Vanua Lava Island, Vanuatu - John Seach
Banks Islands, Torba Province

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Vanua Lava Island is the largest in the Banks Islands with an area of 331 sq km. The administrative headquarters for the province is located at Sola in SE Vanua Lava.

The island contains many volcanic craters. The most recent volcanic activity was at Mt Suretamatai, which erupted in 1965. On the west coast are two spectacular waterfalls which fall straight into the sea.

The flora and fauna include megapode birds, Pacific boa, turtles and crocodiles. Locals believed crocodiles were brought to Vanua Lava in 1860's by ship. More likely they arrived naturally from the Solomon Islands.

In 1972 a cyclone reduced the crocodile population to only two. A solfatara field on Vanua Lava was considered for commercial sulphur mining of in early 1900's.

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