Wala, Vanuatu

Wala, Vanuatu

Wala is a small coral atoll off the north-eastern coast of Vanuatu’s Malakula Island. Undeveloped, with no electricity, telephones or roads, it is a picture of Pacific island beauty, with palm-lined beaches, pristine white sands, ageing forest and traditional grass thatched villages.

Home to no more than 300 locals, Wala has retained a primitive way of life – a far cry from the 21st century. The fascinating Nambus culture and many of its traditions are still very much alive on the island today, offering visitors a unique experience.

It has become a popular South Pacific cruise destination in recent years, with around 18 cruise ships visiting a year.

Cruise Deals

Port Location

Only 1.5 kilometres wide, Wala doesn’t have the capacity to dock large vessels and lacks a purpose-built port. Cruise ships anchor between the island and the neighbouring island of Rano. Ships tender boats transport passengers to and from the jetty. 

Port Facilities

Wala does not have a port facility. On cruise days, local market stalls and a bar are set up near the jetty.  

How to Get Around

There are no roads or cars on Wala, so transport is by foot or dugout outrigger canoes only. The island is easily explored in just a few hours. 

General Information

  • Currency - the local currency in Wala is the Vanuatu Vatu (VUV). Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 vatu denominations – notes are not in circulation. Australian dollars are accepted but change may not be available. Credit cards are not accepted.  
  • Time Zone - Wala uses Vanuatu Standard Time. It is 11 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
  • Weather - Wala has a tropical and humid climate, with an average annual temperature of 26° Celsius, ranging from 29° Celsius in April to 23° Celsius in January. January is also the driest month. The wettest month is August, with an average 263mm of rain.  

Highlights

  • Wala Beach - palm-fringed, with coral white sands and bright turquoise waters, Wala’s main beach is the archetypal Pacific island scene. A custom string band performs as ships passengers arrive, and at the edge of the beach, close to the grass thatched village huts, are a selection of market stalls selling local handicrafts. There is also a bar, which serves cool Tusker Vanuatu beer. 
  • Walking Tour - away from the main beach, Wala offers numerous walking trails across the island. Scenery includes everything from old growth forest to traditional villages, markets and other beaches. In addition, locals offer guided tours for a small per-person fee, presenting a unique and first-hand insight into Wala’s Nambus culture.
  • Snorkelling - itself a coral atoll, Wala is a great spot for snorkelling. There are numerous coral gardens in the waters just offshore, which are home to an extraordinary variety of colourful fish and marine life. 
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