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“Our day at the Summit Gardens” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Summit Gardens Vanuatu - CLOSED

The Summit Gardens Vanuatu
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The largest tropical gardens in the South Pacific recovering well after Cyclone Pam in March 2015, the panoramic views from The Summit are stunning. Visit THE SUMMIT GARDENS for FREE, view health & body products being made at The Essential Oils Distillery, Cafe and Health & Body Gift Shop, DAY SPA and more... THE SUMMIT GARDENS have been developed to provide maximum pleasure to the visitor. Opened to the public in November 2011, the 11 named gardens, spread over 6 hectares, are all distinctly different, unfolding as a series of surprises as you follow the meandering pathways and steps. At nearly 200m above sea level, the escarpment garden offers the visitor breathtaking views over Mele Bay. Within the gardens are THE ESSENTIAL OILS DISTILLERY - see how oils from sandalwood, Tahitian lime, mandarin, tangelo, ginger, etc, grown at The Summit are extracted and where our range of health and beauty products based on Sandalwood, soaps and candles are made. The Gardens were devastated during Cyclone Pam on Friday 13 March 2015. Since re-opening in August 2015, admission to the gardens is free and must remain so until they recover their former glory and world class status, and we wanted to share this journey with you. However, costs for rehab and garden team wages are ongoing. We believe in Trade not Aid... So if you want to help us going forward, please call into The Summit Gift Shop after your garden stroll and choose your favourite Made in Vanuatu skincare products, 100% Tropical Vanuatu Inspired, 100% Natural & Sandalwood Based. All net proceeds from the shop go to cover the costs of restoring The Summit Gardens. And remember, our products carry a 100% Money Back Guarantee. Come to THE SUMMIT CAFE for refreshments or lunch and take in more of the wonderful views. ALLOW 2-3 hours for your stay - take a leisure walk and lunch or refreshments, or wander around at your leisure for the whole day if you wish! Enjoy a Walk at the Rainforest or Dare the Canyon Ride (Admission Fee applies), or do the Segway Tour (Admission Fee applies) BUT Remember, there's NO ADMISSION FEE to visit and to enjoy The Summit Gardens for now! You can come by bus, by your own car, by your transport. Do come visit-you won't be disappointed! ATTN: Air Vanuatu/ Virgin Blue / Air Caledonia / Fiji Airways / CRUISE SHIP VISITORS & Everyone - To Visit The Summit Gardens is FREE! Explore, Discover, Dine & Shop in the Clouds! If you're feeling adventurous, dare the Canyon Ride or do the Segway tour! ADMISSION FEE APPLIES to both these tours.
Useful Information: Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Sunshine Coast, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Our day at the Summit Gardens”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 11, 2013

Wow what can I say but this is a fantastic place to go while visiting Vila. We were interested in going because of the gorgeous gardens which are meticulously cared for and we were not disappointed. Staff were plentiful and very interested in letting you know everything about the gardens. We did a self guided garden walk, were shown around the distillery and had all our questions answered. The gardens are atop an escarpment, which you get to via a series of hair pin bends. The gardens are just beautiful with a diverse array of tropical plants and amazing flowers and also has spectacular views of Vila and the bay at every angle. The only down side was my photos from this gorgeous day in Vila did not save to my camera, so...I am relying on my brain to remember how beautiful they all were. Bought some gorgeous soaps which are made on site with the essential oils distilled there. There is a cafe there with very reasonably priced food items and a view that is spectacular. I highly recommend making the gardens part of your trip to Vila. We had an 8 hour stop over with our cruise ship and we squeezed in the gardens and also a trip to the nearby Cascade Waterfalls(also highly recommended). We did these 2 places separately but you could hire a driver to take you to both places as they are very close together. Enjoy!!

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Liane L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Summit G, Manager at The Summit Gardens Vanuatu, responded to this review, February 19, 2013
Hi Laine L,
Many thanks for your review, so pleased you made the most of your cruise ship Port Vila stopover. The Mele Bay area is blessed with excellent attractions in close proximity as you found out. What a terrible shame you had camera problems but please refer to our photo gallery on TA or those posted on Facebook, search The Summit Vanuatu and click through our many Albums to help bring you with your memories. The views from The Summit are just wonderful as are the gardens beautiful. Our team of 5 full-time gardeners do a fantastic job in maintaining The Summit Gardens. We do hope you shall return to our shores again and to revisit The Summit Gardens, we also have a new The Summit Plantation Tour where visitors are shown how our many essential and other oils plants are grown eg. sandalwood, ylang ylang, lime, mandarin, tangelo, ginger, vetiver, etc. Thank you for your feedback on our handmade soaps and hope you will become a loyal user of our products via our online shop. Thank you again for visiting The Summit Gardens.
Regards, Carlene Martin for The Summit Team
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617 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
19 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Well worth the time, even in the rain.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 9, 2013

