And then a gecko ran up my leg…

Iririki Island Resort & Spa

Vanuatu, May 2011

Sunset at Bali Hai by CelesteReviews

Sunset at Bali Hai Bar, looking over the infinity pool

We’d just watched the sun set on another gorgeous day in Vanuatu. Relaxing with cocktail in hand, we eagerly awaited the cultural show to begin at the Bali Hai Bar on Iririki Island.

A warrior with flaming torch blew into his conch shell as he moved around the bar’s infinity pool lighting the surrounding torches. Seven strapping young men, wearing barely enough to cover their modesty, jingled into view as they performed traditional dances for the audience.

Now, it may have been the free sangria, or maybe I was in the mood to get my groove thing on. But most likely, it was the friendly native gecko that decided to run up the inside of my leg during the performance that caused me to shriek and perform my own jig around the table in an attempt to flick the creature off my inner thigh. Needless to say, I provided those leaning on the bar behind me a little more entertainment than they bargained for.

This was just one of the friendly encounters with the native wildlife I would have during my week vacation in Vanuatu. Considering the cluster of islands is not inhabited by poisonous snakes or dangerous animals, I probably shouldn’t have been so ‘jumpy’.

Iririki Island Resort & Spa was home for our seven night tropical island holiday. Living up to its name, the resort is located on its own island, a few hundred meters out in the harbour of Vanuatu’s capital, Port Vila.  Formed in the shape of a teardrop, Iririki Island is 69 acres in size, with four restaurants/bars, a spa, conference facilities, multiple pools and everything else you’d expect from a resort. With a  free ferry service across to Port Vila running 24/7, the resort is easily accessible to town, as well as having a friendly and safe community feel.

Iriririki Island

Iririki Island (photo from

Staying in the adult’s area of the island in a beach front fare, each morning we woke to the sound of waves lapping at the foundations, and an array of interesting and colourful fish swimming past our balcony. If an ‘on-the-water’ experience isn’t your style, the resort also offers fares further up the hill on the island, or newly constructed apartments, with all the home comforts of cooking and laundry facilities. I was on holiday, so there would be no cooking or washing for me, thank you very much. Plus, the waterfront fares were located in the adults-only section of the resort, along with a bar, spa facilities, infinity pool, and restaurants.

View from fare on Iririki Island by CelesteReviews

View from our deck

Waterfront Fares on Iririki by CelesteReviews

Waterfront fares - ours was last on the right

Iririki Island Fare by Celeste Reviews

Island Fares

The fare was clean, comfortable and covered all your basic needs. The water pressure was light and the temperature luke warm, at best, but with the heat of a tropical destination, this was all you needed.

Our island stay package included a daily buffet breakfast at Michener Restaurant. Each morning was an impressive spread of cooked breakfast options, cereal, pastries, fruit, breads and juices, and even an egg chef to cook your eggs to order.

Micheners Breakfast, Iririki Island, by CelesteReviews

Breakfast at Micheners Restaurant

The sand beach and snorkeling beaches were located in the family friendly areas of the island. In resort style, there were activities scheduled for guests to participate in during the day; walks around the island, sporting events (badminton, ping pong, volleyball), special dining feasts on alternate nights at the different restaurants (seafood buffet, Melanesian night, Sunday BBQ), and cultural performances (with or without a gecko running up your inner thigh).

Iririki Island Fish Feeding by CelesteReviews

Fish feeding from the Jetty

I joined in the fish feeding off the jetty one morning, and took great delight in making my bread last as long as I could to enjoy the huge array of well fed fish on display. One evening I even saw a couple of squid swim under the jetty. We also hired the kayaks (free for guests) and took a leisurely 45 mins to paddle around the circumference of the island. Plenty to keep you occupied for a relaxing resort style vacation.

Kayaking Iririki Island by CelesteReviews

Kayaking around Iririki Island. That's our fare on the right.

Iririki Resort is a convenient base for your Vanuatu vacation. We had a fabulous stay, even with the friendly geckos.

More blogs on Vanuatu to follow….


About Celeste

Kiwi girl. Mum of twins. Passionate about New Zealand, wine, travel and social media. New to California. View all posts by Celeste

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