Port Vila

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WorldSouth PacificVanuatuEfatePort Vila
Port Vila
Port of Entry
17°44.369'S, 168°18.620'E Chart icon.png
lat=-17.73948 | lon=168.31033 | zoom=15 | y
Port Vila, Vanuatu

Port Vila, Efate is the capital, largest city, and commercial hub of Vanuatu. It offers some limited haul out and repair facilities as well as the availability of some chandlery and an extensive range of hardware items. As a provisioning stop it is one of the cheaper places in the South Pacific, at least as cheap as Apia, Samoa and cheaper than Rarotonga, or anywhere in French Polynesia. The local people are Melanesian and share similar customs to those in Fiji or Papua New Guinea.


See Vanuatu Charts.


See Vanuatu Weather.


To Port Vila:

From Port Vila:

Also see Vanuatu.


See Efate Islands.


See Vanuatu Communication.

Also see World Cruiser's Nets.


The approach to the main harbour is fairly simple. The leading lights shown on most charts are present as are the entrance buoys.

Approaching the inner harbour is done by navigating between a closely set pair of red/green buoys -- you will need to make a right angle turn to starboard as you approach them. After passing between the buoys keep a close eye on depth but there should be sufficient depth to carry a straight line from there to the area around the moorings.

Danger: An overhead electric cable extends from the eastern side of Iriki island and Vila. No vessel with a mast exceeding 25 meters height from the waterline may attempt to pass under the cable. The maximum clearance is 28 meters close to the Vila side of the channel. Violation of this restriction is subject to penalties plus costs of any damages.

Anchor Lights

All vessels in movement or at anchor in the port of Port Vila shall carry the required navigation or anchor lights between the hours of sunset and sunrise. Reported infractions will make the master or owner of the vessel liable to penalties under the Harbour Light Act.


Port Vila is a port of entry for Vanuatu. For details see Entrance: Vanuatu -- all of the check in is done by calling customs on VHF 16 after anchoring near the yellow quarantine buoy in the main harbour.


Typically, after clearing customs and quarantine, yachts will proceed to the inner harbour (Iririki Bay/Paray Bay) where there is a seawall marina and moorings operated by Yachting World Vanuatu, and also anchoring space.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs


There is anchoring space south of the Yachting World Vanuatu moorings. Note that for yachts anchoring in Paray Bay, Yachting World charge a fee for water as well as for accessing the dinghy dock and car park.


Water Water is available at Yachting World Vanuatu. There is a charge for yachts who are not customers of Yachting World
Electricity Electricity is available on the seawall berths at Yachting World Vanuatu
Toilets ?
Showers ?
Laundry In Yachting World Vanuatu
Garbage Garbage can be disposed of at the marina. There is a fee for yachts who are not marina customers
  • Diesel fuel is available at Yachting World Vanuatu
  • Petrol/gasoline needs to be carried in jerry cans from the nearby service station
Bottled gas There is an Origin Gas depot on Wharf Road, south of the main town area, that can fill gas bottles (LPG -- not sure of the Propane/Butane mix)
  • Port Vila Boatyard carries a small range of chandlery items including some engine filters, spare parts, etc.
  • Total Marine Solutions carries a small range of electrical, electronic and engine service items
  • There are a few hardware stores nearby the marina, ask at the marina office for directions
Repairs There are some limited repairs and services available in Port Vila
  • Port Vila Boatyard has some in-water and out-of-water repair facilities as well as a haul-out yard that is approved as cyclone safe by most of the major insurance companies. Delatbabel -- I had my vessel Chiara Stella hauled out at this yard during a direct hit from Category 5 Cyclone Pam in March of 2015. No damage whatsoever was suffered by any vessel in the yard during this cyclone incident, and I can highly recommend this yard as a cyclone safe haulout facility.
  • Pete Wederell of Total Marine Solutions is a general yacht repair guy, phone +678 7722564
  • Gary of Southern Cross Creations (ph: +678 23942 or +678 775 0795) specialises in custom woodwork in local hardwoods and boat building mostly in fiberglass and wood.[email protected] Email
Internet There is a wifi internet provider adjacent to the Yachting World marina. Also see Vanuatu Internet
Mobile connectivity ?
Vehicle rentals
  • Avis have an office in downtown Port Vila as well as near the airport
  • The Vanuatu Travel web site has a page listing car rental companies operating in Port Vila as well as those in Luganville


  • The main Port Vila market is in the centre of town, local fresh produce is fairly cheap
  • There is a small supermarket (Au Bon Marche) near the market, and several small grocery stores nearby as well
  • A major supermarket (Supermarche) is a longer walk south of the main part of town, on the corner of Kumul Highway (main road) and Rue Dartois. They have a very large range of items, as good as most supermarkets in Australia or New Zealand
  • A short walk up Rue Dartois from the supermarket is a butcher with a good range of meat, better quality and prices than either supermarket

Eating out

Locally grown beef is extremely good -- as good as you will find in Australia or New Zealand if not better. It's not exported to Australia or New Zealand because of quarantine rules so you will find it available locally in Port Vila and very cheap. The best places to try a locally grown steak include:

  • War Horse Saloon, at the corner of the main road (Kumul Hwy / Elluk Rd) and Wharf Road.
  • Beef House, at the northern end of town opposite Bred.

Other places to eat include:

  • The Waterfront Bar and Grill adjoins the Yachting World Marina. Good steaks and seafood but not the cheapest in town.
  • Nambawan Cafe north of the market.
  • Above the Brewery bar, a short walk from the marina, is a mexican cantina called simply Mex where the food is surprisingly good for the price. I found it better quality and value than the mexican at Jill's Cafe in town (which advertises itself as having the best mexican in town).
  • Crave at the south end of town (past the supermarket on Kumul Hwy) does very good pies and sausage rolls, and their bread is better than that at the supermarkets.

Various of the resorts along the waterfront as well as the Iririki Island Resort offer meals to visitors, some of which are presented with local dancing/singing/fire dancing shows



  • The Vanuatu Tourism Office maintains a vanuatu.travel website which is worth perusing for things to do ashore
  • A free small double-sided Hotspots Vanuatu leaflet can be obtained in many places in town, and is worth picking up a copy of
  • Islander Magazine can be purchased (approximately $3) from most newsagents and supermarkets in town, it appears to cater for the more high end traveller but contains some items of interest


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



See Vanuatu References.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

  • Delatbabel - Visited Port Vila in September 2014

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Names: Lighthouse, Delatbabel

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