If you are taking a South Pacific cruise through Vanuatu, you may just be fortunate enough to have the amazing Mystery Island as part of your itinerary. So to demystify the location, here is what you can expect from a cruise day stop here.
Mystery Island is a tiny uninhabited island that is an absolute paradise for cruise passengers. If you wake early enough head out on deck and watch the convoy of small boats filled with Islanders and supplies that make their way to Mystery Island in preparation for your arrival.
The Island is small enough to circumnavigate by foot, yet large enough for an airstrip, and it is completed with some of the best beach and crystal clear water you will find anywhere in the world.
This is a tender port so you will need to take the small boats to arrive on the island where a jetty awaits.
There is an abundance of coral and sea life in the shallows here. The trick is knowing where to go. Many cruise passengers arrive by tender and hit the beach in front of them. Which is fine for swimming, however if you are after some snorkelling cross to the far side of the Island and walk to your right until you nearly reach the tip/end of the beach.
It is a bit of a walk to start, but you will be rewarded with an awesome snorkelling experience. The sands here are beautiful and the coral is a far enough distance out that reef shoes are not essential.
In my opinion, this is the best island for hair braiding. In the centre of the island there is a market set up with huts selling various fares. A collection of women await you in the central hut with beads and combs ready to go for the best and tightest braids going. They take their time for a great result that will set you back AUD$12 for kids and AUD$20 for Adults.
Mystery Island has a great set-up for massages. Dedicated huts with warmed and limber hands ready to take away the knots and stress from your body. Priced at AUD$30 per hour - you will be hard pressed to find a better price on any of the other Islands.
Watch Out For Planes
Believe it or not, Mystery Island has an airstrip. I don’t think I would ever want to have to utilise it, however on one visit we did actually see a plane land. So it is an operational strip believe it or not! Watch out over head for light aircrafts if you cut across the Island and cross the strip.
The locals will have an array of shell fish cooked and ready to display on a banana leave for you to enjoy. Prices vary depending on the size however average AUD$50. You know it is fresh and caught that day, so if you like your lobster this is a great place to indulge. You need to get in early as once they are gone they are gone!
Sit in the Cannibal Pot
Apparently cannibalism is a part of the history in this area - why when there is an abundance of fish and shell fish I am not sure why you would need to eat human. A trip to Mystery Island is not complete unless you have stood in the pot and had the photo! Of course you don’t actually get in any water and boil away - but it is a fun photo to take.
The Island will accept Australian dollars, but be sure to have small notes with you. Your cruise ship may also set up a drinks bar in the market stool area where you can take advantage of your drinks package or simply charge to your account if you do not have any cash.
Mystery Island is a paradise to simply unplug and relax. I am sure there are a myriad of other activities to do, however on each visit we have been so mesmerised by the clear water and snorkelling that we have simply stuck with that. Feel free to leave other activities for this port in the comments below.
Penny - Itchy Feet Family
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Penny, an avid Trip Advisor Reviewer, is the author of ITCHY FEET FAMILY. A family living in Adelaide, Australia, and taking every opportunity to travel and explore the world.