Espiritu Santo, Vanuatu, Fireworks

Just because you’re staying on a remote island in the South-Pacific where there’s a population of around 30-40,000 people, doesn’t mean you’re not going to find a lot of ways to amuse yourself.

Main Street, Luganville

Main Street, Luganville

On the day of our Wedding Anniversary, we hired a quad bike for the kids to get around on.  In Santo it’s completely legal to drive these along the main roads and completely legal to have a family of three kids all on the same ‘quadie’.  It cost $75.00 for the bike for 24 hours.

The 'quadie'

The ‘quadie’

In the interests of safety, we said to the kids, ‘You can take the quadie up the coast where there’s less traffic but don’t take it into town’.

‘Righto, dad’, replied Archie.  The idea was that they would cruise around on the coast road then meet us at the Riri Blue Hole.  Off they went with Archie driving and Alfie balancing in front of him and Arabella clutching on to Archie at the back.

Giving the driver a few tips on safety

Giving the driver a few tips on safety

Drew and I set off on bicycles and cycled about 4kms along a level road to the Riri Blue Hole.  And those on the quadie never appeared.

Riri Blue Hole

Riri Blue Hole

When we arrived back at Barrier Beach House we saw Archie who said they’d had a great time going all over the coast and just didn’t have time to meet us at the blue hole.  Never mind.

'Happy Anniversary' written with leaves

‘Happy Anniversary’ written with leaves

We walked into our room to see the staff had decorated the room to celebrate our anniversary which we thought was very nice but surprising seeing as we hadn’t mentioned it to anyone.

Swans!  The staff are very good at folding napkins and towels into shapes.

Swans! The staff are very good at folding napkins and towels into shapes.

That night Drew and I had our anniversary dinner at Moyyan with the kids eating at the Beach House.  Towards the end of the dinner Archie came over to ask how much longer we were going to be as he had something he wanted to show us.  It’s so hard to have an uninterrupted meal.

And you can't have fireworks without sparklers

And you can’t have fireworks without sparklers

A few minutes later we were on the sand in front of the Beach House, seated on the sun lounges and watched Archie and his apprentice, Alfie, buzzing around with matches.  They gave us a sparkler each and told us to sit back and enjoy the show.

Setting things aflame

Setting things aflame

Well I’d barely leaned my back against the chair when fireworks started going off in every direction.  Yes, Archie had done what we’d asked him not to do and that was take the quadie into town and drive it to the nearest Chinese-type supermarket-type store.  Fireworks are legal in Vanuatu.

The pyrotechnic

The pyrotechnic

Archie doesn’t do things by halves and so there was banging and explosions of fireworks lighting up the sky.  The show started with smaller little fountain-type fireworks but then Archie had bought the big thumper of a firework where it’s a wide cylinder that you push the firework into and then you light it and it shoots a hundred metres into the sky then explodes with a loud bang and then there’s great balls of fireworks in lots of colours.  And he bought quite of few of those.

The beach is ablaze

The beach is ablaze

During the day he had asked Shane if it would be okay to let off the fireworks on the sand in front of the Beach House and Shane is quite laid back and said, ‘Well mate, how’s your trajectory?  You’re not going to burn my place down are you?’

And Archie said, ‘Mate, it’s fine; my trajectory’s all good’.

Admiring his work

Admiring his work

Archie’s always loved matches, explosions and noise so this was him at his happiest.  I think half his joy came from being able to do something that’s completely illegal in Australia.

Way up in the sky

Way up in the sky

The show went for a few minutes with all the other guests enjoying the display and I have to say, Archie’s trajectory is actually very good.  All fireworks went straight up and not towards the house or any house guest.

Launched out of a rocket

Launched out of a rocket

It was a very special and memorable anniversary.



You can purchase fireworks from stores in Main Street, Luganville.

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  1. How cool is it that your kids put on a private fireworks show for your anniversary! It’s certainly one you’ll never forget. And you sure can’t beat any holiday in the South Pacific. So glad you are enjoying such a beautiful holiday. Happy Anniversary!

  2. It sound like Archie did you proud and, his personal enjoyment at the all the bangs and colour not withstanding, it was a lovely tribute for your anniversary. In spite of going into town when he wasn’t supposed to, he was also responsible enough to ask permission and make sure there were no accidents. Good job, Archie.

    And Happy Anniversary, again.

