Shopping in Vanuatu
Shopping in Vanuatu is a delight, so grab a City Map (free from the Port Vila Vanuatu Tourism Office in the Pilioko building opposite Sound Centre) and discover a colourful blend of French, English and Melanesian cultures. The market place and Chinatown (behind main street) are good spots to look for bargains in brightly coloured sarongs, hand-printed shirts, fashion wear and souvenirs, but there is another side to shopping in Vanuatu that may surprise you.
Port Vila remains one of the last genuine duty free ports in the Pacific. You’re able to find fragrances, spirits and French champagnes, jewellery (especially Pacific black pearls), watches - including many Swiss brands, sunglasses and other fashion products you can find at home, most with savings of about 20-30% on the equivalent retail prices in Australia and New Zealand.
The following Duty Free Stores belong to the Duty Free Traders Association. The main ones are listed as well as the import allowances on bringing your goods back home. As a traveller, you can purchase most goods duty free including larger electronic products (musical instruments and home theatre gear). You are not required to have your passport or ticket with you when you purchase, only your departure date and destination, and the DFTA shop will deliver the goods to the airport or main wharf in time for your departure – let them know if you change your flights!
Duty Free Traders
Business hours are usually 7.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday, and Saturday mornings until 12 noon. A few shops will close for lunch at 11:30am to 1:30pm though this is the exception, and you will find supermarkets, banks and the post office remain open. Most shops are closed on Sundays – though if a cruise ship is in town, Port Vila will be open.
Returning Duty Free Allowances – Australia
2.25L spirits or wine, 250 cigarettes or 250g tobacco, A$900 personal goods (A$450 per minor).
Returning Duty Free Allowances – New Zealand
1.125L spirits, 4.25L wine or beer, 200 cigarettes or 250g tobacco or 50 cigars, NZ$700 personal goods.
Order your free copy of Jasons Vanuatu Visitor Guide and Visitor Map