Our preparation was minimal for our Mt Yasur visit. We just packed up and went off with a sense of adventure and excitement in our hearts to see one of the Worlds Most Active Volcanoes. Once up on the rim of the crater, there were a few things we wish we had packed to make our experience much more comfortable. We have put together tips for preparing for Mt Yasur Volcano with Kids. But our recommendations is also suitable for adults
Mt Yasur Volcano Information.
Mt Yasur Volcano Tours
Tours to go up to Mt Yasur are organised through your accommodation. Tanna Island is laid back and relaxed. You can literally organise a trip the day before your planned visit. But we recommend you pre-book with your hotel and let them know your plans. Generally speaking, the hotel will either offer the tour directly themselves or have a driver and tour guide they use and recommend. We found tours to be high in cost, so try and organise several things to visit and see, with in an all day tour. Most operators are on their toes and charge for two tours even if you do this, but no harm in trying.
Mt Yasur Entry Costs
Volcano tour (by day or night) – 9500 Vanuatu vatu per person all inclusive. This fee includes transfers there and back, tour guide, refreshment, security and kastom fees. Transfer fees are fixed and have been decided by landowners of the volcano area regardless of your accommodation or guide.
Tour Starting Times
We were not offered a day tour when we visited. All tours started at 5pm with 30 minutes of traditional Kastom Dancing and ended after being returned from the Volcano at 7.00pm. Fruit and biscuits are offered for all visitors before being collected by our returning transfers at 7.30pm.
The facilities are basic with only toilets at the base of the volcano before you leave. There are no facilities up on the Volcano. Bring everything you need.
Mt Yasur Current Activity
Rumblings and small explosions are currently happening every 2 – 10 minutes with larger explosions happening every 30 – 60 minutes.
Recommendations for Mt Yasur
Pack warm clothes
Unless you are visiting during the warmer months (November – April), you will need warm clothing. Tanna island is cooler than Efate. On the crater rim high above sea level, the wind is strong and cold. Complaints echoed from visitors wishing they had warmer clothing. Long-sleeve jumpers & sweatpants, socks, and sneakers are a minimum. We recommend you add a jacket, scarf, and beanie if you are sensitive to the cold.
Wear appropriate Shoes
Flexible, warm enclosed shoes keep out the cold, sand, dust and make the climb much easier.
Bring a scarf and or Beanie
Gusts of wind lift sand/volcanic ash making all shield faces in protection. A scarf and Beanie will keep dust and sand off heads. Sand in our hair, on our neck and skin, made things uncomfortable for everyone.
Safety Glasses or Ash Masks
Clear safety glasses or masks allow you to see clearly but block sand flying in eyes. Several times we missed explosions as we shielded our faces in protection from flying ash. Not the most glamorous of looks, but everyone will thank you later.
The tour company will offer you bottled water but not readily hand it out. Ask for your free water and bring it with you. The climb while short it’s certainly steep and will get your heart racing. Kids will need water and so will you.
Don’t Pack Snacks
With all that ash and sand flying around in the wind gusts, you won’t get much chance to sit and snack. You are only up there for roughly 1 hour, eat before and after your visit.
Pack a Flashlight
Once dark, it’s near impossible to see any tracks back to base. Pack a small flashlight for each person so that they can see their way easily.
Pack a camera for kids
Depending on their age, pack a camera that kids can use. Little instant cameras are an excellent way for kids to learn, capture and instantly see results.
Raincoat – Poncho
There is zero protection from rain, and it’s a good 10 – 15 minute walk from the 4 x 4 transport vans. If it rains up there, have lightweight ponchos to throw on to continue enjoying the Magma display.
Post a Letter
Vanuatu Post has cleverly placed a Post Box at the base of the Volcano where you can send a letter or postcard to yourselves, friends or family (mail collected daily). A family fun activity highly recommended. Match up the experience with a visit to Hideaway Island and dive to send a Waterproof Postcard in The Worlds Only Underwater Post Office, also in Vanuatu.
Prepare kids for noise, explosions and safety concerns
We had no idea that the viewing platform of Mt Yasur Volcano is nothing less than walking along the crater rim itself. No rails are available for children to keep steady. Explosions are spewing hot magma into the air within the rim of the crater every several minutes. However, roughly once, twice or even three times per hour, enormous explosions occur. The ground shakes, the noise of thunder deafens you and bright hot magma catapults into the air landing on the outer side of the Volcano. Guides assess on arrival which direction to take you once they can determine the wind direction. Their safety message is, don’t run, but with every explosion, kids may want to run. Warn children to stay close to you, hold on to clothing, hands, belts, etc. And at any stage, if they feel overwhelmed or frightened, to let you know so they can be escorted back down safely. There is another viewing area at the top of the walking track from the parking area, which isn’t as scary for kids.
Mt Yasur Volcano is a wonderful educational experience for children. Go now before they change everything making Mt Yasur only viewable from a distance. Once darkness falls, the real excitement begins and never again will your children say they haven’t experienced an Active Volcano or felt her rumble. Staring down into the red-hot lava storm of Mt Yasur is a sight you won’t soon forget.
If you are looking for our recommendation on which Treehouse/Bungalow that boasts the best views, read all about our experience at Yasur View Bungalows that hold the best views of Mt Yasur day and night and worth getting up after midnight to watch the Magma display.