On Vanuatu’s Outer Islands water falls and flows through luscious, viridescent rainforests. These are the best waterfalls that you just have to go and find for yourself.
You grapple for the stones lining the base of the waterfall and haul yourself onto a cascade platform. The water rushes over your face, over your shoulders, down your sweaty body.
The local guides are throwing themselves off jump rocks, laughing and reaching out their hands to show you how to do the same. They cheer when you work up the courage to follow them, running off a rock platform, kicking your legs out in the freedom of the drop.
These five waterfalls are some of our favourites in Vanuatu. Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and whichever island you make your way to will have something to offer – just ask the smiling locals!
1. Siri Waterfall, Gaua
At 120m tall, and located close to Mt Garet and Lake Letas, Siri Waterfall boasts the title of Vanuatu’s tallest waterfall. Pouring out of a crater, this beauty is surrounded by tropical rainforest coconut plantations and a volcano. You can take in the sheer immensity as you hike towards it.
It’s a pretty sketchy walk down to the waterfall, so the Vanuatu Tourism Office suggests that hikers should be over the age of 10 with relatively good fitness (and balance!). It can get pretty wet down there, so shoes with good grip are a must too.
It’s a four-hour return trip from the base of the volcano to the waterfall, or 1.5 hours from Victor’s Camp, which is where you’ll stay if you do the Mt Garet and Lake Letas adventure (which we absolutely recommend!).
2. Losinwei Cascades, Malekula
The journey out to Losinwei Cascades on Malekula Island was probably one of my favourites. With deep azure plunge pools and river crossings zig-zagging up to the falls, I made countless stops to get wet, pull out the camera, or both!
We wrote a microadventure about Losinwei Cascades, so if these photos convince you, hit that link for essential gear and how to get there.
3. Naone Waterfall, Maewo
Jump rocks abound at Naone Waterfall in Maewo! It’s a short walk on easy terrain, and there’s plenty of plunge pools to play in and waterfalls to climb. In our guide to Maewo you’ll find what you need to know about how to get there, what to pack and what to expect.
4. The Waterfalls on Maewo’s Coastline
If you book a stay at Mulé Ocean View Guest House (and we suggest you do, so contact these guys to book it), you’ll have to catch a boat an hour or so up the coastline to get there. While we recommend stopping in at the Moon Cave, that’s not all this journey has to offer.
There are waterfalls snaking from the top of the rugged terrain all the way down to the sea. The locals tell me that Maewo is often referred to as ‘waterfall island’, and it’s no wonder. You’ll know what I mean when you take a boat around the island.
5. Mele Cascades, Port Vila, Efate
We’ve snuck this one in because it’s so easy! Anyone going through the main island Efate, where Port Vila and the international airport is located can (and should) get to visit and have a splash.
Mele Cascades is the most commercial of our five, with an entrance fee, but it also has convenient food and beverage kiosks, lovely toilets and changing rooms and beautifully maintained walkways and gardens.
Oh and don’t tell everyone, but there’s a secret kissing cave behind the main waterfall. Be brave and step through the water to find this hidden gem.