Jewel of Rah.  Welkam magazine Jan 2010 .


Jewel of Rah

by John Penman

One tiny island community are facing the challenges and reaping a range of rewards with the success of their locally developed whole community approach to tourism.

Vanuatu’s outer islands are like a crown of coral and cultural gems surrounding the hub of Port Vila. Tourism development in these rural areas is a sensitive and in many ways difficult task. The pristine environments and preserved local customs are attractive to visitors yet often vulnerable to the impacts of careless influence. Careful and considered tourism and grass roots community self-management is required in a country like Vanuatu where tourism is the largest source of income for the nation and one of the most influential industries affecting the Vanuatu way of life. Government departments can talk about policies in Port Vila and have international trade shows attended by a majority of foreign owned local tourism businesses but how are rural island communities on the outer rim of Vanuatu’s archipelago approaching and handling the sensitive issues first hand?


Welcome Home. Island Spirit magazine.  October - December 2008. 


  “Welcome Home”

  Many people travel at one point in their life in response to a calling, a search for home, a sense of belonging to a place and a community.  A few wayfarers stay within their native country while other pilgrims commonly explore famous cities and ancient sites in the antipodes.  A certain type of person might find their way to a small tropical island in search of paradise.  Then there are people who are taken on such a journey without any choice.  That is how it happened to one young Brisbane man who is personally helping to develop rural island communities through tourism and community centred projects.  It is a path that the island gods and serendipity appear to have destined for him from the beginning.


Rah Round Island Canoe Race.  Island Spirit magazine.  April - June 2008.



Inaugural Rah Round Island Canoe Race.  Rah Island. Thursday 18 October 2007

written by Kate Williams Tagai.

A small crescent of white sand beach showed high tide was close as the late afternoon sun sparkled off the lazy waves.   A small crowd gathered at the edge of the sand under the shade of sea oaks which form a small public park.   The distant call of male voices announced the start of the program.   Rhythms of stamping feet and chanting voices drew closer and closer until through the trees flashes of skin painted orange could be seen.

I Heart Island Time.  St Andrews Day Festival article for UK.  

I Island Time!

by Salina Scott


This article was written by a freelance UK journalist who came to the St Andrew's Day festival with VCT for a holiday. This festival features a custom fishing experience rarely seen in the world.

Clocks are overrated. Unless of course your catching a plane, running late for a meeting or boiling an egg. My days on Mota Lava and its island neighbour Rah existed without the need to know the time, which is just how a holiday should be. There are no clocks anywhere, and no one wears a watch. This is the ultimate in relaxation – welcome to the Banks.

Beautiful Banks - Unforgettable Festive Celebrations.  Island Spirit magazine. 

July-Sept 2007.


Beautiful Banks.  Unforgettable Festive Celebrations By Simon Humphries

  Christmas to New Year 2006 offered tourists and guests to Rah Island and Mota Lava a unique, culturally rich and extraordinary time in the beautiful Banks region of north Vanuatu.   It was an opportunity to experience the season’s celebrations and festivities in a special local way.   Christmas Eve 2006 was filled with anticipation as carol singers visited homes at all hours of the day and night and busy preparations were made for the days and nights of activities to follow.  


Life in a Tropical Garden of Eden.  Island Spirit magazine.  October - December 2007.


  Life in a Tropical Garden of Eden.  

By Simon Humphries.

Imagine living in a place where the earth was so organic and fertile that fences turn into trees and the hardest part about gardening is to try and stop plants and trees from growing. I have found such a place and with it happy, healthy people who live in sustainable harmony with their environment.   It is just 2 and a half hours flight from Brisbane and a complete world away.   In 2006 it was the number one country on the Happy Planet Index, which measured the health, happiness and environmental footprint of countries around the world. ( They have the world’s most accessible active volcano, they invented land diving long before it became bungee jumping and have first class reefs, ship wrecks, beaches, jungles, 83 islands and 115 different languages in one of the most culturally diverse region of the world. Welcome to Vanuatu.


Ambrym Island.  MAP magazine.  August 2007. 

(a short version of Life in a Tropical Garden of Eden ).



Travel Trade New Zealand.  Helping Out On Holiday.