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“Best location to the volcano”

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Yasur Camping Ground and Tree House
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Best location to the volcano”
Reviewed April 9, 2014

We stayed 2 nights at Yasur camping ground which is located right opposite the entrance of volcano. So it is the closest accommodation to the entrance. Walking down the road (there is only 1 road) 2 mins is Jungle oasis, another 2 mins is banyan castle, another 2 mins is tree top lodge. Then another 20 min you will reach the volcano ash plain.

We were welcomed by Thomas and his wife who is pregnant with their 6th child, Robert’s wife Doralina. Thomas and Robert are brothers. Thomas just bought his own car when we were there.

There are 2 treehouses, 3 bungalows at present. All share 1 cold shower, and 1 flush toilet. There is a sink to wash your hands/face and I asked for a basin for washing. Nice, tidy garden covered with volcano ashes. A shop is on site for some groceries and food. A generator supplies 3 hours electricity from 7-10pm each night for lighting, also for tourists to charge phones, cameras etc.

We paid 3500vt a night for the treehouse and enjoyed the view from there, however the next day we relocated to a bungalow at 2500 vt a night. We told them the steps up the treehouse was too high. The treehouse is 12m high and there are 25 steps so every step is about 50cm high. They told me there have been many feedback of the same issue but they havn’t done anything!

Doralina cooked every meal for us during our stay and tried to be creative. Lunch 700vt pp. Dinner 1000vt. Breakfast was included in the fee and I saw her getting some bread for us. However the next morning only breakfast crackers were supplied, along with jam, peanut butter. Tea bags and a hot water vacuum cylinder on table too. She apologized to me that the children ate up the bread she bought when she’s not watching. Lunch and dinner are all good, with generous proportions. Mainly rice, vege, chicken(dinner only), sweet potatoes, bananas, and fruit.

We had a lot of chat about life and they were interested to see everything we have. They seldom have milk and eggs simply because it’s too expensive. They keep local chickens but the chickens are so “free-ranged” they all have their eggs in the jungles, not at home. We left a lot of our food-bikis, snacks, sweets with them upon leaving. The only thing I regret is I didn’t bring any of the good used clothes with me so I can’t give them. People living in Tanna are poorer than Efate(where Port Vila is). Neither Thomas nor Robert finished school due to lack of money. Their youngest brother Daniel, a 19yo boy who was a dux boy at school for academic excellence last year, is out of school at present due to lack of money to pay school fees. Most food are grown locally and are free or cheap. Just buying clothes is a big money for them. They mostly buy second hand clothes but even that is expensive to them. So if any of you go to Tanna please think about bringing some used light clothes, kids and adults as they are much needed there.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Yiyi Z Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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63 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Christchurch, New Zealand
2 reviews
Reviewed January 28, 2014

We stayed for two nights, using our own camping gear, we had an awesome time.This is the place to go if you like it basic and want to be hosted by a very welcoming ,friendly,helpful,and good English speaking hosts.we had the use of the kitchen and dining facilities as well as toilets and cold water shower.Our kids (13 and 11) were absorbed into the family - a big crowd of delightful kids who were happy to share their lifestyle with us and our kids,chasing chickens,taking us to the swimming hole,teaching us how to make baskets ,prepare coconuts etc.We loved staying in the vicinity and sight of the volcano- getting a sense of its power and watching it put on a show at night.We walked up to it (45 mins- but you get a progressive introduction to its power and get to feel the hot earth on the way up.) I would do this trip exactly the same way again and would love to stay again with Thomas and Janet.

Room Tip: It can be a bit hot for a tent at this time of year
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Nigel B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wellington, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed November 18, 2013

We stayed in the big treehouse in the banyan tree. What a fantastic spot for volcano-watching! You can watch the fireworks while enjoying a beer on the balcony. The facilities are simple but well thought out, down to the bright light outside the bungalow and the red, non-insect-attracting bulb inside. Meals are basic and crazy-huge.
The one downer for us was that it rained and rained and rained so we didn't get to see the volcano up close at night. But Thomas and the rest of their staff made a huge effort to ensure we were at least able to see it during a brief clear period during the day.
That's a huge benefit of staying right under the volcano, rather than at Lenakel, particularly outside of the dry season. From the other side of the island you have no idea what the weather is doing at the volcano, so you can spend 100s on a tour and if it's raining when you get there you can't see into the crater.
If you're going in the rainy season definitely stay at Yasur, and allow a good few days to give yourself the best chance of good volcano-viewing.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Nikki M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victor Harbor
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2013

