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Where is Vanuatu in relation to Australia?

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Quick Answer

The archipelago of Vanuatu is 1,087 miles east of Australia in the South Pacific; it's 2.5 hours from Brisbane, 3.5 hours from Sydney, less than an hour from Fiji and close to 2 hours from Auckland, New Zealand by plane. The nation consists of 83 islands; Espiritu Santo, Malekula, Erromango and Efate are the largest.

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Full Answer

The young republic of Vanuatu gained its independence from France and the United Kingdom in 1980, and it is comparable in size to the state of Connecticut. It is the most hurricane-prone country in the South Pacific, as demonstrated by the destruction of Hurricane Pam in 2015. According to estimates, a hurricane hits each island in the 500-mile chain every other year.

Named New Hebrides originally by explorer James Cook when he discovered the chain in the

19th century, the government divided it into the six provinces of Malampa, Torba, Sanma, Shefa, Tafea and Penama in 1996. The island’s capital, Port Vila, is on Efate, and its second largest city, Luganville, sits on the island of Espiritu Santo.

Vanuatu has active underwater and above-ground volcanoes on several different islands as of 2015, including Ambrym and Lopevi. Yasur, on Tanna, is one of the most accessible volcanoes in the world.

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