#Setting up in Vanuatu


The first day of 2017 … WOW.

We wish you a Happy New Year as you read our latest blog.

Dec 2016 New Year S&D

Dec 2016 New Year

We spent the end of 2016 at our neighbour’s café (Back to Eden – Alan & Bronwen) with the local village.

Check out our video: https://youtu.be/tfr3caDgEIg

Custom at Mangaliliu (Vanuatu) is to say goodbye to the sun, singing local songs, as it sets for the final time for the year … then return to the village for Nakamal, before singing in the New Year at midnight.

We finished 2016 on a high. The kitchen, bar and seating are set up at Divi’s …

Dec 2016 Divis tables

Dec 2016 Divis long shot

We are waiting for the solar replacement parts (received under warranty from Taiwan) to be installed – we will open the bar in the next two (2) weeks.

Last year we spent New Year on the Gold Coast with friends and family talking about our ideas and hopes for what we might achieve at our recently purchased blocks in Mangliliu Vanuatu throughout 2016 – proudly (pun intended) we are drinking our morning coffee in our amazing beachside bungalow, glancing left at Divi’s bar, listing to the ocean lap on the beach … we have come a long way!

Check out our postings on Airbnb:

Divi’s Glamping Bungalow
– Two confirmed Airbnb bookings already!
Glen & Linda – thanks for their help when we were loading our containers
Gai & Darren – GoFundMe investors

Divi’s Beachside Bungalow

Looking forward to sharing our paradise with you in 2017.

Darleen & Scott


Sunday morning (4th Dec 2016) on the Gold Coast in Australia. We arrived last night to visit family and friends for a week before Christmas. It will be lots of fun.

Our goal was to open Divi’s on the 16th December 2016, but due to three (3) of our four (4) inverters deciding to “play dirty” (stop working!!!), we don’t have enough electrical capacity to operate all Divi’s fridges and equipment. So, at this point Divi’s “soft opening” date has been pushed back to mid-January 2017. Official opening will still be April 2017.

Before leaving Divi’s at Mangaliliu in Vanuatu yesterday, we captured some great video footage.

Here is the link: https://youtu.be/LS0Bo1fLThE

Darleen and Scott in Vanuatu


We haven’t posted since early October … sorry about that.

We were only just connected to the internet last week, which meant we could load an update. Internet coverage isn’t very strong, so only photos at this stage. Hoping our Chinese internet booster will be fitted next week, and that it works, so we can load a video.

We did move into our unfinished bungalow on Friday 7th October 2016, with a flushing toilet and water running from one outside tap – NO electricity. We showered without hot water for 32 days … washed dishes and clothes outside too.



The day we moved in the painters still had scaffolding erected in our bedroom, and we slept on our outdoor lounge chairs for the first night. It was not much fun … so the next night we took the cushions off the chairs, placed them on a picnic blanket on the floor, and slept a little better. This went on for five (5) days.





Then we could finally unload our tempura mattress from the container. We hadn’t slept on our own fabulous mattress since mid-April 2016! It was amazing. Who would have thought … simple comforts can bring so much happiness!

Electricity was connected about four (4) weeks after we moved in, and that was great. Up to that point we were using ALDI solar lights Darleen had put in the container from Australia, and watching movies on our laptop for evening entertainment. We had to charge our phones and laptops during the day with the generator. Our neighbours Bronny and Alan lent us their esky for a couple of weeks and we were changing out the ice bricks daily.

Once we had the flat packed kitchen finished we unloaded the bar fridge that we had brought over for our bungalow and we plugged that into the generator each day. And it became an esky over-night.

Flat pack jigsaw puzzle

Flat pack jigsaw puzzle

Darleen has been, and still is in fact, cooking on a camp stove.



We added a few extra items to the builder’s construction list: solar roof over the container and carport, concrete footings for container two (2), wood framing in both glamping huts for the fly screens, storage shed fencing, cement pads for both water tanks, two (2) sets of stairs for the tapas bar, pizza oven base, and hand rails for the tapas decking. So, Richard’s teams (builder) should be finished next week – exciting.





Darleen has been establishing her vegetable gardens, as well as lots of garden beds.



With the assistance of our neighbour Josie, we have been creating coral paths for: glamping hut one, glamping hut two, three (3) outdoor furniture pads looking at Hat Island and the ocean, from the car park to the tapas bar, chicken coop, and our bungalow to the tapas bar. Two (2) weeks I have been moving coral around the site … I am so over coral!!!!

October 2016 was the toughest month so far for me. I haven’t done much camping in my life, I like all my creature comforts. So … to live without power and inside water for over three (3) weeks tested me. Being in an emotional low, my mind started to question – what the f*ck are we doing? Guess I had to reach that point at some stage! Thrilled to report I am still here, with my gorgeous wife Darleen at Mangaliliu in Vanuatu, and we have survived a tough October 2016 building Divi’s.

With progress over the last six (6) weeks since our last blog, Darleen and I are very excited to be able to finally start unloading each container with contents for the kitchen and bar.

Enjoy the photos …












Tapas Bar



Tapas outside build

Tapas outside build



Glamping Huts







Scott and Darleen from our Vanuatu paradise.


