At the northernmost tip of Vanuatu lies the Banks and Torres islands, reaching both north and west to the Solomon Islands. Volcanic in nature, active volcanoes decorate the islands of Gaua and Vanua Lava.
The Banks and Torres consist of the following island chain.
Vanua Lava Island
Vanua Lava is the largest island of Banks and Torres with much to interest visitors. Sola stands as the principal town for all of Banks and Torres. At the northern tip of Vanua Lava lies Ravenga, where the surf breaks onto the reef at high tide. Due to its difficult location, only boats with skilled captains can access it. Two island bungalows of Nerr Bungalows in Vureas Bay and Malaau Yacht Resort in Waterfall Bay lie in the western portion of Vanua Lava.
Mota Lava and Ra Islands
Mota Lava and Ra, act as a tranquil escape from the bustling areas of modern Vanuatu. Small in nature, these islands allow for easy walking to most attractions. In the west of Mota and Ra, captivating white sand beaches and coral reefs are situated. If you are athletic and enjoy hiking, be sure to climb the two boulder piles on Ra. It’s good exercise and you will be treated to splendid vistas. Also make a point to visit the Sleeping Mountain on Mota Lava. It’s a steep but reasonably short climb, and the view at the top will take your breath away. Island bungalows, beautiful to the eye, are centered around the western portion of Mota Lava and Ra.
Getting To Where You Are Going
As of March 2009, Air Vanuatu offer flights to Banks and Torres three days a week: Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Tourists possessing a return Air Vanuatu ticket are entitled to a 20% discount. When leaving Gaua, plan accordingly, and arrive at the airport early to avoid any unfortunate travel issues. There are currently no regular boats, ships, or cruises to Banks and Torres. Be sure to visit the Air Vanuatu website to learn more and receive the latest flight schedules.
Sola possesses all the necessities of a modern city including a post office, a branch of the National Bank of Vanuatu, police, immigration office, and customs office, in addition to TORBA Provincial shops and guesthouses. Sola also has a medical clinic with an excellent nurse. Mobile communications, including Digicel and Smile (TVL), have arrived in Vanuatu. Digicel, located on the hill above Sola, provides more limited coverage. To-date, there is a dearth of phone coverage on the western postion of Vanua Lav.