Vanuatu Post’s Underwater Post Office, found just off Hideaway Island near Port Vila, has quickly become one of the busiest post offices for postcards in the world!
Visitors from around the world have literally donned their mask and snorkels, postcards in hand to experience the world’s first underwater post office.
And they have not been disappointed. 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.
“I love working at the underwater branch,” says VPL’s Samuel Robert. “It’s great fun and really pleasing to see so many visitors each day who cannot believe their eyes!”
Vanuatu Post has released two stamp issues commemorating the world’s first underwater post office.
In the news -
|Jul 2008||Xtreme Postmen - working at the Underwater Post Office|
|Jun 2006||Voicemail - to the ends of the Earth|
|Dec 2003||Postkontor under vandet? (Danish)|
|Oct 2003||Vanuatu: Going to great depths to deliver the mail|
|Jul 2003||Diver Maggie is a postie in Paradise|
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Blog -Have you been to the Underwater Post? Tell us about it!
Vanuatu Post Limited may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.
Wed Nov 28 21:02:49 2012
name: Norm R
We will be going down under to the underwater post office when we are in Vanuatu off a cruise on 7 Dec........ got our underwater camera ready. I take the shots the wife posts the cards for Xmas!!
Fri Feb 17 08:26:11 2012
I'm a philatelist from india . Very interesting.
How can i get a underwater post cover from vanuatu?
Thu Feb 16 19:13:05 2012
city: Mumbai, India
I will be in Vanuatu next month. Will visit this underwater PO for sure.
Fri Sep 30 23:34:59 2011
city: Bari, Italy
I hope to be there next year :)
Fri Sep 23 06:19:26 2011
city: South Australia
I am going to Vanuatu next week and will definetly be visiting... it looks amazing :)
Sat Aug 20 06:09:28 2011
name: C.RAAJA.SUB POSTMASTER
city: MAYILADUTHURAI, INDIA
IT IS AMAZING. REALLY I WISH TO VISIT THERE.
HEARTY CONGRATS TO VANUATU POST FROM INDIAN POSTMASTER.
Wed Apr 13 15:03:34 2011
name: Maria Bruno
city: San Antonio, Texas
I Want To Go! Im Only 15, But It Looks Super Fun!(:
Sat Apr 9 07:01:32 2011
It is really a wonderful thing. I haven't visited it but someday I will surely go there.
Fri Apr 8 20:34:33 2011
city: Trenton, NJ, USA
Wow this is so cool! I would love to visit there!
Fri Apr 8 09:16:01 2011
Tank you for it post office
Tue Apr 5 02:03:43 2011
name: Steven Ishmael
city: Port Vila /Vanuatu
I've been there tree times on a busy cruise day and could'nt find any post office staff down there. Only tourist swimming around the post. Where are the trainned staffs, Please managers keep this on going with smart staffs to manned the UWPThanks
Mon Nov 1 22:09:08 2010
name: nino Cuciniello
I am taking my wife Anna there for her 50th birthday . we were in port villa 30 years ago for our honey moon. cant wait nino
Thu Aug 19 04:05:50 2010
name: Veronese Burgess
city: Tweed Heads Australia
My family are going to Vanuatu in January 2011. We will be staying at Hideaway Island .My fifteen yr old daughter will have a friend and they are so looking forward to visiting the Underwater Post Office to send postcards back to all the friends in Australia. i will let you know how it goes.
Sun Aug 8 19:06:52 2010
name: Gail Anderson
city: Lubbock, Texas, United States
I wish that the popular television reality show "Survivor" had visited during the season that they were on that island. Like many "Survivor" fans, I did not care for the Vanuatu edition. The contestants were boring and the challenges were lame. This post office could have been lots of fun for them. It would have been a great reward or an interesting challenge (like maybe having them dive for "tree mail").
Wed Apr 21 23:25:54 2010
name: Daniel Morris
city: Port Vila
i love the underwater post office....really outstanding!!
Sat Mar 6 00:39:25 2010
city: New Zealand
I've never been there, but i would love to go there someday. I've done some research 'bout the underwater post office and some mentioned that its awesome.
Mon Dec 21 10:25:37 2009
city: australia brisbane
i loved the under water post office.i is a wonderful thing to see.we sent a letter.we went to vanuatu for a holiday and i thought that it was a great tour.
Thu Sep 10 05:51:52 2009
city: Devonport Tasmania
We visited Hideaway Island Last week and it was an amazing experience something my 8 year old daughter was looking forward to but was disappointed that there wasn't anyone in the post office. but i would go there again it was fantastic:-)
Sat Sep 5 08:18:50 2009
name: Madi Callaway
city: Sydney, Australia
I loved the underwater post office sooo much!!! It was a great experience and i want to go again!!
