By Greg Watt avid traveller and author of travel websites and blogs. You can read Greg's thoughts on travel within Vanuatu at and on 'Real Travel', travelling, and World Destinations at


Tanna - Adventures, a Travel Experience

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Tanna Adventures-Coffee logo ..... MOUNT MAREUN .


Tanna Adventures - a view of Mount Mareun from the Ash plain below Mount Yasur


Mount Mareun (also known as Mont Meulen, Melen) lies immediately adjacent to the presently active Mount Yasur and its prececessor and highest Mountain on the Island Mt Tukuwasmera ( also Tokosmera). Mount Mareun is slightly lower than Mount Tukuwasmera 1,084 m), but its immediacy to Mount Yasur provides its with unsurpassed views of the much lower Volcano.

Mount Mareum is rich in 'Kastom' with four villages located on the mountain's side and having the highest 'Nakamal' on Tanna (refer below). The region near the top is spiritual ground and special permission is required to climb to its top.



bushwaking the trail up to one of the main villages on Mount Mareun





Tanna Adventures-Coffee logo ..... NAKAMAL .

For definition and discussion of 'Nakamals' refer to








Tanna Adventures-Coffee logo ..... CHILDREN & KNIFES.


Children learn to use knifes at an early age - tanna adventures
































Click here to find out how to book Esso

>>> Tanna Adventures - Island Tours <<<

Tanna Adventures-feet





Travel Tour 3 - Volcanic Ash Plain / Mt Mareun Trip.

Tanna Adventures walk up Mount Mareum looking over Mount Yasur

Mount Mareun - From its own spiritual essence, see a different perspective of Mount Yasur ........

Travel Tour Overview from Esso's Nima:

Leaving by about 8.30am, after a tropical breakfast, travel via 4WD over unsealed roads to the Mount Yasur Ash Plain, viewing various vantage points along the Ash Plain itself. You will notice that Mt Yasur is not actually high and is dwarfed by the surrounding Mt Mareum and Mt Tukuwasmera, with the later being an earlier Volcano and the highest point on Tanna Island.

• Savour a light packed morning tea, before starting up the Mountain.

• Mount Mareun, the second highest Mountain, has excellent views over Tanna, but especially over Mt Yasur. Depending on conditions you will 4WD up to the highest meeting ground or 'Nakamal' for the four tribes that live on the mountain. If conditions don't allow you will walk using a track providing a relative easy walk to the Nakamal. At the meeting ground you will meet with chief Toby and be entertained bt 'Kastom' Dance.

• From the Nakamal it is approximately 1.5 hour walk to the top (lets say medium terrain). I should point out that few outsiders have ever done this trip and it will be a privilege to be allowed to do it. The top is spiritual ground and must be treated with respect.

• View Tanna Island from the best vantage point on the island. Of particular note is the panoramic views obtained of Mount Yasur.

    • The normal approach access to Mount Yasur is by enclosed bush track and visitors generally arrive at it large and looming, when they suddenly break out of the bush track onto the volcanic ash plain, which does not allow travellers to take in the mountain's place and perspective on the landscape.
    • Mount Yasur lies adjacent to Mt Mareun and by walking to the top of Mount Mareum, you obtain a perspective of this famous Volcano, that cannot be obtained any else. Get a true impression of the impact of this Volcano on the Region.

• Return down the mountain and rest by one of the streams at its base to enloy an sunstantial packed 'afternoon tea'.

• Return to Esso's Nima to relax for the rest of the afternoon.

Added Overview Travelling from the Whitegrass Coast :

• If the tour is taken from any of the accommodation along the whitegrass coast, then approximately 1 hour can be added to the tour time (half an hour each way).

Ash Plain / Mount Mareun Trip Travel Timeframe:

• Approximate timeframe is 8 tours from leaving Esso's Nima until return. This depends on road and walking track conditions, as well as the weather and walking pace of participants on the tour.

