Mount Garet Volcano, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Lake Letas, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Siri Waterfall, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Garet Volcano, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Camping by the lake, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Japanese grave, Namasari, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Mount Garet, Gaua, Banks Islands, Vanuatu
Walking Gaua Wongras Fres Win Aver Bay Harbourfront, Namasari Weul, Namasari PeBa Memorial, Lembot

Gaua, great walking in the Banks Islands
Gaua's scenic centre is an awesome place for bush walking and trekking with:
- Lake Letas, the largest in Vanuatu.
- Mount Garet, an active volcano.
- Siri Waterfall, a truly impressive sight with a large flow out of Lake Letas falling down 120m. The most spectacular in Vanuatu.

The first Lakona Bay Kastom Festival will be happening on 23 and 24 August 2014 (see the festival flier). Lakona Bay has a good anchorage in the shadow of Mt Garet, where fresh water springs from the black sand beach. The festival includes local dances, wood/stone carving, music, food and more.

Trekking to Lake Letas and camping overnight is a great walk. There have been no catastrophic eruptions from the Mount Garet Volcano for a long time and the caldera rim is cool and forested. Cross the lake by canoe, climb up the hill and you will be surprised by a desert-like landscape on the summit of Mt Garet.

Along the north and eastern coast of Gaua, there are extensive reefs with sheltered waters inside.

Just north of Namasari village there was a Japanese station in World War Two. All that remains are a few graves, a truck engine and a sunken boat near the beach. The Japanese withdrew before the Allied forces came.

Most of Gaua's population lives in the east, spread out along the truck road. There are small stations and coconut plantations all about. Many of the Ni-Vanuatu you will meet around east Gaua are recent settlers, mostly from Mere Lava and Merig islands, where land is in short supply.

Gaua is not far from Santo and relatively easy and inexpensive to visit. The easiest way to get there is to buy a return Air Vanuatu ticket. Shipping services are infrequent and not recommendable.

A good number of volcano tourists visit Mount Garet each year. Most of them stay at Wongras Bungalows. Recently, there are more options and some are just as good.

Harbourfront Guesthouse, Namasari
Weul Guesthouse, Namasari
PeBa Memorial Bungalow, Lembot
Aver Bay Guesthouse, Aver Bay
Tames Guesthouse, near the airport
Wongras Bungalows, near the airport
Fres Win Bungalow, Lewonduwar

Air Vanuatu flies to Gaua on three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday (March 2009). An adult return fare to Gaua is 40025 Vatu from Port Vila or 19280 Vatu from Santo (May 2006). Tourists with a return Air Vanuatu ticket are entitled to a 20% discount.

When leaving Gaua, plan to be at the airport early. What happens is that the pilot radios ahead from Santo and may decide to change the routing. Exchange Rates.

There is no regular shipping service to the Banks these days so don't plan on travelling by ship to or from Gaua.

There were no private transport trucks on Gaua in 2009. You will have to walk, good training for trekking to Mount Garet!

Airport to north Walking time
Aver village 10 minutes
Lembot village 15 minutes
Namasari village 25 minutes
Airport to south  
Tolo village 15 minutes
Lemanman village 25 minutes
Kaska Bay 35 minutes

Gaua now has a tourism office, by the airport. It's actually OK and should be the best place to pay kastom landowner fees. Telephone 38596 (on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when there is an Air Vanuatu flight from Santo).

The Mataka Health Centre is between Lembot and Namasari villages. There's a nurse here but in March 2009 they were very low on medicine and supplies.

Telephones are scarce and Digicel has not arrived in the Banks and Torres Islands yet (March 2009). There's one public phone at the airport (38514) and another at the public school at Aworu. The telephone service in the Banks is infamously unreliable. Nevermind if the phones are down and you can't book, just go and everything will sort itself out. The TVL landlines are undoubtedly out of service now in 2014. Please provide an update about communications if you've been to Gaua recently.

The clinic and some schools have solar panels but not all have inverters. There are a few private generators here and there. Don't assume there will be power, charge all of your batteries before coming.

Last Updated: Jan 2014 by Stephen

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