There is a lot to see and do in Tanna so, if you want to swim in underwater caves, snorkel on some of the best coral in the South Pacific, visit untouched waterfalls, see the islands wild horses and experience an ancient culture that remains largely unchanged to this day, allow time to explore.
Tanna is best known as the home to one of Vanuatu’s most popular tourist attractions, the Mount Yasur volcano.
Considered one of the world’s most accessible volcanos, Mt Yasur is just a one hour drive from Tanna’s White Grass Airport followed by a short 10 minute walk to the crater rim. It is best viewed at dusk so at least one night stay in Tanna is recommended. Most accommodation venues will organise a tour and there are tour operators running overnight and day tours from Port Vila.
Anthropologically, Tanna is fascinating with the local culture largely unaffected by the western way of life. To experience the traditional Tannese culture there are day tours to local villages as well as custom ceremonies throughout the year like the renowned Nekowiar or Toko ceremony. There are also cult tribes to learn about including the Prince Philip cult and the John Frum’s cargo cult.
If you visit on a Friday you will be privy to the weekly ceremony when John Frum members conduct rituals including raising flags and marching in unison, holding the belief that mimicking these American acts will lead to the delivery of magical cargo such as radios, jeeps, fridges and other manufactured items owned by American visitors during WWII.
Just some of the experiences to expect are below.
Shop and mingle with locals in Lenakal, the main town on the island with a post office, some shops and a local market that runs every day except Sunday.
Take a cultural tour to experience a way of life that has been largely uninfluenced by western culture. There are a number of tours to Tanna’s Kastom Villages where locals take you through their custom and culture and share their knowledge of traditional medicine, crafts and styles of cooking. You will be entertained with custom dancing, horse riding demonstrations and inspired by a completely different lifestyle. Some of the tours available include:
- South Tanna Cultural Tour
- Ipai Custom Tour
- Black Magic Tour
- Yakel Custom Villages
Explore the island’s beautiful landscapes on horseback with rides available along beaches, into the forest and to one of the world’s largest banyan trees. There are a number of horse riding options including:
- Lenakel Cove Resort
- Louniel village
- South Tanna Cultural Tour
Just 2km from White Grass Airport is a stunning 2-3m deep and 100 metres wide blue hole. The hole is filled with colourful coral and fish and morning spent snorkelling in the amazing cobalt blue water is an unforgettable experience.
From the blue hole you can take a short boat ride from the blue hole at white grass to the Lemnap underwater cave. A quick duck dive will get you into the stunning 60 metre in diameter grotto with a 5 metre hole in the top letting streams of sunlight through turning the water a beautiful turquoise blue.
Relax on the beach at Port Resolution on the South East coast of Tanna. This is a popular deepwater harbour for visiting yachts. With white sandy beaches and a local cafe serving fresh seafood and local food a couple of hours can float away while you relax here.