Mele Cascades

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

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

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

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

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 time. There is a cave behind one of such cascades.

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

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.

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Mele Cascades -17.673741, 168.253146 Mele Cascades
Coordinates: 17.6737 S 168.2531 E
Categories: Waterfalls
Values: Geology, Visual
Rating: (2 / 5)
Address: Australia and Oceania, Vanuatu, Shefa, Efate Island, some 12 km northwest from Port Vila, near Mele Maat village
Alternate names: Mele Maat Falls
Height: Tallest upper plunge – approximately 45 m, total height – some 70 m

Landmarks of Vanuatu

Lake Letas with Mount Gharat, Vanuatu
Lake Letas with Mount Gharat / , Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 2.5
Vanuatu is beautiful and impressive country. 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.

Waterfalls and rapids

Virginia Falls, Canada
Virginia Falls / Paul Gierszewski, / public domain
Some of the most fascinating and awe inspiring natural monuments are waterfalls, or locations where a river abruptly changes its elevation.

Recommended books

Flying Angel

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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