An archipelago of over 80 volcanic islands in the South Pacific Ocean, many of which are uninhabited, Vanuatu was jointly owned by Britain and France before it gained independence in 1980. It was first discovered in 1606 by a Portuguese explorer who mistook it for Australia.

Vanuatu travel
Image courtesy of Vanuatu Tourist Information Centre, http://VanuatuInformation.com

The smouldering volcanoes, romantic beaches and friendly people make Vanuatu a popular holiday destination.

Vanuatu presents divers a special reason to plunge into its water- to post letters! The island has the world’s only underwater post office in a marine sanctuary near the capital. It is operated just 3 meters below the surface by four workers who are also accredited, divers.

Vanuatu Post also installed a postbox near the bubbling crater of Mt. Yasur- the only postbox in the world on a live volcano!

Naghol (land diving) is a traditional rite of passage into manhood that is observed in the Pentecost Island. Young men prove their courage by tying vines to their ankles and jumping off tall wooden platforms. You know its modern counterpart- bungee jumping.

The island of Tanna is a centre of cargo cults’, one of which is the Prince Phillip Movement. It reveres Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II. The natives behind that he is the divine pale-skinned son of a mountain spirit who travelled overseas to a distant land and married a powerful lady.

‘cults that believe salvation will come in the form of wealth (‘cargo’) brought by westerners.

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