By Leo Muramur & Arsen Bong, VTO - APTC student attachés: On Friday 21st March 2014, all us Tourism students of APTC or Australian Pacific Technical College, as part of our curriculum, went on a famil to the beautiful Summit Gardens, Vanuatu Jungle Zipline and the Tanna Coffee factory, located along the road to Benjor Resort at Mele. At the Summit Garden, we were welcomed by and got introduced to the friendly staff to our first ever visit of some of the most beautiful places we have ever seen. We popped into the Summit Distillery where we learned about how staff produced all of the products, including the plants they planted, harvested and used to create their Health and Beauty oils, lotions and much more from sandal wood, lemon grass, ginger and more.
In the gardens, our tour guide clearly explained about many of the different varieties of plants that grew there such as the Orchids, Palms, Water Lilies, roses, gingers and more. The view atop The Summit overlooking towards Hideaway Island and the Mele Bay was just breath-taking and we liked the bay’s heart-shape.
Our tour guide Katrina, was very professional and spoke loud and clear so we heard everything she said making our learning easier. She then took us to the Summit Shop to show us where all their products were displayed and sold. We loved the aroma of all the products blended into one for a shop not too big but just the right size, and very pretty. We said thank you to the staff and management of The Summit and then we took off to where the Jungle Zipline operated.
Jungle Zipline is currently number 1 attraction for Vanuatu on Tripadvisor and we were fortunate to go onsite where the thrill takes place. We walked along the jungle tracks looking up to see the tourists zipping over our heads, something that made us laughed all the way including a few slips and slides across the mud which was equally fun. But the one thing main thing that we missed was zipping through jungle tree tops so we promised that the next time we return, it will be for that.
We enjoyed the whole experience, and now it was time to head back to the buses but before hitting the tar sealed road, we made a turn into the driveway that took us to the Tanna Coffee Factory.
Again the staff were very welcoming and thorough with their introduction of the establishment of the building which was the very first catholic mission base. This did surprise us. We were then taken to the coffee plants and were briefed about their history and species. After that, the guide took us to the actual factory and WOW! The smell and sight of coffee was just divine. To be honest, we didn’t want to leave we just wanted to stay there. The strong aroma from Tanna coffee locked us in its own territory and it was hard to go. We learned how the staff processed the coffee beans into powder as well as packaging the world famous Tanna Coffee into their packs and saches. We were happy to learn that Tanna coffee were being sold onboard P&O which earns good income not just for the company but especially the growers. But we must say that the best bit of it all was when we put our feet up and enjoyed our choice of either Latte, Long Black or Cappuccino. Yumo! The taste will forever linger on....