We stayed at Oyster Island Resort for 8 nights from 19th till 27th April,2013.
Having travelled to Fiji several times to various islands, Whitsunday Islands, Majority of Australia, & Europe we had never been to Vanuatu and didn't know what quite to expect.
Having said that, we were glad our base was that of Oyster Island Resort in Santo, as this place is amazing. Its is positioned central to most things to do in Santo, where you can chose to be as busy/adventurous as you like or do as little as possible, the choice is yours.
We found from the moment we stepped onto Oyster Island the staff were very friendly & hospitable. We arrived late at 9pm, however were welcomed with refreshing tropical welcome drinks, and dinner was no problem at this time of night, we were ravenous from our trip getting there, and decided to order a coconut crab and 1 pizza. BIG mistake, the meals were absolutely delicious, however HUGE, we just barely finished the crab, mind you it took us 1 1/2hrs to get through, but enjoyed every ounce of it. We took the pizza back to our room and had it for lunch the next day. In saying this about the meals, we thought they were very reasonably priced, especially for the serving size you get in return. Eg; 1 X Medium coconut crab is approx. AUD35.00, and their medium is what we would call extra large!
We stayed in Bungalow 11 which is one of the Deluxe Bamboo bungalows located the furthest and most private bungalow on the Island. All bungalows are along the lagoon, and have fabulous views of the lagoon and Santo. The Bungalow was nicely furnished, clean & mosquito repellent was supplied in the room. I loved the semi outdoor shower with direct access to the water too. Anna the housemaid is a gem, and great to talk to, we learnt a lot about the Nivan people and their culture through Anna.
Oyster Island is great to explore, it will take you about 1 1/2hrs to walk around the island. There are so many great snorkelling spots around the island, plane wrecks within snorkelling distance, great swimming and many beaches.
We would like to mention a special thanks to John (Chef) for cooking us many memorable meals that tasted absolutely fantastic, I grew very fond on the curried poulet fish dish & that HUGE coconut crab YUM!
A special mention should be made to Casper, who absolutely goes out of his way to make sure you have everything you need & are happy with your stay. Casper is a treasure to this resort.
There were many wonderful staff that we came across and do not have a single bad word to say about them, they all great you with a smile on their face, and ensure you are satisfied.
The manager Olive, and her husband Dave are brilliant, and found the time to sit and chat with us, ensured that our needs were met, and very pleasant people to talk to.
We kayaked out to the Matevulu Blue Hole from Oyster Island which takes about 40 mins to get there at a leisurely pace. This Blue hole was spectacular, water so blue, clear & deep, have never seen anything like it.
We did a day trip to Port Olry, Lonnoc Head, Champagne Beach & Nanda Blue Hole, all four places were beautiful, with crystal clear water, and the most whitest sand ever seen. My personal favourite was Port Olry which has the white sand, crystal clear water and a small reef you can snorkel off shore, then would be Champagne Beach, as this is great for a relaxing swim in pristine water. The Nanda blue hole once again had an ever deeper blue colour to it, crystal clear and a depth of 25m!!
We highly recommend the Millenium Cave Trek, however you need to have a considerable level of fitness to be able to go on this trek. If your lucky enough you may see a wild pig, bats & many swallows in the cave. Its a full days trip of about 8hrs of hiking, floating down rapids, climbing over and under boulders, and you will definitely need a massage after this trip. This is where the lovely Marie comes in, and gives you a massage in the privacy of your own balcony in your bungalow, where you can hear the water lapping on the edge. It is recommended that when booking your Millenium cave trek, you book your massage for the following day....you WILL need it!
We also did the Mt Hope Waterfall trek, this was fantastic too, which is only a 3 hour trip. The trip starts off with a 5m jump into the river, and a casual float down the river, where you go down some rapids at times. You end the trip at a wonderful cascade where you make your finally small jump back into the river, swim along the cascade, climb up & walk over the cascade to make your way back.
Million Dollar point is another must see on your list of things to do in Vanuatu. We booked a cab from the resort and made our way to Luganville towards Million Dollar point. We snorkelled the beach there and saw many WWII relics all off shore, there were canons, dismantled army tanks, boats and many more.
Back at Oyster Island we also did a 4 hrs snorkel trip with Michel & John, who took us to some of the most beautiful reefs I've ever seen (better than our own Great Barrier Reef), with many colourful fish, clams & corals. They took us to an uninhabited nearby island (Turtle Island) where we walked around, John climbed up a coconut tree, Michel cracked open the coconut, & we quenched our thirst.
We enjoyed our stay so much, that we are now planning our return trip next year with our three children.
Thankyou to Olive, Dave & your Team for our awesome experience and cant wait for our return!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.