Kids swimming, Ambae, Vanuatu
Lake Vui, Ambae, Vanuatu
Hiking down from the summit, Ambae, Vanuatu
South Ambae beach, Vanuatu
Devil's Rock, Ambae, Vanuatu
L/C Sarafenua at Lolowai, Ambae, Vanuatu
Toa Guesthouse, Ambae, Vanuatu
Lolowai morning, Ambae, Vanuatu
Camping at Devil's Rock, Ambae, Vanuatu
Tree orchid at Duviara Conservation Area, Ambae, Vanuatu
West Ambae view, Vanuatu
Walking Ambae Rose and Jeffry's Home Stay Toa Palms Bungalows Duviara Conservation Area Duviara Lolowai Malomatugu Saratamata

Ambae, the original Bali Hai
Ambae inspired James Michener's mysterious island of Bali Hai in his novel Tales of the South Pacific. The island is a large active shield volcano, rising to 1496m above sea level. It's Vanuatu's second highest island with crater lakes on the summit and cloud forests on the upper slopes. East Ambae is wet and the west is a rain-shadow area.

Ambae's west and northeast are densely populated. Elsewhere there are few villages. The centre for PENAMA province is at Saratamata in the northeast. Ambae is famous for its aelan taro and Melo-Melo kava.

Ambae is an excellent place for hiking and walking and there are secluded beaches in the south. Not many tourists visit Ambae even though it's close to Santo with frequent and inexpensive transport links.

Bungalows
At Saratamata, there are two places to stay:
Saratamata Guest House, Saratamata
Tui Lodge, Saratamata

Elsewhere around Ambare, we feature:
Lolowai Transit House, Lolowai
Malomatugu Guesthouse by the Sea, Lolopuepue
Duviara Guesthouse, Duviara Conservation Area, Ambanga
Rose and Jeffry's Paradise Garden House, Ambore
Toa Palms Bungalows, Ndui Ndui

In the more densely populated areas on Ambae there may be local guesthouses, often owned by the church or community. These are not promoted to tourists and we haven't visited them all. Ask around and you shall find somewhere to stay.

U.S. Peace Corps volunteers used to camp at Devil's Rock. It's a nice, quiet place with sand beaches, coral reefs and sea turtles. There were plans to build bungalow accommodation here. Contact us if you can provide an update.

Air Transport
Ambae has three airstrips. Fares are summarised below (July 2010). Tourists holding an international Air Vanuatu ticket are entitled to a 20% discount on internal fares. Exchange Rates. Ambae has lots of flights, so check the latest Air Vanuatu schedule carefully.

Airport Return
Santo fare
(Vatu)
Return
Port Vila fare
(Vatu)
Flights per week
Walaha 10550 31025 4
Longana 13700 31025 7
Redcliff 11675 via Santo Fortnightly

Sea Transport
There are one or two ships per week between Luganville and Ambae. A one way fare is about 2000 Vatu to west Ambae or 2500 Vatu to the north of the island. Exchange Rates. The crossing takes three to four hours but more than half a day can be spent servicing the villages around the island. Note these are cargo boats with limited facilities for passengers. One exception is the L/C Sarafenua which has a lounge with plastic chairs (and no clear spaces to lay down and have a sleep!).

The Simonsen Wharf in Luganville (past the big wharf, on the road towards the airport) is a good place in to find ships for Ambae. It's also a good idea asking someone from Ambae in Luganville.

Ships also pass by Ambae en route from Port Vila to Santo and stop at most places on the northeast and west of the island. Good places to find ships are Ndui Ndui in the west and Lolopuepue and Lolowai in the north. In 2009 the L/C Brisk was servicing Lolowai and she has a reliable schedule.

Road Transport
Ambae has extensive road networks in the west and northeast but the rugged coastline prevents a complete round-island road. Some truck fares are listed below. Exchange Rates

Truck journey Charter fare (Vatu)

Shared
(Vatu)

Walaha - Ndui Ndui 3000 300
Ndui Ndui - Devil's Rock 4000  
Lolopuepue - Lolowai 4000 400
Longana - Ambanga 6000  

Last updated: August 2014 by Stephen.

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