Hike to Nguna’s volcano summitNguna, Shefa Province
This isn’t the hardest walk you’ll ever take on, but there’s a fair chance the Nguna Volcano summit hike offers the best view of surrounding tropical islands you’ll find anywhere in the world.
Reaching Nguna and its dormant volcano is just as enjoyable as the walk itself. You’ll drive 45 minutes to the north of Port Vila, Vanuatu’s capital on the island of Efate, then head across Undine Bay on a local banana boat. The walk starts at one of the picturesque waterfront villages.
The hike to the peak of the island (and back) takes about three-and-a-half hours . You’ll take a well-used path that passes villages and community gardens before heading into the jungle. The final climb across grassy plains is steeper, but when you arrive at the summit it’s possible to look down into the dormant crater.
At approximately 500 metres of elevation it’s not exactly Everest, but you’ll work up a sweat and be impressed by the view of big blue sky and island after island for as far as you can see.
When you descend back to the start, you’ll be rewarded with a mouthwatering tropical fruit platter. Once you’ve wiped the mango juice from your chin, grab a mask and snorkel and jump into the ocean for a swim. The coral, turtles and marine life are next level and it's a fitting denouement to a perfect day.
Air Vanuatu flies direct to Vanuatu from major airports on the east coast of Australia. Vanuatu is closer than many other Pacific islands, so it’s usually only a 2.5- to 3.5-hour flight making a quick escape easy. From the capital Port Vila, drive to north Efate and take a small local boat to Nguna.
The full-day tour to Nguna and its dormant volcano costs about $US150.
This isn’t a hike you can make on your own. You’ll need a local guide because the tracks aren’t marked.