of which are quite small. Of these, 65 are inhabited. The fourteen islands that have an area of ​​more than 100 square kilometers are:

  • Espiritu Santo
  • Malakula
  • Efate, Erromango
  • Ambrym, Tanna
  • Pentecost, Epi
  • Ambae or Aoba
  • Vanua Lava
  • Gaua
  • Maewo
  • Malo
  • Anatom or Aneityum

The largest cities in the country are the capital Port Vila located on Efate and the city of Luganville located on Espiritu Santo. Vanuatu’s highest point is Mount Tabwemasana, which has a peak of 1879 meters. This mountain is located on Espiritu Santo. The coasts of the islands are often lined with cliffs and reefs and there are not many sources of fresh water.

There are plenty of volcanoes here and some of these are below the water surface. Volcanic activity is common and you are always ready for a new eruption.

The climate is hot and humid and between January and April you often get typhoons and cyclones as is usual in the tropics. As this is also a geologically active area, earthquakes and tsunami waves are not uncommon. When it is warm, the temperatures are around 28 ° C and during the months that can be counted as winter months, the temperatures are around 22 ° C. Between April and September it is cooler while the heat and humidity become more intense in October. The rainy season is long and offers heavy showers.


The main sources of income for Vanuatu are agriculture, tourism, financial services abroad and animal husbandry. In addition, there is a lot of fishing, even if this does not lead to large export revenues. Vanuatu exports cocoa, steak and timber, among other things. Tourism is very important, and those who go to Vanuatu are mainly interested in diving and experiencing the fantastic nature and beaches.

Vanuatu Geography