No need to lick stamps in Vanuatu

Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific that is becoming a very popular tourist destination, particularly for Australians and New Zealanders.

It is one of the most geologically active places in the world; a place where earthquakes are common, and it boasts some of the world’s most active volcanoes.

One reason for attract ting so many visitors is that Vanuatu has some excellent diving.  Even if you are not a full-on scuba diver, there is still plenty of coral reefs to entertain snorkelers for hours at a time.

Because Vanuatu does attract so many people who do want to dive, the Vanuatu Post Office has installed the world’s only underwater post office on the sea floor just off the coast near Hideaway island.

Vanuatu Post’s Underwater Post Office near its capital Port Vila, has quickly become one of the busiest post offices for postcards in the world.  Hideaway Island is just a few minutes by bus and boat from Port Vila.    

Visitors from around the world have literally donned their mask and snorkels, postcards in hand to experience the world’s first underwater post office.

The Post Office is only 50 metres offshore and at just three metres below the surface, is very accessible to the young and young at heart. Thousands of visitors have posted one of the special waterproof postcards available in Vanuatu; these cards are collected regularly by one of Vanuatu Post’s four trained scuba divers and “cancelled” underwater with an embossing cachet. Mail that requires a normal Underwater Post Office date stamp is cancelled in the Main Post Office.

Since opening in 2003, the underwater post office has received an estimated 100,000 visitors. The underwater branch is manned daily for usually about an hour, longer on cruise ship days or with demand.

And if the postie isn’t there when you want to send a postcard, then there is a mail box close to the post office so your friends won’t be disappointed.

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