My husband and I don't mind staying in basic accommodation, which is what was provided here. The location is excellent for viewing the volcano during both day and night, provided the weather permits. The price was very reasonable for what was provided..
We ate breakfast whilst looking at the smoke erupting from Mt Yasur. The advantage of staying close to the volcano is that if the weather is poor and you don't get to see larva on your first trip up the volcano, you get free entry for the next day. Generally, your second trip is half price. I could have gone several times over, it was so fascinating.
There had been a dispute about entrance fees a few days before we went, and travelers who had just flown in for the day were not able to see the volcano. And the group that went there the day before, from the resorts on the west side of Tanna, were also a little disappointed because of low cloud. Fortunately, we had brilliant viewing both days we went.
The grounds were very neat and well-kept. We opted for a ground level bungalow, rather than the tree house, because the thought of climbing down and up all those steps every time you wanted to go to the toilet etc was not attractive! The rooms were basic, with beds and mosquito nets, not much else. I'm glad I took my own silk sleeping bag, because there was a lack of sheets. The toilet was a flush toilet in working order, the shower was cold water only, but we didn't mind that. Evening meals were quite nice, though breakfast one morning was just breakfast biscuits and spreads. We had taken our own cereal and milk with us, so used that instead. After speaking with Thomas, we drank the local water, which is piped direct from the mountain, and had no tummy troubles at all.
The ladies who live there gave me an impromptu basket weaving lesson and chatted about their lives. Thomas's daughter Ruth guided us to a small village half an hour's walk into the jungle, where we met one of his relatives who is a talented woodcarver (my hubby being a keen woodcarver himself). A bonus was being treated to a custom dance just for us. Ruth also acted as our guide up the volcano the first time.
So I would stay there again, but it pays to be prepared with any extras you might want.

Room Tip: Ground floor bungalows would suit older travelers, and leave the tree houses to younger thrill-seeke...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank MelanieReid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chester, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed October 19, 2013 via mobile

We stayed in the middle tree house for 5 nights and had a great experience. Robert, Thomas and the girls looked after us very well.
We walked up to the vulcano 3 times, it takes about 45-60 min. If your lucky someone will pick you up on the way. The price of the vulcano is 3350vt but half every time you go.
The bungalows were ok and beds were soft, got a bit cold so used both blankets. We did howereve have rats who tried to get into our food bag so if you have any food, keep it far away or in a sealed container. We paid 2000vt pn as we got discount for staying 5 nights. The breakfast is included and consist of bread/crackers, jam and peanut butter +tea. Lunch was not great for the price 700vt pp, but dinners were good 1000vt pp and you get lots of food.
Facilities were good with flushing toilet and a cold shower. They have a generator on in the evening so you can charge up your mobile and camera.
There is also a little shop with some supplies, but expensive.
Robert drove us about in his 4x4. 2500vt from the airport, 1000vt pp to port resolution and 3000vt to John frum village (1000vt pp).
Thomas recommended other places for us to stay in port resolution with Serah (great rustics stay and great food, 1500vt pn) and Larnakel with Martha (ok 2000vt pp w/ en-suite).
I will recommend both Yasur bungalows and Serahs homestay by the beach. Thank you all
Kevin and Randi

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank RKrtw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed August 25, 2013

Huge meals, friendly people, a shop at the gate and the entry to Mt Yasur directly opposite. Can't fault the location!
We had a nice time, and stayed in the highest tree hut for 2 nights. Accommodation is very basic but during our trip we had water so the toilet flushed which is a bonus. The hosts have plans for the site but are slowly progressing as the gain money. Meantime the following notes will help you enjoy your stay:
Take a mosquito net - the one there had gaps but we were prepared and took our own so we were fine. if you take your own food ensure you take something rat and ant proof, there was a plastic container but is was broken so useless. Be prepared for a cold shower that someone might see you in as the toilet and shower have an adjoining wall which is made from natural materials leaving natural breathing spaces...if you know what I mean. Go to the toilet before heading up to the tree house as it's along way down in the dark.also take a torch as the power goes off about 9.30 each night.

Room Tip: Only choose the treehouse if you are an adult and are physically capable. All rooms had a good view...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Jo G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
28 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

I stayed here with my husband an two children (3 and 5) in April for 2 nights. The first night we stayed in the treehouse and the second ( because of its serious safety flaws) on the ground level bungalow. I can't fault the location, it was terrifically close to the volcano and you really could feel the thundering of the explosions. However the weather was poor and so we never saw it from the accomodation. There were a number of problems that caused us to not enjoy our stay here, first being the unsafe treehouse. The rain came right in though the windows and the ceiling and we got wet all night. The tree swayed every time the wind blew and , because the walls are just made of woven palm leaves, you don't want to roll against the edge! The ladder is unsafe for an adult let alone a child ( and remember the treehouse is very high, I'd say at least 12 m). The other problem we encountered was that on the 1st night we arrived we told Thomas that we would like to see the hot springs and port resolution and a number of other places, we asked him if he could organsie the tours, he knew when we were leaving. The next morning he was gone, the place was vacant and there was nothing at all for us to do. The same thing happened the day after, eventually we had to hitch a ride with another tourist up to volcano. He seemed to give no thought or care to what we were meant to do whilst staying in his accomodation. We spoke to other tourists staying in the jungle ( at other accomodation and they had the same problem). The last issue I had was that the food was very poor ( chicken with 2 minute noodles for dinner both nights virtually no fruit or veg, a single packet of crackers and black tea for breakfast. We got gastro from the food, that was a lovely end to our jungle experience. The west side of Tanna was beautiful and I'd recommend it.

Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank 121212rm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yasur Camping Ground and Tree House

Property: Yasur Camping Ground and Tree House
Address: Lenakel, Tanna Island, Vanuatu
Location: Vanuatu > Tanna Island
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 28 Specialty Lodging in Tanna Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our guests are able to see the active volcano from a stunning (but safe) distance. We have a tree house and bungalows as well as camp spots if you bring your own tent. Breakfast is included, lunch and dinner can be enjoyed in our restaurant. ... more   less 

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