• Approximate travel time by 4WD from Esso's Nima to the base of Mount Mareun is 1.75-2.00 hours ( each way).

• Approximate walking time from the base to the Nackamal is 0.75 - 1.00 hour.

• Approximate walking time from the Nakamal to the top of Mt Mareun is 1.00 - 1.50 hours.

• Morning and Afternoon Tea breaks are approximately a quarter of an hour (0.25 hour).

• Time at the Nackamal is approximately half an hour (0.50 hour)

Minimium Numbers and Booking Timeframe :

• Because we require specuial permission from the four tribes on Mount Mareun for this tour, a minimum of two(2) weeks notice must be given to arrange the tour.

• Non of the Tanna Adventures Tours have large groups and generally numbers are less than or equal to four(4), however for the Volcanic Ash Plain / Mount Mareun Tour, the following mimimums apply :

For one 4WD vehicle => 4 persons.

Should fewer people than four wish to go on the tour, then a minimum cost of four persons applies.

Cost of Ash Plain / Mt Mareun Tour per person :

Cost for travel from Tanna Adventures Accommodation :

Deposit Require to confirm Booking ...>> Vt 1,000 / person. .................................................... [ NZ$ 15.00 /person]

Balance of Monies paid at Tour pickup >> Vt 9,000 / person. ................................................... [ NZ$ 132.00 /person]

Total Cost Ash Plain-Mt Mareun Trip >> Vt10,000 / person. ................................................... [ NZ$ 147.00 /person]

Cost for travel from Accommodation on Whitegrass Coast :

Deposit Require to confirm Booking ...>> Vt 1,300 / person. .................................................... [ NZ$ 19.00 /person]

Balance of Monies paid at Tour pickup >> Vt11,700 / person ................................................... [ NZ$ 172.00 /person]

Total Cost Ash Plain-Mt Mareun Trip >> Vt13,000 / person. ................................................... [ NZ$ 191.00 /person]

Method of Tour Payment :

• Deposits paid either by Paypal, Credit Card or by Direct Credit.

• Balance can be prepaid by Paypal, Credit Card or by Direct Credit. Alternatively, Balance can be paid in Cash at Tour Pickup.

• Equivalent cost in New Zealand Dollars is provided in brackets underneath cost in Vanuatu Vatu.

• Please note that deposits are non-refundable.

Tour is dependent on Weather and Road Conditions:

• Due to the fact that Tanna Island lies in the tropics and all roads are unsealed and subject to significant erosion during periods of heavy rain, this trip is dependent both on weather and road conditions. This is the same for all trips carried out by all tour operators on Tanna.

• In particular visitors are to note that in the end its up to Mount Yasur to allow you to visit. If Volcanic activity is such that the guides have closed the mountain and the surrounding Ash Plain (see Vanuatu Volcano Alerts System), then visitors must accept this as a a part of the unpredictablity of mother nature.

• Please understand if the trip is rescheduled to suit. Travellers are recommended to allow enough days on Tanna to account for any such eventuality.

Postponement or Cancellation:

• Should the trip be postponed due to conditions then , subsequent days will be offered if these are suitable.

• Should the Tour have to be cancelled due to conditions, or if visitors cannot make a subsequent tour offered, then no costs other than the non-refunable deposits shall be due. Any other prepayment shall be refunded.

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4WD vehicles are used by Tanna Adventures to traverse the ash plain and onto the base of Mt Mareun
Tanna Adventures- viewing bush on the Mt Yasur Ash plain looking towards Mt Mareun
You meet al sorts when you travel with Tanna adventures
Bush tracks on Mount Mareun with Tanna Adventures
view of Mount Yasur from Mount Mareun
See the highest Village on Tanna on the Mt Mareun Tour with Tanna Adventureshe highest village

view of Mount Mareun coming through centra Tanna, with Tanna Adventures

A view of Mount Mareun. The haze is due to the continuing eruptions of the nearby Mount Yasur Volcano.