The Secret Garden – 22/8/2011

Written by Tristan

Background Information on the Secret Garden

The Secret Garden was opened in 2002 as a privately-owned Cultural Center, spread over 4 acres.  The Cultural Center is set in botanical gardens and has been designed with the purpose of sharing Vanuatu’s history, custom and culture through its information posters, custom stories and historical photos, that are spread throughout the gardens and exhibits.  The center also offers a feast night on Tuesday and Thursday evening with singing, dancing and a magic show.

Our Visit

We visited the Secret Garden with our grandmother, while she was visiting us.  After entering the center we were greeted and given a guide to accompany us and share Vanuatu’s history.  Our first stop on our guided tour was at the ‘put your face in the hole’ photo booths, which we enthusiastically participated in.

Our guide drew some sand drawings to show us the different ways that the Vanuatu people used to leave messages.

We continued onto some cages, in one was a flying fox.  The man lifted us up to stand underneath it and he nibbled our hair.

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Our guide took us to another cage and around it was pictures of lizards, so we guessed what was inside.  Sure enough, he brought out a striped iguana and put it on our heads.

Eventually we saw a long python and our guide put it around each of our necks.

On our way to a hut, we saw an exhibit on weaving.  Our guide showed us the different things that could be made from weaving either banana or pandanus leaves.  He put some of the different things that had been made on Ava.

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At the hut was an exhibit on uses of coconuts.  We were shown how to use a piece of equipment to grind coconut from the shell and we all had a turn at doing it.  The ground coconut is used to make lap-lap, which they cook over hot stones.

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Tourist Information

Cultural Center

  • Entry Cost: 1500 vt for an adult, if you are a guest staying at the resort there is no charge

Island Feast Night

  • Held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings between 5 pm and 9 pm subject to minimum numbers. The feast includes a buffet dinner and evening entertainment of singing, dancing and magic.  Cost is 3500 vt per adult and 1750 vt per child

Further Information at:  https://www.vanuatusecretgarden.com/

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