Sun Aug 23 11:43:27 2009
name: Elizabeth Mantoura
city: Sydney, Australia
i went to vanuatu in feb 09 and had tha best time !!!! underwater post office is amazing tiring but alot of fun !!! so many thing to do there i am dying to go back :)
Wed Jun 10 09:02:06 2009
name: Connor Venmore
city: Ashburton, New Zealand
Thank you for the postcard from the Underwater Post Office, it is really cool that the postcard is waterproof. I wonder what happened to the letter I sent to the Underwater Post Office enclosed in a envelope. Did you open the letter on land or underwater? I would like to know did you write on the card on land or underwater?
Thank you and greetings from Ashburton, New Zealand!
Thu May 7 01:44:47 2009
city: Maryborough, Aus
Vanautu is amazing! and 4 a 16 year old, very cultural and educational. the UW post office was exceptional, so beautiful, loved it!
Wed May 6 14:28:34 2009
name: Lyline Wbk
city: Port Vila
I had the chance to visit the underwater post in 2007 ....it was awsome, i love it plus the reef out there is so beautiful with different colors....
Thu Jan 8 05:48:12 2009
name: Nayeli Torres-Montenegro
city: Brisbane Au
I went to the under-water post office last week and it was amazing! The reef and fish are wonderful. The post office is located in Hideaway Island, a coral island (so you will need to wear shoes at all times and in the water). The island fee is 1000VT per person and you can hire snorkling gear in the island for another 1000VT. It is well woth the time and effort to get there. You can make a day of it by visiting the waterfalls and then the post office. Can't wait to go back!
Thu Dec 25 17:00:34 2008
name: Fr�d�ric Vouille
city: St Brice sous for�t, France
I visited hideaway island in the summer 2007 and naturally I did try to post my underwater cards to the submarine post office ... the water and the sky were gray but I did it and let them in the box 2 meter under the sea... but I didn't see anybody under the sea, maybe the postman was in holiday ?
Finally I received my cards 3 weeks after in France, but with disappointement because there was no underwater marking... Were your postmen in strike last year ?
But I went to the volcano post the following week and there I did post some other cards on the Yasur... and 3 weeks after they were in France with the special markings. Enjoy the volcano post !
Mon Dec 15 03:21:50 2008
city: Jakarta, Indonesia
i never see underwater post... Its great post office..unbelievable... Someday i will go to there...to get the cover from underwater post franking...
Mon Nov 17 12:57:25 2008
city: Brisbane, Australia
The underwater post office is located on Hide-away Island which is about a 15min drive from Port Vila Town. A 200 Vatu ($2.20 AUD) bus ride from town, a 40 minute walk from Mele Cascades or 10 minute walk from Secret garden and you will arrive at a small beach where you can catch the Island ferry. Island fee of 1000 Vatu per person ($11 AUD) and you're on the island.
Here you can snorkel for a few hours, go for a swim and post an underwater postcard at the underwater post box. Special postcards are to be purchased from the Hideaway Island shop for 400 Vatu including postage (in town you pay 150 Vatu plus 100 Vatu for postage so it's not much more expensive). A short swim from the shore and you will see a small letter box underwater where you post your card. The further out you snorkel the more coral and fish you see!
A great way to spend half a day or a full day trip combining Hide-away Island and Mele Cascades (40 minute walk from the island).
Sat Nov 1 13:05:05 2008
name: Rachel O
city: Sweden (Orig frm U.K)
I visited Hideaway Is during my backpacking trip around the world.
Managed to eventually post a UW p-card & what a cool experience.
Vanuatu is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, fantastic people,
culture & charm. I would love the chance to go back again.
Tue Sep 9 04:43:56 2008
name: Clare Churchill
Congrats to Vanuatu Post for this amazing idea!! Does anyone know
if more post offices in strange locations are planned?
Wed Jun 18 01:06:06 2008
name: Danielle G
city: Vila, Vanuatu
The Underwater PO is a great asset to us in Vanuatu. Kids
especially love it. Try and plan your visit on 'cruise ship' days -
that's when the post office is the busiest and you get the best
Wed Jun 18 01:08:29 2008
city: Brisbane, Australia
I've been to Hideaway three times and each time the Underwater
Post Office has been the main attraction! Hideaway is great for diving,
feeding fish etc, but the Post Office is a unique attraction for Vanuatu
- make sure you visit!