Trip Report – Hideaway Island – Port Vila – Vanuatu 2019

5th to 12th April 2019

Where is Port Vila – Vanuatu?

Hideaway Island Resort and Marine Sanctuary

is situated on its’ own private island, just a 5 minute ferry ride from the mainland and 15 minutes from Port Vila.

Oasis Shore Dive – What an epic view surfacing from a shore dive!

Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of Mele Bay and live coral reefs supporting a diversity of prolific marine life, Hideaway Island has been declared a protected marine sanctuary. Hideaway Island is one of the most popular diving areas in Vanuatu and one of only a few resorts in the world, to have its’ own marine sanctuary on the doorstep. The reef in front of the resort is teeming with brilliantly coloured fish and marine life and can be explored by snorkelling or diving straight from the shore. The diving features a variety of colourful sponges, hard corals, sea anemones, gorgonian fans and an amazing number of tropical fish. 

An awesome week with great people & great diving!

appy Diver faces!!!

Meeting at the airport: strangers became acquaintances, and acquaintances rapidly became friends, and the sounds that was to become well recognised the following week – raucous laughter – rang out from the group. I have taken many groups overseas, and yet I have not seen a group mesh so quickly.

 

I had been afflicted by a suspicious sore throat and cough, so hid from the rest of the group on the plane, and with the subsequent days it developed into a nice infection, so I kept my distance while being unable to dive for a few days!

Our short flight direct to Port Vila was comfortable in the small, but surprisingly roomy Nauru Airlines (Air Vanuatu is leasing their aircraft to keep up with the high demand on flights!) Great airline crew and a smooth flight, despite a few bumps through the very thick cloud cover close to Vanuatu.

Tahitian Fish Cocktail – Yummo! Lime+Coconut

Arriving in Vila, through customs and the team at Hideaway was waiting to whisk us away to our island home for the week. settling in, we explored the island, readied our dive gear, and strengthened the chatter and friendships along the way.

A massive shout out to the bar and kitchen crew, who, after getting used to our ‘increased nominal volume’ really warmed up to us and seemed to enjoy just having us around! From Hot Chocolates, to Virgin Pina Coladas, the amazing Coconut Curry to even sampling the local vanuatu rum (you have to try it – vanilla and coconut!!) at silly o’clock one evening; the team were awesome, and quickly learned our favorites!

 

Karen gets into the Virgin Pina Coladas

The Signature Dish – Bruces Coconut Curry. SOOO GOOD!

Leahs Mocktails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surface Interval – Hideaway Style

Lunch on the beach!

As my icky symptoms morphed into a dive-barring cough, I waved my divers off for a few days of diving without me as I filled up on Vitamin C, lemon drinks and rest. As much as one can rest in paradise! Staying in one of the oceanfront bungalows – it was very difficult as you can see.

But truthfully – it was hard to wave my divers off and hear them come back with tales of clear, water and amazing plate corals and the like. By the time I managed to get back into the water, Leah had decided to discover the deeper sites and expand her training to complete her Advanced Open Water Course over the last few days of the trip!

After I could join the crew for a dive, it was full steam ahead! From the magical muck dive that is Oasis Shore Dive – Whether Wall to shore or only shore. Jeanette & I repeatedly dragged Greg the dive manager back to dive this spot, to try and get good shots of the anemones, anemonefish, shrimps and porcelain crabs, mantis shrimps, lionfish, mantis shrimps, pipefish, tiny critters everywhere! Such a great discovery dive!

Oasis Shore Dive – Banded Coral Shrimps

Oasis Shore Dive – Pipefish

Oasis Shore Dive -Lionfish

Oasis Shore Dive – Porcelain Crab

 

 

 

 

Oasis Shore Dive – Twin Spot Gobie

Oasis Shore Dive – Short Tentacle Anemone

Oasis Shore Dive – Porcelain Crabs

Oasis Shore Dive – Clarks Anemonefish

 

More and more boat dives, enjoying the beautiful waters…the wonderful hospitality and the great camaraderie.

Gotham City – Richard

Bonza Wreck Dive

Bonza Wreck Dive

Gotham City –

 

 

 

 

Abyss – Noble Featherstar

Gotham City – amazing corals

Clown Colony – Juvenile Cuttlefish

Clown Colony – amazing encrusting coral trying to branch vertical!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations!

to Leah for completing her Advanced Open Water Diver while on tour.

Welcome to a new world of diving from all of us!

Gotham City – Leah

Clown Colony – Karen & Greg

Alaora Wreck Dive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PHOTO GALLERY