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Efate, Fr. Vaté, volcanic island, c.300 sq mi (780 sq km), South Pacific, most important island of Vanuatu and seat of Vila (1994 pop. 30,868), the capital and administrative center. Efate produces copra, coffee, and sandalwood. Havannah Harbour was developed during World War II.

Located at 16.69° S and 168.36° E in the Pacific Ocean, Efate is an island in The Republic of Vanuatu (Shefa Province). It is also known as Île Vate. It is the most populous (approx. 50,000) island in Vanuatu; in terms of land area (899.5 km²) Efate is Vanuatu's third largest island. Most inhabitants of Efate live in Port Vila, the national capital. It has a maximum height of 647 m.

During World War II, Efate served an important role as a United States military base.


Efate is governed by both the Port Vila Municipality and the Shefa Provincial Council, whose governance is the town limits of Port Vila only, and rural Efate and the outer Efate Islands, respectively.

Small Islands off Efate

North of Efate are small islands called Eratoka (Hat) Island, Lelepa, Nguna, Pele and Emao. Eratoka (Hat) Island is a small island that, when seen from a distance looks like a floppy hat. This is where the legendary Chief Roi Mata, along with his 20 wives, were buried alive. Nguna, Pele and Emao are stratovolcanoes, which may form the rim of a volcanic caldera to their north.


Efate was the location for the US Survivor: Vanuatu, the Australian Celebrity Survivor and the French Koh Lanta. Much of the Australian Survivor: Vanuatu was filmed approximately 30 minutes from Port Vila near Mangililu and Gideon’s Landing, the latter of which is now a commonly visited tourist attraction.


The capital of Port Vila is the hub of tourism in Vanuatu receiving approximately 60 000 tourists annually by both air transport, cruise ships and the yachting community. Due to the English and French influence both types of cuisine are readily available in the capital. Budget eateries include the scattered Chinese eateries across Vila and the Mummas Market located downtown. Outside of Port Vila a more rustic destination awaits, with most people living a traditional lifestyle: cooking island food or 'aelan kakae', going to tend their gardens daily as subsistence agriculture is the dominant economy in Vanuatu and swimming at the beach.

Port Vila services the domestic carrier Air Vanuatu which services the outer islands of Vanuatu. Popular destinations such as Tanna and Santo can be reached daily from Port Vila, while more remote locations can be reached on a less regular basis.

Efate offers a range of tourism attractions and activities including Mele Cascades, Eton Beach, Tanalilui Road Markets, Roi Mata Tour, Round Island Tour, Buggy Fun Rental, Diving and Sunset Cruises.


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