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The Traveller's Magazine
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Divers, philatelists, travellers with a keen sense for the strange and adventurous, have we got something for you! On the other side of the world, in a small atoll in Vanuatu, lost somewhere in the middle of Oceania is a post office. The funny thing is, it’s underwater!

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There’s nothing better than receiving postcards from friends around the world, even better when they come from strange and unexpected places like this one with the authentic postmark of the Republic of Vanuatu! This extraordinary post office is located 50 metres off Hideaway Island near Port Vila, and 3 metres underwater.

In order to mail a letter you need to buy a specially-designed sealed letter or water-proof postcard, get on your flippers, goggles and snorkel (oxygen tank for some) and dive! Under the sea is a small post box where you can post everything you need… well almost. A resident octopus stands guard and every day a postman will come along and collect the letters.

The post office is only open 1 hour a day but sometimes more when cruise ships are passing by which increase post office traffic significantly! Outside of these hours, you can always pop your letters in the post box (also underwater).

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Thousands of visitors a year post water-proof postcards from this special place. Since it opened in 2003, the post office has seen close to 100,000 visitors. Due to the success, the Republic of Vanuatu has even issued special stamps with a picture of the unique post office, destined to be send all over the world.

“It’s very funny and really nice to see so many visitors each day who did not believe their eyes,”

Comments one of five divers who are in charge of collecting the post from the underwater box. They are regular postmen except that they need special scuba diving training in order to do their jobs.

Underwater paradise

It’s not by chance that this post office is located where it is. The place has always been busy with scuba diving enthusiasts from around the world to admire the underwater treasures of the area. Hideaway Island is a tropical atoll surrounded by intact coral reefs that are home to thousands of tropical fish in some of the most incredible colours.

Imgs: PhillipCDave LonsdaleDave Lonsdale / Flickr cc.

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