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Mele Cascades

Mele Cascades in Vanuatu, upper part
Mele Cascades, upper part / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

WorldBlue  In short

Visit to the beautiful Mele Cascades fulfills the wish of many tourists to see the real nature of Vanuatu – especially if most part of the vacation has been spent in cosy hotels and beaches.

4 out of 10 stars 39.8%

GPS coordinates
17.6737 S 168.2531 E
Location, address
Australia and Oceania, Vanuatu, Shefa, Efate Island, some 12 km northwest from Port Vila, near Mele Maat village
Alternate names
Mele Maat Falls
Tallest upper plunge – approximately 45 m, total height – some 70 m

Map of the site

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WorldYellow In detail

Mele Cascades in Vanuatu, lower part
Mele Cascades, lower part / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Mele Cascades are located a 15 minutes drive from Port Vila – the capital of Vanuatu, not far from the road. This is a popular tourist attraction with a marked trail and a wide offer of tourist business including an abseil down the falls. There should be paid entrance fee to access the cascades but all visitors agree that it is worth paying. It is advised to come very early or – also in lunchtime because during the day falls might be quite crowded.

Tourist footpath starts below the falls. The water of the stream is blue-green, it contains lots of dissolved lime. The bed of the stream often is layered with tufa deposits. The trail often goes straight through the water. Not many notice it: the edges of tufa terraces are covered with larvae of black flies.

Mele Cascades in Vanuatu, lower part
Mele Cascades, lower part / , Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Tufa deposits in many locations have formed smaller cascades with pools and, as one goes ahead, the cascades become taller. Several pools with cool water are well suited to swim and tourists eagerly use this opportunity, especially in warm times. There is a cave behind one of such cascades.

Most impressive is the approximately 45 – 50 m tall upper waterfall which is sliding down a steep rock face. There is beautiful lookout from the top of the falls over the lush green fields and forest of Efate island and the Pacific ocean.

After the earthquake in August 2010 the upper part became unstable.

WorldYellow Linked articles

Mele Falls, Vanuatu
Mele Falls, Vanuatu. / Mickaël T., Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Wonders of Vanuatu

Vanuatu is a beautiful and impressive country. The people of Vanuatu should be praised for the preservation of the natural landscape and their traditions thus showing that there is a noble alternative to Western civilization.

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, Wikimedia Commons / public domain


Some of the most fascinating and awe-inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Marum Crater, 2009
Marum Crater, 2009./ Geophile71, Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Wonders of Melanesia

The most amazing wonders of Melanesia are caves and sinkholes, very interesting ecosystems, and, especially – sites of unusual legends.

WorldYellow Recommended books

Vanuatu: Far Flung Places Travel Guide

The only current detailed guide to the islands of Vanuatu, with invaluable information, not just on the main islands, but also the more rarely visited outer islands. Including maps and detailed listings.

Learn how to travel around, find the best places to visit, stay and eat for a memorable holiday in these islands of fire and beauty.

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