Tanna Island

Tanna Island VolcanoThere is a lot to see and do in Tanna so, if you want to swim in underwater caves, snorkel on some of the best coral in the South Pacific, visit untouched waterfalls, see the islands wild horses and experience an ancient culture that remains largely unchanged to this day, allow time to explore.

Tanna is best known as the home to one of Vanuatu’s most popular tourist attractions, the Mount Yasur volcano. Considered one of the world’s most accessible volcanoes, Mt Yasur is just a one hour drive from Tanna’s White Grass Airport followed by a short 10 minute walk to the crater rim.

Tanna is fascinating with the local culture largely unaffected by the western way of life. To experience the traditional Tannese culture, there are day tours to local villages as well as custom ceremonies throughout the year like the renowned Nekowiar or Toka ceremony.

There are also cult tribes to learn about including the Prince Philip cult and the John Frum’s cargo cult.

Things To Do

Nekowiar Ceremony

One of Vanuatu's most spectacular cultural events, it brings together neigbouring villages for 3 days of gift giving ceremonies, custom dances and feasting. The men's Toka ceremony is considered the most impressive traditional dance. It is held every 3 to 4 years.

John Frum Villages

Located at Sulphr Bay on the East Coast and imanaka on the West Cost.  At  John Frum Village, villages worship a fogure claimed to be returning from the US with worldly goods to bestow upon them.

Hiking on Whitefrass Plains

Tanna islandThese grass-covered plains are home to Tanna's famous wild horses.  The view from the top over the coast of Eromango are breathing.

Mount Yasur (361m)

Located in the south-east, Tanna's most famous attraction is regarded as the world's most accessible active volcano. Over the centuries, ash rain from Yasur has built up huge black sand dunes, creating a stark moonscape. Visitors can climb up to the crater rim, where they are treated to a magnificient fireworks display. Night-time viewing is best.

Black Magic Tour

Situated at North Tanna, this tour is known of its magic and mystery.  See horse men, coffee plantation and colourful Tanna face painting.

Horse Riding

There are a number of excellent rides. From Lenakel Cove Resort you can ride into the forest.

Yakel Custom Village

The one true custom tour where the villagers live in a traditional lifestyle from day to day and western ways are discouraged.

Custom (Kastom) Villages

A guided tour of one of Tanna's Kastom Villages is a must-see on this amazing Island.

tanna island 1Getting there and getting around

Tanna Island is a 35 minute flight from Port Vila and Air Vanuatu flies daily. For a full schedule and to book, visit the Air Vanuatu website.

There is a range of accommodation on Tanna Island and most will organise tours and transfers where required.

Things You Should Know

  • Allow for a one hour for check-in time for all domestic flights.
  • There is a provincial departure tax of 200 VT per person to be paid at each domestic airport after your check-in.
  • Always reconfirm your flights with the local Air Vanuatu agent and if possible have an up to date Air Vanuatu flight schedule.
  • Do not forget to bring with you sun screen, mosquito repellent, bottled water, torch light and spare batteries.
  • Bathing suits, shorts and skimpy clothes are considered disrespectful in Villages. Village visitors should be fully dressed.
  • Nakamals (Kava Bars) are generally tabu to women in most parts of Tanna. It is, however, acceptable at the hotels and resorts.
  • Take care when the volcano is most active.
  • Entry to each tour is charged. If you are not sure, enquire with your hotel or tour guide
  • Lenakel or 'black man town' is the central hub and the trading centre of Tanna Island. 
  • It helps to bring enough Vatu cash. Always have some 1000 VT notes as well as smaller notes and coins.
  • Roads are pretty rough and as a safari experience, expect to sit in the back of trucks.