We had the chance to call White Grass Ocean Resort our home in Tanna for four nights when visiting Vanuatu last February. We had an unforgettable and complete experience and enjoyed every minute of our stay at White Grass.
TANNA WHITE GRASS OCEAN RESORT
Tanna is the 3rd most visited island in Vanuatu after Efate and Espiritu Santo. The main reason for it is famous Mount Yasur, Tanna’s active volcano, which is increasing in popularity among holiday makers year after year. Mt Yasur is considered one of the most accessible active volcanoes in the world, where you have the chance to witness lava eruptions with your own eyes from a few dozens meters distance.
Tanna has a tiny airport with daily domestic flights to the capital city of Port Vila, it takes just 35 minutes to fly in. Vanuatu is then reachable from Australia‘s main airports via a 3 hour flight. White Grass Ocean Resort is very close to the airport, as a matter of fact they share the same name (White Grass Airport). A short exciting ride aboard a 4WD brings us to the resort, the first of many adventures on Tanna Island.
White Grass lies in front of the bluest ocean, where the tidal waves create incredible different views at any time of the day. We are greeted with a welcome tropical drink and meet managers Sabine and Wayne. Reception, bar and restaurant area are in the main building overlooking the ocean, the call of the sea is irresistible.
Lovely paths through a well looked after garden bring each guest to their own bungalow.
DOUBLE OCEAN VIEW BURE
There are 14 double/twin and 4 family bungalows, or Island Style Bures, scattered around the property. Each bure is at reasonable distance from the next, so that it feels to have your private garden in front of the nice patio. The gardens have several relaxing spots, as hammocks and bed chairs overlooking the ocean. Each bungalow has a bedroom with ensuite bathroom, plus an additional bed is available or it can just be used as sofa. Typical island style windows allow air to circulate easily. A modern shower provides strong hot water, a luxury for an island like Tanna.
SWIMMING POOL & OCEAN ACTIVITIES
There’s a nice swimming pool within the same gardens where bures are located. However, with such an incredible ocean available at your doorstep, it would be a shame not to explore the beach side. There are multiple blue holes waiting out there. White Grass Resort provides snorkel gear and reef shoes to all its guests: at low tide hours, it is easy to access the reef by simply walking in. A small hole called Pikinini is the closest to the resort. Bigger Blue Hole 1 and Blue Hole 2 are some hundreds metres further. A walking path connects White Grass to the beaches leading to the Blue Holes. Another ocean activity worth a mention is the tour to the Blue Cave. A boat picks you up from the jetty at White Grass, and 45 minutes later you have the opportunity to discover this amazing grotto, by diving less than one meter underwater and emerging inside the wonderful Blue Cave.
VOLCANO SAFARI TOUR – MT. YASUR
The excursion to Mt.Yasur is worth alone the whole trip to Vanuatu, we are not exaggerating. Likewise, a full article is required to describe the experience, you can read it here. In fewer words, the half day trip to the volcano leaves from the resort at 2pm, guests hop on powerful 4WD to face the road leading all the way to the crater base. After some safety instructions and a cultural introduction from the local tribe living at the feet of Mount Yasur, it takes only a 15 minutes hike to reach the crater rim. You have a good couple of hours to witness the incredible lava explosions, walk around the rim with the guides, and get a full volcano experience both in the daylight and in the dark until 7pm. The tour returns to White Grass by 8.30pm, in time for dinner. No visit to Tanna would be complete without a volcano safari, it’s a must do for sure.
WHITE GRASS TANNA ISLAND TOURS
The opportunities at White Grass are not over, in fact this is just the beginning. Other excursions we tried include the visit to tribe Yakel village and to Lowinio Custom village. Here you can meet locals and see how they keep their traditional lifestyle respecting the nature. Daily trips to the market at Lenakel town are also arranged, to have a deeper insight on the island activities. Additional excursions will take you to the biggest Banyan tree in the world, or to see fire walking. It is safe to say one could stay for weeks in Tanna and find something different to do every day.
BREAKFAST & RESTAURANT
Every morning a tropical breakfast buffet is served in the restaurant area. Continental options are also available from the list. There are different menus for lunch and dinner to fulfill any taste. The lovely view over the ocean will accompany you at every meal, and taking advantage of the happy hour is always a good idea to admire the sunset from the bar tables spread around the terrace overlooking the ocean.
We had an amazing stay at White Grass Ocean Resort, we did so many experiences and lived true adventures that we still have to process them all, our four day stay has been very intense and fun. Thanks to the professional staff we enjoyed everything in&around the resort, getting back to our clean bure after a day trip was always a pleasure.
Special thanks to Sabine and Wayne for their hospitality and a memorable stay in Tanna.
Check our Vanuatu itinerary guide to plan your next trip to Vanuatu!