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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vanuatu presents a jam-packed eventory of festivals and events

Vanuatu is host to a wealth of cultural festivals and sporting events this year set to lure even more Aussie travellers to the islands’ spectacular shores.

The calendar of events offers an extraordinary variety of experiences for visitors to explore, as well as the opportunity to combine a relaxing holiday with a rare cultural ritual or sporting challenge.  

Culture vultures and music aficionados will be drawn to Vanuatu’s Fête de la Musique festival in June, the Port Sandwich Art and Culture Festival in August, and LukaotemGud Santo Festival in September as well as the Saint Andrew cultural festival in November. These celebrations enable travellers to really immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions, creating life long memories.

For sporting enthusiasts, Vanuatu presents an assortment of action-packed events including the Vanuatu Marlin Classic in May and Vanuatu Golf Open in September. Those seeking best of both worlds won’t want to miss the Kiwanis Charity Cup in July, the biggest and most vibrant event in the Vanuatu social calendar.

With this and more, Vanuatu offers an experience for all on its 2013 eventory. Here’s a taste of what’s in store:

Vanuatu Marlin Classic, 26 May – 1 June 2013
Grand Hotel and Casino - Port Vila, Efate Island

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Vanuatu Marlin Classic. Located in the spectacular Port Vila harbor, the tag and release marlin tournament is held over seven days. A single entry can be a choice of one, two or three days out of the seven. First prize is AU$20,000!

Fete de la Musique, 21 June 2013
Port Vila, Efate Island and Luganville, Espiritu Santo

The Fête de la Musique festival celebrates the magic of music. Amateur and professional musicians are encouraged to take to the streets and free concerts abound bring all genres of music to life for attendees.

Kiwanis Charity Cup, 13 July 2013
Melektri, Efate Island

The races in Vanuatu are more like a tropical version of the Australian outback’s Birdsville than Melbourne’s own Flemington, but the party atmosphere beats both iconic events hands down. The Kiwanis Charity Cup, the pinnacle of Kiwanis Charity Races Week, attracts a colourful crowd of 10,000 each year.

Port Sandwich Art and Culture Festival, 16-17 August 2013
Lamap, Malekula Island

The local community of Lamap invites travellers to celebrate their culture, traditions and unique way of life during this two-day festival. An authentic pig exchange ceremony, local skill displays, as well as dance, music and stories, combined with delicious organic island cuisine await. There is also an option for guests to stay with a host family in the village overnight to gain a truly authentic and cultural experience.

Back to My Roots, 22-24 August 2013
Olal, Ambrym Island

Witness a colourful array of Ambrym cultural performances and traditions at this lively event. The festival begins with a traditional opening ceremony followed by dances, flute-playing, magic demonstrations, local food, children's games and sand-drawing displays. The festival culminates with a performance of the local custom dance on the last day.

Vanuatu Golf Open, 10-15 September 2013
Port Vila Golf and Country Club, Efate Island

The annual Vanuatu Golf Open (VGO) attracts professionals and amateurs from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands – many who return year after year to tee off and enjoy the nightly entertainment. A significant event on the South Pacific Golfing calendar, professionals can gain order of merit points for the PGA in Australia.

Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival, Date 16 – 20 October 2013
Luganville, Espiritu Santo

The Lukaotem Gud Santo Festival is a two-day family friendly music festival that draws almost 200 musicians from around the Pacific, including Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Australia, and proudly hosts many kastom performance groups and musicians from Vanuatu’s Samna Province. The festival emphasises environmental awareness and respect for local customs through music.

Saint Andrew, 29 November 2013
Rah Island and Mota Lava Island

For more than 100 years, the people of Rah and Mota Lava islands have been coming together to celebrate the life of Saint Andrew. During this fascinating cultural festival, visitors can join the locals as they fish using a giant traditional coconut leaves fishing net, taste the “volcano baked” food, see the famed sea snake dances and trek up the Rock of Rah or the Sleeping Giant mount.

For further details about Vanuatu and what’s on visit  

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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