Chances are if you’re visiting Mystery Island in Vanuatu you’re going to be on a cruise, although the little island does have an airport and air strip. We were onboard the Carnival Legend, part of the Carnival Cruise Line that also owns P&O Cruises. We sailed out of Sydney late December 2017 and arrived by tender to Mystery Island on 1 January 2018.
Mystery Island is uninhabited because it is thought to be haunted, as such I was expecting sand, sea and not much else, I was in for a surprise. We booked an advanced snorkeling tour (AUD$82) on the ship, but there is no need to pre-book tours as there are plenty advertised on the island, and at much cheaper prices ……
It’s worth taking your own snorkeling equipment as it’s expensive to both buy and hire snorkeling gear on the ship, snorkeling sets were for hire on Mystery Island for $15 a day. If you book an advanced snorkeling tour you need to be confident in the open sea as you’ll spend at least an hour moving from one snorkeling site to the next – fins are recommended.
The underwater photos throughout the post show the different types of fish you can see. The last part of the tour took us to an area where turtles can be spotted, no luck for us, but it wasn’t that far out from the jetty so if you’re a confident swimmer and the sea is calm, swim out with your snorkel and see what you find.
If water based activities aren’t your thing you can get a massage, have your hair braided, walk around the island (takes about 40 minutes I believe) or just relax on the beach. The island isn’t very wide and there is beach access on both sides so there’s plenty of space to find a patch of sand.
Given the island is uninhabited I didn’t expect any infrastructure, but there is a neat little sand floor cafe with sea views where you can get coffee, biscuits and packaged snacks. It cost $9 for what you see below, I would have happily paid $20 as it was an opportunity to spend money with the locals.
There is also a collection of market stalls selling souvenirs, the shaded walkway was welcome relief from the sun.
Some of the toilets fit nicely with their surroundings and there is a concrete block facility as well.
We loved everything about Mystery Island – the beautiful warm clear water, the abundance of fish life, the island set up and the lovely locals. We only made three other ports of call on our 10 night cruise – Port Vila, Isle of Pines and Noumea, but Mystery Island was my favourite.