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.
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.
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.
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!
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!