July 2, 2015

Heaven on Earth – Champagne Bay, Vanuatu

Snorkling, swimming and foodie fun at Champagne Bay Vanuatu - Anna Johnston - www.shenannagans.com

Picture perfect powdery sand pathways that lead to white beaches edged with old-growth trees and coconut palms that line crystal clear sparkling turquoise waters. #takemeback

There are times when the bitter cold of the Canberra winter become almost too much for this summer lover to handle. ‘Winter Wonderland my *bleep!’ In my humble opinion there aint nothing fun about waking to -4c temperatures, frozen toes and an icy nose. 

Photo by Vishal Pandey of Wanderlust73 - www.shenannagans.com

Photo by Vishal Pandey of Wanderlust73 – A cold, foggy and lonely street in Canberra

Much of my spare time is spent dreaming up ways to escape the artic, catch some rays, snorkel in warm waters and defrost in a beautiful, balmy and oh so sunny summer island destination.

Enter Champagne Bay in Vanuatu!

The crystal clear sparkling turquoise waters of Champagne Bay, Vanuatu - www.shenannagans.com

Named because of the spring under the beach that produces bubbles around the edge of the shore, and nestled within the island of Espiritu Santo, this paradise holds the title for the most stunning in the South Pacific.

Lobster cages used to catch our lunch - www.shenannagans.com

As we walked onto the island we were greeted by a cheery welcome tune (this is a song that never ends, comes to mind) and locals selling sarongs, jewellery and other knick-knacks.

Lobster Cooking Pots - www.shenannagans.com

The cooking pots. You could order different sized lobsters. Can you guess which size I ordered?

You can’t help but surrender your senses to the warm gentle breeze as it thaws your body, and the calm lapping of the ocean on the islands pristine beaches  as it stills your mind, it is a breath taking combination of sun, sand, sea and dreamy scenery.

My Lobster Cooking - www.shenannagans.com

If all that doesn’t have you booking a plane ticket to the South Pacific tomorrow, let me tell you about one of the finest, most delicious ‘street feeds’ I’ve ever eaten.

Lobster Preparation - www.shenannagans.com

Such precision preparing my lunch with that blunt knife – #impressed

The locals who I might add, have to be some of the friendliest, most down-to-earth, un-pushy people on earth, sell cheap ($20 – They are around $70 a kg here in Australia) live crabs and lobster that they’ll cook for you with a smile.

Lobster Almost Ready for Eating - www.shenannagans.com

Just 10 minutes from ordering, a juicy, decadent, and mildly sweet lobster is handed to me, straight from the ocean on a palm leaf plate.  

Lobster - Eat Me - www.shenannagans.com

I reckon if there is a heaven on earth then Champagne Bay in Vanuatu may just be it.

I’d love to know, if you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be?

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Anna

shenANNAgans is Anna Johnston, a 30 - something Aussie gal with an unwavering passion for the Hospitality industry. I love the quirky and unusual, designing events, travelling far and wide and eating food from all around the world. I am coffee blooded, a craft beer enthusiast, wine drinking yogi who enjoys writing about her adventures.

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Wonderful indonesia - January 18, 2016 Reply

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http://destinationandfoodindonesia.blogspot.com

20 Ticks for the Travel Bucket List - August 6, 2015 Reply

[…] I was being really adventurerous with my eating the day I visited Ekasup Village in Vanuatu, South Pacific Granted…. my mouth was numb after the generous sip of Kava I had just consumed, who […]

Ciao Florentina - July 31, 2015 Reply

That looks so dreamy, Unreal ! I am packing my suitcase for Sicily and I’m really hoping to get some gems of experiences and photos as good as yours. Incredible sights !

    Anna - August 1, 2015 Reply

    Thanks lovely one. 🙂
    Sooooooo jelly you are packing your bags for Sicily. Foodie heaven!!! Your posts make me want to lick my computer screen. LOL! So, I just know you’ll be snapping National Geographic style pictures on your travels.

Monique@The Urban Mum - July 30, 2015 Reply

Actually Vanuatu would do me quite nicely right now…we visited for the first time last year and fell in love. With the gorgeous people (did you know they have been voted the most friendly in the world – twice..), the food and the scenery. For a getting away from it all holiday, Vanuatu takes some beating. x

    Anna - July 30, 2015 Reply

    Oh yeah, I’ll meet you there! 🙂
    I did not know they had been voted the most friendly people in the world, although not at all hard to believe.
    The food, so fresh and summery. Everything I crave is right on that island.
    Just a few more weeks and the temps should start rising. Hang in there. xo

Erin@WellPlated - July 26, 2015 Reply

heaven on earth is right! This truly looks like paradise.

