When we heard that the worlds only Underwater Post Office was in Vanuatu, we knew we had to visit, check it out and post ourselves an underwater postcard as a fun family activity to do. (We will update you when it arrives!)
Hideaway Island is located just off the coast on Efate close to Port Vila. It’s so close to the main island that you can walk across easily at low tide. With boats (cost included in your entry fee) departing to and from the island every 15 minutes, it’s no trouble to jump on and head over for a day trip to enjoy the island and resort facilities.
As soon as we arrived on the island, we hired additional snorkeling gear and we on a family adventure finding their underwater post office. Marked nearby with buoys it wasn’t hard to find (ok so the staff pointed the area out) We swam out as a family, did a little snorkeling and on low tide, we soon found the Underwater Post Office. Charlotte was able to stand on its roof at low tide and attempted a couple of tries to getting down to view closer. The Post Office has mailbags (filled with sand) inside adding a bit of fun, and you can enter the Post Office giving your travel buddy a chance to capture you acting as their latest Post Office Master. The post box to send mail is right next to the Post Office. Slip your postcard inside, and at the end of each day, the resort divers empty the mailbox preparing it Vanuatu Post to collect and send to your destination. How cool is that!!
How to Get There
Being so close to Port Vila its easy to get to and from Hideaway Island Boat Ramp.
- Taxi – Negotiate a price for a taxi to take you to and from the boat ramp. There were plenty of unmetered taxis’ waiting for passengers leaving the island up until sunset. If for some reason there are no taxis available, simple head next door to The Beach Bar and ask them to ring you one.
- Van / Bus – Chat to bus / Van owners in Port Vila and negotiate a one-way price per person. Expect to pay upwards of 350 VUV pp
- Hire Car – We had a hire car and included Hideaway Island as a part of our second day DIY driving tour.
Entry Costs – 2017
Visiting Hideaway island is not free. Having you over as a guest comes at a cost to the resort providing facilities. Transfer boat, toilets, pool, etc.
Entry applies to all visiting for the day. Those who stay at the resort do not pay an entry fee.
Adults – 1250 VUV
Children – 5 to 12 years – 600 VUV
Children under 5 are free.
(Special waterproof postcards are only available to buy at the Hideaway Resort shop. 350 VUV per card)
What to Bring
- Swimming costume
- Beach towels
- Reef shoes – A must!! With the beach being 100% coral, it’s not a pleasant experience getting in and out of the water without Reef Shoes. Learn from our mistake
- Snorkeling gear – Bring your own to save hire costs. We had one set, and they are priced well from the cheap shops in Port Vila. Hiring is available from the resort, but they expect the gear back by 4 pm
- Underwater Camera – A must
- Sunscreen and Hats. There was plenty of beach chairs and spots to sit and enjoy the view. Not a lot of shade. Don’t forget the hat and sunscreen.
How to get the most out of your time on Hideaway Resort
Arrive early in the day and spend more than an hour or two. Posting the card at the underwater post office was on the last of our things to do in Port Vila and we underestimated how much time we wanted to spend there.
- Snorkeling is lovely with plenty of fish and coral to enjoy
- Paying for entry means you can enjoy the pool and beach all day!
- Hire a Kayak and paddle around the island
- Post a waterproof postcard in the underwater post box and get a snap of you in the Worlds only underwater post office
- Enjoy lunch on their beach
- Finish off the day heading back to the mainland and indulge in a bevy or two enjoying the sunset at The Beach Bar next door to the boat ramp on the main island.
Posting a waterproof Post Card at the Worlds ONLY underwater Post Office was fun. We wished we could have stayed longer but couldn’t and would recommend a day trip for families or anyone who enjoys snorkeling and having a little fun.