We start October 2016, knowing that this will most likely be the last four (4) weeks onsite with Richard the builder. We want to share our experience. Remember, we are building in a remote part of North Efate at Mangaliliu, about 30 minutes from Port Vila in Vanuatu. And neither Darleen or I have every built a house before …

At this point, after having Richard (builder) start the last week in May 2016, we must say building with Richard from Rabco Constructions in Vanuatu has been wonderful. He has different teams of guys for different jobs: block laying, woodwork, plaster and painting, then tiling. Each team has a leader (Dominic, Bong, Ben, Phillip, Pieor), and between 2-6 local Ni-Van (local Vanuatu person) in each team.

They have all been great.

We didn’t realise, but Dominic had been watching Darleen in the garden all week. One Monday (29 August 2016) morning he arrived onsite with a huge collection of cuttings and plants as a gift for Darleen, who spent the whole day creating a garden (Dominics garden – we will show you when you visit). It is coming along well.

Another morning we had been placing better soil from the back of the block into garden beds we created down near the path from the beach. Over the lunch break, one of Dominics team created three bird nest ferns about six (6) feet up on three separate trees. They look great – how lucky were we!!

As you will see in the video link, there has been lots of progress to share with you, and we are very excited – https://youtu.be/IIMJSEvaTXY

We are looking forward to opening Divi’s to guests on Friday 16 December 2016.

Scott from Vanuatu.


We are moving out of Bob’s house (where we are renting) on Thursday 6th October, into our Bungalow. Next week we are hoping to have tiles laid, glass doors fitted, plumbing done, and painting completed, as well as water and gas on. Electricity may be still a few weeks away.

We wanted to share what we have been working on – water.

Have a laugh while watching the video as we try to establish a flow of water from the source to our recently purchased 3,200 litre water tank – https://youtu.be/uFJsylSd8sw

Scott on the tools in paradise.


The video below updates construction on the Bungalow that we plan to move into in the first week of October 2016. Less than five (5) weeks away.

Check out the video taken earlier this morning … https://youtu.be/xBPKTpWP1-Y

Our second container arrived in Port Vila this week. So now all our worldly possessions are in Vanuatu … ironically still having trouble getting the first container delivered!

The next video shows progress on the Tapas Bar.

This video was also taken earlier this morning … https://youtu.be/xmuQBdqzYKY

Hope you are enjoying the updates.

Scott from Vanuatu


In the last few weeks the focus for construction has moved back to our bungalow. The goal is for us to move in and reside permanently in the bungalow the first week of October 2016 … saying goodbye to renting Bob’s house.

Check out the video taken earlier this morning. It shows me walking from the road down through the front block to the ocean … https://youtu.be/yaJby1OGpNY

Sadly in the last week Abbie, one of the village bakers, lost his wife. It came as a surprise. She died on Friday night, and was buried on Saturday. A very quick process. Part of Vanuatu custom is for the village to mourn her passing for five (5) days. Lots for us to learn about the local culture. We don’t want to just be here. We want to be part of the community, understanding the culture and the Vanuatu way of doing things. To add to the local community, through employment, and sharing local history and cultural knowledge with our family, friends and guests.

Scott from Mangaliliu in Vanuatu


360 SITE VIDEO OCEAN BLOCK– 31 July 2016

This short video is of the building site.

I stood on a rock towards the back of the ocean block, and turned in a circle.  It gives you a perspective of the building site. I am positioned about 70 metres from the ocean, 10 metres in from the back, and 10 metres in from the left side.

Lots of landscaping ahead for Darleen and me.

Enjoy the tour … https://youtu.be/FKADIQvUpek

PATH WALK – 31 July 2016

For this short video you start at the ocean, and walk up towards the wine and tapas bar.

Building in Vanuatu at Mangaliliu you are not permitted to build a solid structure within 30 metres of the median high water mark. So the front edge of the wine and tapas bar and our bungalow are on the 30 metre line.

As you can tell … we wanted to be a close to the ocean as possible.

Enjoy the tour … https://youtu.be/1ecCp24VGPg


The next four (4) videos give you a construction update of the four (4) main structures.

Wine & Tapas Bar … https://youtu.be/GOIlbT0hvAk

Bungalow … https://youtu.be/rhS_PpMUmaw

Glamping Hut One … https://youtu.be/UBKa639dXB8

Glamping Hut Two … https://youtu.be/oPzKMyzN36k

Scott building in Vanuatu


Just wanted to let you in on a few significant things for us today (Friday 19 Aug 2016) …

First, the team putting the roof on Glamping Hut Two asked us to remove a tree.  NO, Darleen said, I don’t want the whole tree removed. Just remove the branch!

Remove tree Glamp 2

Remove tree Glamping Hut 2

We approached are new neighbour Josie (who is great and deserves his own blog on another day), who came to the rescue.

Josie on ladder

Josie on ladder

He climbed the ladder, with the chain saw and cut down the tree in pieces.

The top piece was tied to the tow bar of our Isuzu D-Max, and I separated the top piece of the tree after Josie had carefully cut half way through the branch with the chain saw. We did it without doing any damage to Josie, the car … or Glamping Hut Two!

The second significant event for us today, our other neighbour Alan & Bronwyn have departed for a three (3) week family visit in Australia. With Josie also away tonight, Darleen and I are alone in the bush.

The third is a small milestone … the team working on Divi’s Tapas Bar finished the internal rendering this afternoon. It looks great.

Scott … live from Vanuatu.