  3. Well, I think Archie gets a free pass this time for disobeying your orders. What a fun anniversary and that Blue Hole….my goodness, unbelievably gorgeous!

  4. I would love a quad bike ride out there! have only done quad biking on a very urban made track!

  5. Awww, your kids are awesome. 🙂 What a fantastic way to celebrate!!

  6. What a fun read, Charlie. The fireworks must have been spectacular. I’m so glad you didn’t scold your son for disobeying. If he had listened to you, how would you been able to have such a bang up anniversary:)

    I think it is also sweet of the hotel staff to make the day special too.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Charlie…

  7. A very happy anniversary to you both! This melted my heart, yay for Archie (and his trajectory!) Xx

  8. Wow how lovely was that. See your kids do really appreciate you, what a nice surprise.

  9. I love it! That is sooooooo cool. Certainly not an anniversary you’ll be forgetting anytime soon. 🙂

  10. What lovely explosions of fireworks. You have talented offspring who gave you such a lovely addition to your anniversary. Happy Anniversary! The signed bed and swans were a definite bonus.

  11. Oh, you do seem to have had a wonderful holiday – once you got there – Charlie and all sounds a lot of fun. I always feel blessed that my three brothers and I, still after more than 50 years, get on and enjoy each others company and I think your kids are going to be the same.

  12. The performer in Archie comes out in the most unusual and untypical of ways! He’s amazing. I’ve had some wonderful anniversaries, but no one has ever managed to give me a fireworks display in my honor. 🙂 Fabulous, Charlie!

  13. Oh phew! I was reading this post holding my breath because there were quad bikes and fireworks involved and well…you know! 😉

  14. Happy belated anniversary!

  15. Happy anniversary – what a memorable day! I think the fireworks would freak me out but I remember having fireworks with local community as a kids and they were always fun – amazing these days to be in the thick of the fireworks going off rather than just sky gazing! And those swans are gorgeous – hope you had a delicious meal even if there were interruptions

  16. What a great surprise and way to celebrate your wedding anniversary.

  17. Oh, Archie – he is full of surprises, but in some ways this isn’t surprising as it sounds just like him! Fireworks are legal in the UK too and I do find it thrilling that you can buy them at the supermarket, even though we actually haven’t bought any yet. What a memorable anniversary, and perhaps nice that you had the blue hole to yourself as I’m sure it was more peaceful that way (and just as well you didn’t know where they were).

  18. Nicely done Archie! What a beautiful way to celebrate your anniversary. In Toronto you’re allowed to have fireworks on your private property without a permit on Canada Day and Victoria Day, any other day you need a permit. It’s interesting because it’s sold legally everywhere in the city.

  19. Happy Anniversary! What a wonderful way to celebrate 🙂 <3

  20. What a lovely effort on Archie’s part. He reminds me in good ways (and others…) so much of my now 25-year-old son. Very thoughtful and sometimes exasperating as well, right? This looks like such a perfect family vacation, Charlie. And I love the anniversary celebrations that hopefully go on and on.

  21. What a nice surprise the kids got up for your anniversary Charlie! I bet Alfie was desparate for you to hurry up and get through dinner 🙂 All I got my parents this month for their 50th anniversary was some flowers- obviously I need to lift my game 🙂 xo

  22. Definitely an anniversary you won’t forget! My dad is the same way with fireworks—he could buy them legally in Indiana so he’d always stock up when he came to visit. A big kid at heart. Wow, the Blue Hole is gorgeous!!!

  23. OMGOSH,
    this was superb.
    Those leaves upon the bed! All of it! xx
    HAPPY Anniversary!!

  24. Even though most of your holiday was sopping wet, you experienced some really special fun. 🙂

  25. Aww thanks for letting me know where I can get those fireworks Charlie! Haha The blue hole looks the awesom-est of them all but I have to say if they hadn’t met me there I would have already been panicking. I am such a panic merchant. Glad you had a nice anniversary

  26. Well despite the obvious negatives, that was a pretty nice thing they all arranged for your anniversary!

  27. Awwe. I think Archie can be forgiven this once for going into town. What a sweet and exciting Anniversary present!

  28. Archie would love the crazy amounts of fireworks in India. I am not a fan of fireworks in fact I am scared that one might crash into my face and it had nearly happened a couple of times.
    I want to hire a quadie too! They look like fun and it’s for sure a cool vehicle to discover the surrounding.

  29. Sounds like it was a very memorable occasion. Cheers to Archie for his planning and preparedness!

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