Tours & Activities
Click on the image next to each tour to open the image library of that tour.
- We only use 4WD Twin Cab vehicles for our tours (Tanna roads can be rough) where you may on occasion have the choice to sit indoors or outdoors.
Why our guests book their tours direct from the resort?
All our tours are sold to you at cost to us, no mark-up added. It’s a free service, hence we only suggest the best, not the most profitable.
Travellers trust us to be their personal local connection and look after all their needs on Tanna. It is a responsibility we take very seriously.
CLARITY & INTEGRITY:
We are very aware that you do not have precious holiday time to waste on poor value-for-money, or unsafe tours.
How can you tell which is which when you have not been here? That’s where we come in and have done it for you. Contact us, delighted to answer all your questions.
We have been running tours since 2001 and personally test / improve them in consultation with the local tour operators to insure you are provided the best, safest, most authentic experience at the best price.
Not all tour operators are the same: we only propose 100% inclusive tours with no surprises such as additional entry fees and the like. so that you do not have anything to worry about.
We book and follow up to the tour.
If the weather, or other causes affect the experience promised (not uncommon) we are here to immediately advise you on alternatives, and if need be, process a 100% refund.
Pre-booking and paying for a tour outside of the resort is perfectly OK. However, you need to know that you are on your own when things go wrong.
Tanna island has limited communication and basic transport infrastructure. You could be spending part of your vacation trying to find the tour operator who has forgotten your booking; lost his phone; gone fishing; has vehicle issues or has closed shop since you booked with them (all past guests experiences). Trying to obtain a refund from an website office is also another matter to think about.
NOTE: all our tours are with experienced contracted local tour operators, sharing the tourism revenue around the community.
Things to Remember:
- When coming to Rockwater, bring clothes you no longer wish to wear and give them to us for fair distribution to the neediest locals.
- Don’t ever be swayed to pay for a “reef snorkel tour “ unless you like throwing your money away. All snorkeling at Rockwater is free.
- Turtles: small to “giants” (as some called them), and whales visit our reef - we will let you know immediately we see them for you to swim out to them.
- Don’t prepay for tours. They can get cancelled any day due to bad weather; you could be spending your vacation chasing your refund.
- Don’t just read reviews on the hotel, also read the ones about their restaurants as travellers often mistakenly place their hotel reviews in the restaurant section.
- We do not take deposits or have antiquated cancelation policies for tours as we see no need for it.
- Black Magic in Vanuatu is the good-natured version, bordering on humour - it has no resemblance to Voodoo.
- Mentioned Depart / Return and duration times on Tanna Island are for indicative purposes only as every day in this frontier land brings different variables into the mix!
- Contrary to some silly publicity, the Nekowia Toka is a very significant cultural celebration held once every three or four years on Tanna, it engages thousands of participants.
It is not an on-demand event to entertain a few tourists. We will have a tour of the real event when it is next announced.
- Our kitchen staff go shopping every market day (Mon, Wed, Fri) in Tanna’s main township Lenakel, called by the locals “Blackmantown”. If you want to join them then let us know the day before and we will include you in. It’s free, but if you want a private visit, then we can organise that too.
- No need to pay to see a coffee plantation, we have one in the resort grounds. We also have Grapefruit (Pomplemousse), Lemons, Limes, Oranges, Guavas, Vanilla, Blackberries, Custard Apples, Nance, Granadilla, Passionfruit, Grapes, and numerous varieties of Mango, Pawpaw and Banana on the grounds for you to see and eat.
The Top Selling Tours of Tanna Island (All rates are per person)
Snorkelling the Rockwater Marine Park
FREE: Snorkelling the Rockwater Marine Park.
Snorkelling is the top tourism activity in Vanuatu and for good reason. Regrettably, most reefs are a food sources for local tribes where shells and fish have been harvested hunted for centuries.
The ½ kilometre long coastline directly in front of the resort is a vigorously protected marine park .
This is the only one of its kind on Tanna Island. As for the land, we keep 24 hr surveillance of the reef to ensure all nature is free to live without fear of humans.
As a precaution we highly recommend you bring your own snorkelling equipment (esp. tube & mask) with you anywhere you travel in the world.
We sanitise all sports equipment as basic hygiene especially against Covid and before you use it.
Yasur Volcano Tour
"The number one attraction of Vanuatu"
Your voyage commences from the resort where our 4WD vehicle will take you along the West Coast road to the Imanaka turn off. Here we start the slow climb to the Middlebush plains (we can stop to see the wild horses and with 200 degree views, take photos of the East Coast panorama).
Now our journey takes us deeper into Tanna’s Middlebush jungle, past indigenous hamlets; coffee plantations; driving through Lamnatu village (and lots of waving children). We continue to climb further up “Snake Hill” road to reach the peak viewing area of Mt. Loanialu. A short stop for you to have your first sighting of Mt Yasur volcano from this 520 metre elevation. With a 270 degree panorama one can see Sulphur Bay where the Jon Frum tribe is located; Tanna’s East Coast with kilometre-long stretches of volcanic black sand beaches and the vast encroaching ash-sand plains (on a clear day you will see Aniwa island on the horizon).