    Anna - July 26, 2015 Reply

    It was GORGEOUS Erin, one of the most magical parts of the world. Straight outta the movies it was. It is the Hawaii of the South Pacific.

Kathy @ Olives & Garlic - July 21, 2015 Reply

All of these pictures are just amazing. You’re always visiting cool places. 🙂 And all that seafood!!! Heaven

    Anna - July 21, 2015 Reply

    Thank you Kathy! I imagine it would be difficult to take a bad picture in that little piece of paradise. 🙂
    And yes, I sure have been lucky with my travels. If you can get to the South Pacific, be sure to check out Champagne Bay.

Amanda @ Adventures All Around - July 20, 2015 Reply

Now I do rather like Canberra, but I’m so with you on voting Vanuatu if there was a choice right now! I’m in Glen Innes at the moment which shares the crazy cold climate with Canberra (seriously, I’m colder here than i was in Antarctica earlier this year!). So looking at these pictures have made me a little bit warmer. And a lot hungrier for lobster. Hmmmm… wonder where I can find some up here?

    Anna - July 21, 2015 Reply

    O.M.G…. seriously? You are colder than you were in Antarctica. Australia really did experience an Artic Vortex. LOL! 🙂
    If you track down some lobster, let a sister know, Ill head your way with a bottle of bubbles.

Jean | Holy Smithereens - July 18, 2015 Reply

How amazing is that lobster in a pot! 🙂 oh my I just want to be anywhere near the equator at this point. Thanks for providing a sunny escape albeit momentarily 🙂

    Anna - July 20, 2015 Reply

    It was amazing Jean. So juicy and tasty and delicious AND the perfect way to round out an amazing Island experience. 🙂
    Isn’t the weather delightful of late?! Ha. 🙂 Wish I could be soaking in the sunshine right now too.

Jean (Bentodays) - July 15, 2015 Reply

Beautiful photos! And that lobster looks simply amazing! Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂 Have a great week ahead!

    Anna - July 15, 2015 Reply

    Thanks a bunch Jean, that lobster was amazing! So fresh and tasty, it was a real treat!
    Thanks for stopping by, really appreciate it.
    Have a happy week ahead. 🙂

Maureen | Orgasmic Chef - July 12, 2015 Reply

Talk about heaven on Earth!!

I’ve been looking at the temps in Canberra and I wondered how folks down there coped with below 0C mornings. Ugh. It’s going to be 9 overnight up here and I’m freezing!

I will have to investigate Champagne Bay because one of those lobsters must have my husband’s name on it. 🙂

    Anna - July 13, 2015 Reply

    Yep! Gorgeous part of the world. Even with rain it was a perfect paradise.
    Argh… This little Canberran is not dealing with the below 0 temps at all. Have been crook more than I ever remember, and given up trying to work blood into my toes and fingers. Giving into it and caving until its done. 9c is pretty chilly, thats the top temp we have here today. 🙁
    Excellent, the hubster would LOVE it, reckon you might enjoy it too.
    Good to see you back here on my blog Maureen, hope you are feeling better. xo

Roxanne - July 11, 2015 Reply

SO JEALOUS! That looks amazing Anna!!!! Wish I could go to Vanuatu!!!!
Oh, and if only lobster was affordable for us in Australia 🙁

xx Loving your work!

    Anna - July 13, 2015 Reply

    I am jealous of me too, it was a wonderful holiday. Haha. 🙂
    Totes agree re the lobster too. It’d be wonderful if a) lobster was that affordable in Australia & b) we could pick our lobster straight from the ocean like that. There really was something very special about seeing my food be prepared and knowing it was fresh.
    Thanks heaps for your thoughtful comment Roxanne. 🙂 xx

Arpita@ The Gastronomic Bong - July 11, 2015 Reply

OMG this place looks incredible!! I m so J… feel like packing my bags and take the next flight to Vanuatu..simply Awesome.. And that lobster- just yummmm…

    Anna - July 11, 2015 Reply

    It was incredible Arpita. We are expecting sleet/snow here today, Im so J of me to. LOL! 🙂
    Can you swing past Australia and pick me up?! 🙂

Norma Chang - July 9, 2015 Reply

Lobster from the ocean onto a palm leaf plate could not get any fresher. I can taste that sweet succulent lobster meat, so jealous, drooling all over my keyboard.
Just think about my winters in New York and you will feel a whole lot warmer.

    Anna - July 10, 2015 Reply

    Oh yeah!!! It was amazing, and delicious, and oh so fresh. Such a cool experience. 🙂
    Ha…. I do feel for you for sure. But….. you get snow, and in my books, that is a reward for suffering through the cold and not feeling your face or toes for months on end.

Angela - July 9, 2015 Reply

Looks gorgeous!! And those lobsters- drool!

    Anna - July 9, 2015 Reply

    Ooooh YEAH! It was crazy delicious Angela. And the warm blue waters, delightful. Wish I could be back there right now.

John/Kitchen Riffs - July 9, 2015 Reply

Totally fun pictures! Sounds like such a great experience — I’m jealous! 😉 And the food? Yes. Just yes.

    Anna - July 9, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps John! It was a wonderful experience, especially digging into the freshly cooked lobster. Such fun!

Tim UrbanDuniya - July 9, 2015 Reply

Ok, this post has just made my day – seriously exotic. I wanna go!!! When did you go here? What a gorgeous place!!!

Yup, well I’ve decided where I want to go for my next holiday! Hope you’re having a great week my friend 😀

    Anna - July 9, 2015 Reply

    AWESOME!!! And coming from you who is living in warmth at the moment, that is quite the compliment. 🙂
    It was gorgeous, and if you are headed back, Im squishing into your suitcase and coming with.
    Went in the Summer of 2013, and again to surrounding Islands in 2014.
    Great week being had, hope you are kicking goals too. 🙂

Anna - July 8, 2015 Reply

Wow! It looks like an adventure :-). The colour of the water makes me want pack my bags and leave Chile to live there.

http://www.postcardsfromtheworld.com/category/south-america/

    Anna - July 8, 2015 Reply

    It was beautiful Anna. The water really was spectacular, throw in Leonardo DiCaprio and you’ve got yourself ‘The Beach 2’. 🙂

Sherry from sherryspickings - July 7, 2015 Reply

Wow that all looks fabulous. How marvellous to have such fresh cheap lobster.

    Anna - July 8, 2015 Reply

    It REALLY was Sherry! 🙂 Oh what I would do right now to be back in this gorgeous, sun shiny, beautiful part of the world. 🙂
    And yeah, the lobsters were amazingly cheap. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have access to produce like that, at that price all the time?!

Dedy@Dentist Chef - July 7, 2015 Reply

wow, damn beautiful place n Damn delicious food!!!
very cheap lobster indeed, here in Indonesia it cost about 90USD for a kilo of live gigantic spiny lobster….

    Anna - July 7, 2015 Reply

    It was amazing Dedy! As you say, One Damn Beautiful Place!!! 🙂
    Yep, it was a total bargain, lobster is super expensive in Australia too.

Jasline (Foodie Baker) - July 6, 2015 Reply

Any fresher you’ll have to catch the lobster yourself :p What an amazing holiday destination! Going to add it to my must-visit list!

    Anna - July 6, 2015 Reply

    Haha, well I followed the guy who cooked my lobby like a lost puppy, I reckon had I of asked, he would have let me catch my own…. but I was a little scared of them, they were massive. Left it to the professionals. 🙂
    Yep, add to your must visit list for sure, its a beautiful destination.

Cailee - July 6, 2015 Reply

Wow!! This looks amazing! So beautiful! The seafood looks so fresh!! 🙂 What a blast!

    Anna - July 6, 2015 Reply

    It really was amazing Cailee. We had the best time hanging out on the island, and the lobster… MMMMMmmmm! Total blast indeed. 🙂

Raymund - July 6, 2015 Reply

Wow thats what I call paradise, look at the water the fresh seafood! Feels like a wanna jump in a pool right now

    Anna - July 6, 2015 Reply

    Meeeeee too Raymund. Just gorgeous. And the seafood, well that was pretty gorgeous too. 🙂
    Wish, wish, wish I could jump in that sparkly blue warm water now too.

Jem @ Lost in Utensils - July 5, 2015 Reply

Beautiful photos Anna! What a gorgeous place and those lobsters… 🙂

Agness - July 5, 2015 Reply

This lobster is so huuuuuuuuge and must have been so delicious! 🙂

Gourmet Getaways - July 5, 2015 Reply

Awesome shot of you swimming, girl! Love that, for one. Next to that is the gorgeous lobsters, of course 🙂 xx

Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx

    Anna - July 5, 2015 Reply

    Thanks heaps Julie & Alesah. Too kind. 🙂 It was a fun holiday, did lots of scuba diving, and managed to capture a bunch of excellent under water images. Such fun! 🙂
    And yes, those lobbies were very photogenic, tasted flamin delicious too. 🙂

Lori - July 4, 2015 Reply

I have long dreamed of going to Fiji one day. I would bathe in the sea every day and what fun to eat crabs and then jump in the ocean to clean up. I’ve heard it is very warm and pleasant in Broome too, which is where I wouldn’t mind spending the winter (although I must confess, sydney is positively tropical compared to Canberra). I can only imagine what -7 must be like, getting out of bed in the mornings.

    Anna - July 5, 2015 Reply

    Oh yes, me too Lori, the water was so warm, and you really felt that it was doing good things for you. I hope you get to Fiji and other amazing islands in the South Pacific, such a gorgeous part of the world, and such good value for money if you enjoy dining on lobster and other amazing seafoods. 🙂
    Ha, I was saying to my colleagues that I was keen to head to Darwin, it was a balmy 32degrees when we had the 5c days. Broome would be tonnes of fun too. Oh heck, who am I kidding, I’d go anywhere there was/is warmth and sunshine and ocean. 🙂
    Great to have you here on my site Lori, hope your weekend is rocking.

Lorraine @Not Quite Nigella - July 4, 2015 Reply

I’m currently in Bangkok where it is gorgeously warm but I must say that Vanuatu is looking fabulous too! 😀

    Anna - July 4, 2015 Reply

    Wawhoooo to being in Bangkok, not gonna lie, I am soooooo jealous that you are in warmth. Be sure to soak some up for me too. 🙂

Bam's Kitchen - July 3, 2015 Reply

Anna you are making me so jealous! Crystal clear waters and fresh lobsters. I want to travel with you!!! Well it is not too cold here in HK at the moment and actually it has been sited as one of the hottest June’s recorded. Just picture lots of hot sweaty people sharing public transport together …oh yeah for me…so I guess if I had to choose anyplace on the world I would want to be it would be anywhere except steamy HK… Take Care, BAM

    Anna - July 4, 2015 Reply

    Well my lady, lets make that a thing one of these day, a foodie adventure in Asia somewhere. 🙂
    And right now, sweaty public transport sounds wonderful, surely that is better than not being able to feel your face. LOL! Take care lovely, enjoy steamy HK. Mwah! x

Liz (Good Things) - July 3, 2015 Reply

Ah, bliss! I’ve heard it’s heaven on earth… and your photos proved this! Stay warm lovely xx

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    LIZZY!!! 🙂 Yep, it was gorgeous. Although I reckon you would be seeing equally as fantastic things now on your Euro adventures. Miss your face. Happy weekend. And warm I will try. xox

Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) - July 3, 2015 Reply

Yes, I would love somewhere warm today and this place certainly looks like “Heaven on Earth” and who wouldn’t love a place called Champagne Bay:-)

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    Oh it was a magical part of the world, wish-wish-wish I could be there right now. Ha! I know right, tis an excellent name for an island.

Sue Slaght - July 3, 2015 Reply

The water looks like paradise! Something about that turquoise shade that makes one feel instantly better.

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    Yes, couldn’t agree more re the beautiful clear water, it is calming and certainly soothing to my soul. 🙂

Amanda (@lambsearshoney) - July 3, 2015 Reply

Vanuatu works for me! It was -2C here this morning. The tropics are looking very attractive right now.

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    -2… That’s practically swimming weather, Amanda. We had -7 this morn, it was -4 when I left for work. Brhhhh!
    Join Mandy, Krista and I for a ‘virtual’ weekend in sun shiny Vanuatu. 🙂

Denise Browning@From Brazil To You - July 3, 2015 Reply

I wish I could spend at least a weekend there. The water, the activities, the people, and the food makes that bay a jewel or like you said: heaven on earth!

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    Its a gorgeous part of the world Denise, I love that it remains relatively unchanged. And… that you can feast on one of life’s special treat foods for not much at all. Hope you get to visit one of these days. 🙂

Krista - July 2, 2015 Reply

Winter came in on the wind yesterday and I’m with you, girl, I’ve had quite enough already. 🙂 I’m such a sook with the cold now. 🙂 I really enjoyed Vanuatu so I’d happily head there right this second. What bliss it would be to feel warm. 🙂

    Anna - July 3, 2015 Reply

    It’ the worst, and I have no clue why, but the winter shocks me every. single. year! Ha… you came from 6foot of snow to balmy 15degree winters. You do make me giggle. 🙂 Gonna meet Mandy there on the weekend, see you too. LOL!

Mandy - July 2, 2015 Reply

I too absolutely loathe winter too! Dread it each year and can’t wait for it to be over. Now, when exactly do we meet at Champagne Bay?
Have a beautiful and happy day darling Anna.
🙂 Mandy xoxoxo

Susan - July 2, 2015 Reply

Just looking at these pics helps me imagine how warm the sun would feel & the lobby looks pretty tasty too.

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    Wouldnt it be the BEST feeling. Oh to be warm and defrosting. 🙂
    Could go a plate of lobster too. Mmmmm… So tasty!

Tandy | Lavender and Lime tandy@tandysinclair.com - July 2, 2015 Reply

Thanks for the virtual escape from winter! If I could be anywhere right now it would be Italy 🙂

Jessica - July 2, 2015 Reply

This looks beyond amazing, what a wonderful place. Plus love me some lobster! Thanks for taking my mind away from this dreary Canberra day!

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    It was gorgeous Jess, if only we could tap our toes together and be here huh?
    The lobster was very decadent, and oh so delicious. Mmmm!
    Ha! Isnt it the most awful weather here in the Berra today?! Glad I was able to take your mind off that for a few minutes.
    Happy Thursday my lady! xox

Hannah - July 2, 2015 Reply

Any where warm! Maybe the Americas…

It is freezing today! Stupid winter! #wheresthesnow

I’ve been giggling about the people in Britain complaining of a 9 year record high temp of 35. They are so silly!

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    YES. The Americas would be AWESOME. Or Darwin, its 29c there today. 🙂
    I hear you sistaaaa. Snow would make this experience half worth while, we could be a snowman. YES!
    WhaaaT! Thats cray. They should be cheering, 35 is delightful.

Christopher O'Connor - July 2, 2015 Reply

I love reading your posts. 🙂 x

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    Thanks Chris. I really appreciate that you take the time to read my posts each week. You ROCK!
    See you next week for some wine & food spectacular shenannagans. 🙂

Mabel Kwong - July 2, 2015 Reply

Awwww! Below 0’C in the morning in Canberra. I feel for you, big sis. Frosty, frosty. At least it doesn’t snow where you are? It gets down to 5 or 6’C in Melbourne these mornings, not as bad I suppose but it’s still struggle town to get up and feel my body when the wind blows.

Love that shot of you underwater. You look like you had a ball and checking out the underwater sights. The water looks so blue, stunning!

Haha, I hope you had more than one lobster. It sure looks decadent. Can’t remember the last time I had lobster here in Australia – not something I can afford to eat every day so when I do eat it, it’s a treat. Hugs to you Anna 🙂

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    Yep, we are hardcore in Canberra. LOL! -7 is a thing that happens often.
    I kind of wish it would snow, at least I would feel rewarded for my suffering. Ha! I could build snowmen and sing songs from FROZEN.
    5c is pretty chilly little one. I hear you with the struggles to get cracking in that.
    Thanks sis. Yep, snorkeling is such fun, the water was so clear and the fish a plenty, even saw lobsters. Very cool.
    I only had 1 lobster, we were cruising so the food is plentiful, couldnt fit more in.
    And yes, it is a super treat here in Australia, $70-$80 for a feed is a lot. Although, maybe when we catch up we go halvies in a lobster? Spoil us!
    Sending you big squishy hugs too, Miss Mabel. xo

hassan - July 2, 2015 Reply

Hi Dear Anna
What has a taste of the crab meat?
Africa is beautiful with all of its elements.
What a lovely and interesting moments.

    Anna - July 2, 2015 Reply

    Happy Hellos Hassan
    Crab meat is sweeter than lobster. Its difficult to explain the taste, not as delicate in flavour as lobster.
    So you wish you could be in Africa? Thats cool.
    As always, thanks for stopping by. You rock. Happy week ahead. 🙂

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