Middlebush Kastom Walks + Black Magic
Take a day and immerse yourself in the, culturally rich, tribal life unique to Tanna Island.
Kastom Trails on Tanna Island.
Disputes between neighbouring tribes have been an integral part of Ni-Vanuatu life in the distant past, and led to serious dislocation of inter-tribal interactions affected trading, island wide-ceremonies, and marriage arrangements. However, an innovative system of kastom trails was mediated by the island’s high chiefs that reducing the occurrence of disputes, laying down safe ground, and bring in protocol.
Kastom trails delineate tribal boundaries, are accepted as neutral territory, and pass close to significant tribal villages so that each tribe knows who is traversing across their land. While Tannese used strict etiquette at each village, this has lessened in recent years.
The Middlebush Kastom Trail.
The importance and development of Kastom Trails is a fairly unique feature of Tanna Island. As with most transport routes, a system of major routes cross longitudinally over the island and include most of the coast, while a network of interweaving minor trails extend out over most of the island . The Middlebush trail is specifically chosen to provide visitors with a selection of countryside to experience, and passes through different sized villages. Along the way Tannese go about their normal lives, and visitors may come across villagers preparing a daily meal, getting ready for a special ceremony, or they may all be at work in their subsistence gardens. The walk aims to present the routine of Melanesian life in an authentic manner.
It is to be noted that the walk does not start on a Kastom Trail but traverses down a short steep slope, which most find fun to do, followed by a walk upstream through a spring-fed stream until connecting onto the trail itself.
If requested, the walk can be shortened and pickup can be made shortly after the breadmaking.
The Black Magic show has been a popular activity for many years, and attendance is generally limited to a few visitors, making it a very personal experience. A series of encounters occur around a large banyan tree (spiritually revered by Ni-Vanuatu), which bring visitors closer to aspects aligned with Kastom beliefs of the past. Contrary to its name, no black magic is involved (not being a characteristic of Tannese kastom), and most involve quirky or funfilled activities.
Because parts of the show depend on instant reaction and surprise, little can be described save that most visitors will come away with a smile on their face.
Ni-Vanuatu have a diet that is traditionally based on starchy stables, and some introduced foods have been readily adopted and furnished with a truely Tannese identity. Bread has been widely embraced and bread-makers are highly respected in the community. The peculiar small concrete bread ovens dot the countryside and can be found all over. Unlike the light french baguettes, Tannese bread is configured as standard loafs, possessing a full flavour, and totally delicious. It is intriguing to see how the art of bread-making has been easily adapted.
Middlebush Kastom Walks + Black Magic Tour Information.
Whitegrass Zone • Pick-up + Drop-off
|Price Details||Min 2 Adults||Children|
|AUD 121||AUD 30|
|AUD 31||AUD 8|
|AUD 8||AUD 8|
Middlebush Zone • Pick-up + Drop-off
|Price Details||Min 2 Adults||Children|
|AUD 64||AUD 30|
|AUD 16||AUD 8|
|AUD 8||AUD 8|
Let Us Help You.
See & Do Trips provide completely costed itineraries, which will take much of the planning worry out of your time on Tanna. Overall, they may also be a more economical proposition.
For See & Do Trips that include the Middlebush Kastom Walk & Blackmantown take a look at:
The walk is a full day activity commencing at 9.30am. The duration of the full walk takes approximately 6-7.5 hours, depending on weather, and conditions along the way. It is to be noted that the length of the walk is based on a relatively slow pace, and that there is a significant break in the middle of the day. However, it is not unusual to ask that the last section of the Kastom walk to be taken out reducing the time to around 4-5.5 hours.
Pickup and Dropoff from Accommodation.
Costs includes pickup and drop-off from accommodation within Whitegrass Zone near to the airport and Middlebush Zone. For pickup and drop-off from accommodation in Lenakel Zone a small surcharge applies to cover the extra distance.
Fitness and Health Levels.
The tour is designed for people in relatively good health, moderate fitness, and some stamina as it spans much of the day. Except for the beginning of the walk, most sections are over straight forward walking tracks requiring little strenuous effort.
The Tour includes transport to and from accommodation (noting a surcharge from Zone B- Lenakel zone). Transport to the walk itself, the cost of the light lunch, along with entrance fees.
What to Bring.
Firstly, as always, water should be taken. Boiled spring-water is available at Rachels restaurant (but not flasks). As always, participants should dress to suit the weather. It is recommended that sunscreen is taken along with a cap or hat when walking. Participants should also bring a small but suitably robust backpack to store all personal belongings.
A suitable camera or mobile phone to take pictures of the journey, although they should be waterproof to a few metres. Naturally, participants take any gear at their own risk.
The Middlebush Kastom Walk + Black Magic requires a minimum number of two(2) people for it to proceed.
Single travellers are able to be a part of tours that are proceeding, or where more than one single shows interest for a specific date, then we are able to make up minimum numbers accordingly. Single travellers should contact us directly through our inquiry form to organise.
Booking Cut-Off Period.
Online bookings are accepted up to 36 hours prior to the scheduled tour date under consideration. For example, a cut-off of online bookings occurs at midnight on Wednesday night for a tour commencing at lunchtime on the following Friday.
Where bookings are wanted to be made closer than 36 hours to the scheduled tour, these should be requested through our inquiry form. Such late bookings may or may not be possible and are dependent on communications on the island amongst other factors.
Bookings : Deposits and Final Payments.
All bookings can be confirmed with the payment of a booking Deposit or alternatively bookings can be paid in Full. Payments can be made by Bank Transfer (cleared funds) or Credit Card.
On payment of a deposit customers receive a booking acknowledgement, including a booking statement of all payments made and due. The remaining Final Payment shall be received no later than fourteen(14) days prior to the day of the booking. Once the Final Payment is received, customers are sent their Formal Documents in respect to their bookings
Alternatively, customers can choose to make Full Payment at the time of booking, and will be issued their Formal Documents immediately.
Prices are Contingent on Entrance Fees at 1st April.
Our Prices are made up from a number of items, attraction entrance fees included.
In recent years, the Mt Yasur Volcano administration has taken to increase entrance fees at extremely short notice, effective at 1st April year to year. Other Kastom owned attractions have subsequently followed suit. Consequently, our costs are "Contingent", and any differential in entrance fees + boat trip, either side of 1st April are payable as an extra to the booking.
Increases due to "Contingent" entrance fees affect very few people, and are only relevant to bookings that are made prior to 1st April for a scheduled date occurring after 1st April. The majority of bookings are made after 1st April and are not affected in any way.
Full Terms and Conditions of Making a Booking.
Full Terms and Conditions regarding making a booking with Vanuatu Traveller are available here and all customers should take the time read and be comfortable with them. Should you have any questions please contact us via the contact form.
BOOK : Middlebush Kastom Walks + Black Magic.
The Mt Yasur Kastom Trip commences around midday on the first day and centres on the afternoon/evening Mt Yasur volcanic display. The second day provides travellers with a stimulating two walk through traditional kastom trials, along with intriguing slices of Tannese rituals, before departure in the late afternoon.. Features include:
A more comprehensive look at Tanna Island is offered by the Yasur Big-Day Kastom Trip, which strikes the ideal balance between island discovery, volcanic display and kastom experience. The trip begins early morning on arrival on the first day and continues through to late afternoon on the second day until departure. Features include:
The Mt Yasur Blue-Cave Trip bestows visitors with the broadest travel experience with Mt Yasur Volcano and the aquatic Blue Cave being highlights. The trip is rounded out with a variety of cultural experiences and Tannese slices of life. Over three days travellers obtain an unique understanding of what makes Tanna Island so special. Features include: