Yellow flowers, Erromango, Vanuatu
Mt Urantop, Erromango, Vanuatu
Forest, Erromango, Vanuatu
Happy Lands village, Erromango, Vanuatu
Giant Kauri at Happy Lands Kauri Reserve, Erromango, Vanuatu
Walking Vanuatu on Erromango

The main activity for visitors to Erromango is walking and trekking. One plan is to land at Dillon's bay and walk to Ipota, overnighting at Happy Lands and South River, and then fly out from Ipota.

Another plan is to start at Ipota, catch a boat up to Cook's Bay and walk to Dillon's Bay via Potnarvin. There once were logging roads across the island in the north and halfway across the island in the south but these have long been impassable to trucks.

Please note that we haven't done all of these walks (yet) and the following information is incomplete.

Walking Routes
The west coast route follows mostly level ground on top of the limestone escarpment. Steep climbs are encountered in the gorges at Dillon's Bay, Pongkil Bay and South River. There are few clean drinking water sources along this route except at villages.

Walking Erromango Distance(km) Time(hours)
Dillon's Bay to Pongkil Bay 13 5
Pongkil Bay to Happy Lands 3 1
Happy Lands to South River 10 3
South River to Ipota 25 8
Cook's Bay to Potnarvin 5 1.5
Potnarvin to Dillon's Bay ? ?

At Umponyelogi Village (Happy Lands) a home stay costs around 1000 Vatu per person, per night, including meals. It's a nice area but the river is 30 minutes walk downhill if you want to take a bath. On Wednesday afternoons there's a village market where women sell all kinds of lap-lap (only 20 vatu a slice) and a few rice meals (the children's favourite).

Walking from South River to Ipota follows the old logging road most of the way.

Few locals walk between Ipota and Cooks Bay. The route follows the coastline and the river at Cook's Bay is deep.

Some of the walking tracks can be difficult to follow and you'll need to arrange food and accommodation along the way. Unless you're fluent in Bislama it's best to have a guide (about 1500 Vatu per day is reasonable compensation). You might be able to follow a local on some days.

A tent could be handy on the cross island routes, enabling you to break your journey and sleep in the bush.
Around August it can be quite cold in the hills and a light sleeping bag is handy. Also bring a few supplements for your meals such as tinned fish and tea/coffee. There are very few stores outside of Dillon's Bay, Ipota and Potnarvin.

Kauri reserves
The Happy Lands Kauri Reserve is two hours hiking (about 5 km) from the village and the last stretch of track is not well maintained. It's a nice enough place but is it worth the 2000 Vatu fee?

You may also be invited to see a Kauri Reserve in the Dillon's Bay area. It's about three hours walk away and the fee is 1500 Vatu. Return transport from Dillon's Bay to where the walking track begins is 2000 Vatu.

Last updated: April 2012 by Stephen.

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