Underwater History Lesson | Million Dollar Point
Vanuatu is not only home to spectacular beaches, delicious food, and the friendliest smiles, there is also a lot of history to be discovered beneath the surface! Unique snorkeling and diving spots around the islands are a must see for travelers and history buffs alike.
An Unusual Kind of Reef!
If you’re looking for some history to go with your diving adventure, Million Dollar Point is the place for you! The world renowned diving site located off the coast off of Espirito Santo got its name after millions of dollars’ worth of American Army materials were dumped in the ocean at the end of the second world war. Just off shore, the myriad of dumped jeeps, bulldozers, trucks, fork lifts, tractors, unopened boxes of clothing and cases of Coca-Cola create a very different kind of reef!
So, you’re probably asking, why dump all this valuable equipment? At the end of the war, the American Army were faced with a problem. For the journey home, priority was given to troops returning to their loved ones. Without the space they needed on their ships to fit all the trucks and equipment they’d had in Vanuatu they turned to alternative ‘storage’ methods.
Depositing the heavy machinery into the ocean however was a commotion in itself! The SeaBees (American Navy) had to construct a ramp leading into the sea, driving all the equipment into the ocean, using weights to hold the pedals down and letting go of the handbrakes! It was a scene where local Ni-Vanuatu looked on in disbelief, thinking the Americans had gone crazy.
So where is Million Dollar Point?
Located just off the coast of Espírito Santo, Million Dollar Point is located in the Vanuatu archipelago of the South Western Pacific. Air Vanuatu offers direct international flights to Santo out of Brisbane (flights take 2 hours 40 minutes) and short domestic flights (50 minutes) from Port Vila.