Mystery Island, Vanuatu

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.

Carnival Legend tenders - used to get passengers from ship to shore (photo taken in Isle of Pines)

Carnival Legend tenders – used to get passengers from ship to shore (photo taken in Isle of Pines)

Mystery Island with Carnival Legend anchored in the background

Mystery Island with Carnival Legend anchored in the background

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 ……

Glass bottom boat tour - one of many tours available on Mystery Island

Glass bottom boat tour – one of many tours available on Mystery Island

Fishing and sea scooter tours

Fishing and sea scooter tours

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Sea sleds can be hired for $20 an hour

Sea sleds can be hired for $20 an hour

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.

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

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.

Snorkeling near Mystery Island

Snorkeling near Mystery Island

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.

Mystery Island Massage

Mystery Island Massage

Relax on the beach at Mystery Island

Relax on the beach at Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

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.

Coffee, biscuits and snacks at Mystery Island Cafe

Coffee, biscuits and snacks at Mystery Island Cafe

Mystery Island Cafe

Mystery Island Cafe

There is also a collection of market stalls selling souvenirs, the shaded walkway was welcome relief from the sun.

Mystery Island Market - Vanuatu

Mystery Island Market – Vanuatu

Some of the toilets fit nicely with their surroundings and there is a concrete block facility as well.

Island style toilets on Mystery Island

Island style toilets on Mystery Island

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.

School supplies are much appreciated

School supplies are much appreciated

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

Tropical fish near Mystery Island

8 thoughts on “Mystery Island, Vanuatu

  1. Great review and photos. I am going to Mystery island in August and hoping to see some good snorkelling. Nothing too strenuous as I am getting older. do you know if there snorkeling areas that can be reached from the beaches? Thanks Kathy

    • Hi Kathy
      Thanks. We didn’t go snorkelling off the beach but plenty of people did, I’d suggest heading to Mystery Island early and snorkelling off the beach to see what it’s like. If you don’t see much fish life then you could look at the snorkelling trips advertised on the island that go throughout the day. There were at least 4 trips advertised and 3 of them stated they were suitable for all ages and abilities, all priced at AUD$25. Asking someone getting off a boat is a good way to find out what they saw and whether it might be a good trip to do. If you don’t have snorkelling gear you can hire it on the island for $15 a day.

  2. Hi – just finished reading this great post. We were at Mystery Island yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed the magic of the place.

    It was nice to hear someone else put into words what we were feeling.

    Well done – I must read some more of your posts soon.

  3. Hi, Im visiting Mystery Island as part of my cruise so far yours is the best blog Ive read.
    I was wondering what currency you used whilst you were there.

    • Hi Maggie
      Thanks! Australian dollars, all the tour prices on Mystery Island were in Australian dollars also. We were going to exchange Australian dollars for Vatu in Port Vila, but even there we found AUD prices listed, I think when cruise ships are in port Australian dollars are widely accepted. Happy cruising.

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