Finding paradise at Naone WaterfallMaewo Island, Vanuatu
From the south to the north in Vanuatu, Maewo is full of rivers and waterfalls with an abundance of lush, postcard perfect, tropical scenery which the Ni-Vanuatu people refer to as the ‘untouched of the untouched paradise’.
Maewo is also home to Vanuatu's second tallest waterfall in Naone. The landscape is remote and green surrounded by the deep blue ocean and as you fly into the tiny air strip it's hard to imagine anyone actually living here but as the plane descends you see waterfalls splashing over cliffs. Towards the ocean you can see a few thatch roofs emerging through the jungle like turtle shells. As the small plane door opens you'll be hit with the humidity and the smell of freshly cut grass.
Your guide will meet you at the door of the plane with a smile and a warm welcome handshake and the walk inland to Naone Waterfall begins. Dense in the bush, it's cooler and damp and as the path extends upriver as you hop from rock to rock following the path.
And then we you'll hear a deep, thunderous, oceanic sound and see a massive amount of water that cascading from the rocks. While the height may only be 20 meters or so, the waterfall is wide and full, and its more imposing than expected. The pool is inviting and you'll be welcomed in by a few locals already cooling off.
After a good dip and chat with the locals climb further up the rocks for an elevated spot to jump from. The rocks are slippery and green and standing on top of paradise like the 'king of the castle' waiting to jump into the cool water will bring all back many fond childhood memories. Take your stance and count 1-2-3 and plunge into the water. It's worth the hike up and the nostalgia will drive you to jump again....and again.
- The sight of the traditional bamboo villages tucked into clearings in the jungle
- The waterfalls…there are so many and there are all great – make sure you go to more than one
- The jungle walk out to the waterfall
- Jumping from the top of the waterfall into the refreshing pool
- The delicious tropical fruit platter
- Take mozzie spray – the jungle can be alive with little critters but there’s nothing to be seriously afraid of here. No poisonous sakes or spiders
- You may like to have your own snacks as the shops are pretty bare of treats
Air Vanuatu only flies to Maewo a few times a week. Check the domestic schedule and remember if you book when in Vanuatu with your international ticket in hand, you get 20% off your domestic flight price.
Book everything else through the Vanuatu tourist centre either in the provinces santo.travel or go into the office in Port Vila.
It’s an easy walk. Wear shoes with grip as rocks can be slippery.