We only went to The Summit as another planned trip was cancelled (as we were waiting for the bus, I might add - Island time has a lot to answer for!). By the time we were on our way back to our resort we had had the most amazing time. And it poured with rain the entire time but it made no difference - if anything, the rain made the plants look even better. Our guide Corrina (sp?) was just lovely. A little shy and hesitant but she knew what she was doing and she knew a lot about the plants. It's quite a trip to The Summit and it's not an easy ride but we got up that hill okay and started our tour. The size of the grounds is amazing and the variety of plant life is astounding. We saw lots of plants that we have back in NZ, but ours are inside in pots. Tiny versions compared to the giant size versions at The Summit. We purchased some body butter and soaps as well as some of their Pure Tamuna Oil which has worked on cuts exactly as the staff said it would We had an excellent lunch in their cafe and then another crazy ride back to our resort. I am so glad we got to see The Summit - next time we will visit The Plantation as well. And I'm pleased our previous planned trip was cancelled. The Summit was the best replacement imaginable.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank Maree G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Summit G, Head of Tours at The Summit Gardens Vanuatu, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi Maree G,
Thank you visiting The Summit albeit by default and how lucky were you and us that your other tour was cancelled! Rain or sunshine, you can still visit The Summit especially as we have umbrellas and ponchos available, only a cyclone will hold us back. Yes, your tour guide, Corinna only recently commenced with us and has been receiving favourable comments, I have passed on your thanks - she says tankyu tomas. At The Cafe what a better way to enjoy the views some more over a delicious lunch and refreshments? It is pleasing to hear you are enjoying your purchases of our health & body products including the Tamanu Oil - it is certainly Kleva Therapy. We would love some feedback on our Facebook page, search The Summit Health & Body Products. remember, you can also buy our products thorough our Online Shop. We look forward to have you visit Vanuatu and The Summit again, this time to do The Plantation Tour, and the Gardens again... Lukim yu.
Regards, Katrina Sali and The Summit Team.
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Wellington
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Great way to spend a day”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 7, 2013

OK, we are two 30-something travellers who prefer "wow and wacky" over "sedate and sensible", so when the idea of walking around a garden was suggested by our hotel concierge we nodded politely and thought 'not in a month of sundays'. However, having done most of the other attractions on the island, we thought we would give it a try. What a WONDERFUL surprise it was! Outstanding views and beautiful plants were brought to life by our guide who told us all about the gardens' history and future, and answered all our questions about the gardens, the plants and Vanuatu in general. The views from the gardens are pretty wow and enjoyed even more over a local beer and a wonderful meal at the cafe at the gardens. You wouldn't believe how good the food was - yet another welcome surprise! The shop full of scented candles and cosmetics was full of wonderfully tempting things (making my suitcase quite a bit heavier on the homeward journey!), but there was no pressure to buy or even look if you didn't want to. I would recommend the Summit Gardens to EVERYONE coming to Vanuatu - young or old, boring or bold. We got there on the Mele Bay Express. TIP: remember your sunscreen and insect repellant.

Visited October 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank travellingspice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Summit G, Manager at The Summit Gardens Vanuatu, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi Travellingspice
Thanks for your wonderful review and so pleased you found The Summit had 'WOW touched with some sedate' factors! We are certainly happy you visited, our Tour Guides love taking visitors around the gardens and share stories of Kustom medicine and about life in Vanuatu. Hopefully you will view visiting gardens in a new light but you must come back and visit The Summit again as we now have our Plantation Tour where you will see sandalwood trees, Tahitiian limes, ylang ylang and other essential oils plants growing which is then distilled at our Essential Oils Distillery and made into our range of health & beauty products. We would love some feedback on our products and you may post on our Facebook page, search The Summit Health & Body Products. Our products are also available through our Online Shop. Our Cafe team do wonders in our small kitchen but the wood fired oven is fabulous. Lukim yu.
Best regards, Carlene Martin on behalf of The Summit Team
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Brisbane Australia
Level Contributor
67 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Spectacular views”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

On our recent trip to Vanuatu we decided to have a look at the summit gardens. The gardens are owned by Jim and Lesley Batty and what a fantastic job they have done. There are 11 gardens spread over 10 hectares to wonder through. We had a beautiful lunch at the cafe halfway through, where we sat and admired the amazing views. There are thousands of different plants to see and the colours are out of this world. Definitely a must when you are in Vanuatu.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jase53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Summit G, Manager at The Summit Gardens Vanuatu, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Hi Jase53,
On behalf of Jim & Lesley, thank you for your review and visiting The Summit Gardens. We are all very appreciative they opened their wonderful gardens to the public and sharing this part of paradise. Yes, there are so many little nooks and benches to sit, rest and take in the magnificent views, watch the waves rolling in Mele Bay or listen to the birds tweeting - how wonderful is that? I am pleased you enjoyed your lunch at The Cafe, the Chef and team make some delicious meals with the fresh local produce. We hope you shall return to Vanuatu and The Summit again soon.
Regards, Carlene Martin on behalf of The Summit Team.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
103 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Magnificent layout and venue”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 17, 2013

What a peaceful and relaxing place to visit and tour around. Our guide was new to the job, we were her 3rd tour, but her knowledge of the planrs and the gardens was amazing. The views from the gardens is stunning. Looking across to Hideaway Island and further across to Port Vila. The shop was well stocked with items that the gardens produce themselves, from massage oils to soy candles to soaps to mention just a few. The cafe is well laid out and the staff are extremely friendly and know all their products inside out.
Carlene, the manager, sat down with us and gave us the history of the gardens. It is that personal touch that makes it a MUST VISIT place.

Visited January 2013
Helpful?
Thank Trevor S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Summit G, Manager at The Summit Gardens Vanuatu, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
HI Trevorsd,
Thank you for taking the time and for your fabulous feedback. Yes, Corinna is a new Tour Guide and has learnt quickly about the plants & gardens which is very pleasing. She like all our TGs are very passionate about the Gardens & Plantations and love talking to visitors about them and how it applies to Kustom medicine. We hope you have enjoyed The Summit range of health & body products and remember they are available through our online shop. We hope you will visit our shores again very soon, making it 4th or 5th visit? On behalf of the whole Summit Team Lukim yu, Carlene
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