We now commence our descent onto the ash-sand Siwi valley and the Tree Ferns jungle; crossing Mt Yasur’s moonlike ash-sand plains, arriving at the base of rumbling Mt Yasur volcano.
You will be welcomed by the volcano custodians with custom dancing and a safety briefing. A 4WD drive vehicle will take you up the steep volcano (look out for the numerous fumaroles). Once at the top parking lot (yes, we park on top of a live volcano) you will need to complete the journey by foot and walk up the stairs (10 minutes) to the crater reaching the 360 metre peak. Your guide will take you to the best vantage points depending on the activity level and wind direction of the day.
- We cannot guarantee you will always see the pyrotechnic explosions which Mt Yasur is renowned for. So far the beast has been active for thousands of years so the odds are in your favour but rain creates steam/mist and that is something we regrettably cannot do anything about.
- For your own safety and comfort, please bring good fitting shoes for walking in the dark up & down a hard ash-sand mountain and a light wind jacket (with hood) for the night chill on the crater and don’t forget a flashlight as it can get dark around the crater on your decent down to your waiting vehicle.
- If you are prone to back or neck pain, please advise the resort prior to departing so that we may provide the most comfortable seats for a more pleasant ride for you.
- Dinner is not included in the tour price.
- The Volcano tour may be cancelled if either the road conditions are not safe as Tanna can receive massive amount of rain in one night washing roads away or rendering the Siwi River unpassable.
Depart: 15:00 ; Return: 20:00
Duration: 5 - 6 hours
Cost: VUV14,500 (min. 2 persons)
Live Cam View of Mt. Yasur Volcano - https://www.vmgd.gov.vu/vmgd/index.php/geohazards/volcano
North Tanna Blue Cave Tour
Only a 30 minute open boat trip up the limestone coast from Rockwater, you would expect this beautiful natural ocean cave to feature in a James Bond movie.
The boat picks you up from our beach to follow the coastline right up to the entrance of the cave. You will not see the entrance if there is a high tide, hence you will need to hold your breath and dive under the entrance coral wall…a leap of trust in your guide is required here. A few metres of underwater swimming and you surface in this serene, magnificent chamber.
- The tour may be cancelled if we believe the weather conditions are not safe.
- Lunch not included
- The Blue Cave landowners do not operate on Saturday.
Minimum of 2 Persons; Maximum of 6 Persons
Depart: 0900 and 1300
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: VUV 9,000
- Take a waterproof camera; you won’t regret the purchase as there are many images to take above and below the water.
- If you are not a good swimmer/snorkeler only go when the weather is perfectly calm and it is low tide. If unsure, ask us at the front desk; we are happy to advise you.
- Bring snorkel, fins, and ensure you have sun protective clothing and hat, sunscreen, and beach towel.
- Bring a bottle of water or two as you will dehydrate in the sun.
Original Yakel Tribe Custom Village
The original traditional tribe, as in the movie “Tanna”…the village to visit.
Welcome to another world: the world of Yakel, a 100% self-sustainable lifestyle.
Here you will find a purity of spirit that has long gone in the modern world; strong women in nothing else than grass skirts; children laughing, running wild up massive trees like they were born from them; men dressed in only their Nambas, thumping the soft ash ground with their powerful legs calling their ancestors.
If you are a little jaded from the modern world then the friendliness extended to you at this traditional “Kastom” village will refresh your belief in humanity.
Visit their village, their way of living and their rhythmic dancing with singing….you will never forget them.
NOTE: Please take with you some small change in Vatu should you wish to purchase locally made artifacts.
TIP: Custom villages in Tanna; apart from locations all are pretty much the same in design and activities….we think Yakel is still very special but we are happy to take you to any other.
Depart: 08:00 - 12noon
Duration: 4 - 5 hours
Cost: VUV7,000 (min. 2 persons)
- If you are prone to back or neck pains please advise the resort prior to departing so that we can provide the most comfortable seats for a more pleasant ride for you as the road can be rough in parts.
- Lunch is not included in the tour price.
- The tour may be cancelled if either the road conditions are not safe as the Yakel area can receive a massive amount of rain in one night washing its road away.
Banyan Tree Tour
Walk through the reported largest tree in the world nearly the size of a football field; its age is unknow, but is measures up to 170 in diameter taking up a small valley and still growing! We take you deep into the forest to climb into the tree.
Depart: 08.00 – 11.00
Duration: 3 hours
Cost: VUV5,500 (min. 2 persons)
Scuba Diving At Rockwater
You may dive directly in front of the resort as this is a favourite site for divers or you can enquire as to other great dive spots they frequent.
Please enquire as to your diving preferences for us to co-ordinate your ideal dive.
Full PADI certification. Diving is subject to international scuba-diving regulations.