Black sand covers a lot of volcanic beaches in Vanuatu and West Mele Bay is no different. Not far away from Port Vila (about a 10 minute drive) and about 100m from Mele Cascades, this beach is not something you'd expect to see when picturing a tropical paradise. The volcanic sand is coarse but adds to the atmosphere, especially during stormy weather.
There is no entry fee to the beach and you can see many local people swimming in the bay or just having a break under the many trees around the bay.
It seemed that most young women we met on the island were either pregnant or carried a little baby in their arms. This expecting young lady below was fishing, perhaps trying to catch a nice dinner while her adorable son patiently waited on the beach.
The trees growing on the beach had unusualy entwined roots and it felt like they wanted to entrap you inside.
Driving around the island is quite easy as there is only one road and it's in quite good condition. The only time our small car had a little trouble was when we tried to climb the hill just behind Mele Cascades. We had to use first gear, otherwise we wouldn't have made it. The next stop is Mangaliliu Village.
Magaliliu Village (Survivor Vanuatu)
This village is located in the heart of a World Heitage site and the TV show "Survivor Vanuatu" was filmed here, just a 20 minute drive from Port Vila. We have to strongly advise the use of a 4WD if you are driving yourself as the road is really bad and quite steep. Our little car barely managed to get down to the village when we realised how difficult it will be to get back to the main road. Starting to climb the steep hill with many potholes in the road, our little car stopped and started to slide backwards toward the village. With sheer horror in our eyes, we doubted that we would ever make it to the main road. Local people saw our struggle and lined up, ready to help at any moment. Luckily on the second go, we managed to get back to the main road, driving towards Gideon's Landing, the site of the Tribal Council in "Survivor Vanuatu"
The sun came out for a few minutes so we wandered along the beach through the crystal clear water, passing many nice resorts along the way.