Fern, Aneityum, Vanuatu
Backpacking on Aneityum, Vanuatu
West Aneityum, Vanuatu
Bush walking in rainforests, Aneityum, Vanuatu
Anawamet guesthouse, Aneityum, Vanuatu
Anawamet guesthouse, Aneityum, Vanuatu
Forest ground orchid, Aneityum, Vanuatu

Walking Aneityum

There is much enjoyable walking and trekking on Aneityum. It takes about two and a half days to go all the way around.

Anelgauhat is a good base for bush walking, the forests are accessible by several old logging roads. You can walk alone if you're not afraid of getting lost (there is no trail maintenance and no maps).

The native forests have recovered quite well after being logged in the years before independence. Searching for orchids (best in October and November), Kauri trees and birds can be quite rewarding. There are also some waterfalls.

Round-Island Walks
The west coast route to Port Patrick (Anawamet village) from Anelgauhat is a relatively easy 6 to 7 hour walk, mostly along the beach. There are freshwater streams and springs along the way - don't weigh yourself down with drinking water. There are also plenty of coconuts (ask if your guide is prepared to climb for you).

The east coast route from Port Patrick to Anelgauhat via Umetch is by all reports longer, harder and wetter trekking with several river crossings. If walking this route then plan to overnight at Umetch village or somewhere in between. Umetch to Anelgauhat is about 2.5 hours easy walking.

Most tourists want to walk the cross-island shortcut between Port Patrick and Anelgauhat. This path crosses the central mountain range and follows rivers on both sides. The boulders and stones on the rivers are hazardous when wet. Locals don't use this route, except when it's dry which requires a rain-free days so you may be told that the track is no good.

Around Port Patrick there are some petroglyphs (designs, symbols and images carved in stones). The locals say they are the work of an earlier people. There's also some lowland forest near the coast, a waterfall inland and sea turtles around the reefs. You'll need to stay a day at Port Patrick to sample some of these sights.

Accommodation
You don't need to camp at Anawamet village or carry your own food. There's a guesthouse and aelan kaekae can be provided. Mattresses and sometimes mosquito nets can be provided (there are few mosquitoes). You should bring your own lightweight sleeping bag or blanket. It's not a commercial guesthouse so there is no dedicated toilet or shower. You will be shown a toilet you can use and the only shower is just an overhead pipe with a tap. Guests are rare and there is no incentive to build tourist facilities at Port Patrick.

The food at Anawamet includes fresh fish, water taro, lap-lap manioc, rice and breakfast crackers. There aren't many bought items and it's a good idea to contribute some basic foodstuffs (tinned fish and tea are always handy and welcome). If you bring your own food then you can cook in the nakamal.

At Anawamet, 1000 Vatu per day is a reasonable payment for food and accommodation (you probably won't be asked to pay and the charges are not defined).

You should be able to find similar conditions to Anawamet in Umetch village (ask your guide/host).

Camping
The villages around Aneityum are few and there are many sites between with fresh water that would be ideal for camping. However, it's usually assumed tourists will be staying in the villages, carrying a tent and sleeping in it. Plan with you guide/host if you want to camp in uninhabited areas.

If camping in a village, a small gift or a few hundred vatu cash when leaving is a good practice.

Guides
Locals are walking the round-island paths everyday and it's often possible to follow someone rather than hire a guide. However, the locals tend to walk quite fast and don't waste any time admiring the scenery or stopping for lunch.

As usual, guide fees are not clearly stated. Some people pay around 5000 Vatu for a guided three day walk around the island. It's best to agree on a daily rate before setting out. About 1000 Vatu per day is reasonable if you're not asking too much from your guide.

Last updated: August 2004 by Stephen.

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