Vanuatu Currency

The official Vanuatu currency is the vatu. The vatu is a single unit of currency which has no subunit, with 1 vatu being the smallest possible denomination of Vanuatu currency and 100 vatu the largest possible denomination. Introduced in 1982, the vatu replaced the New Hebrides franc and saw the end of the official circulation of the Australian dollar in Vanuatu. Currently, 1 vatu is worth around $1.10 Australian, similar to the conversion and worth of New Zealand currency.

The vatu is issued in coins, with denominations ranging from 1 vatu to 2 vatu, 5 vatu, 10 vatu, 20 vatu, 50 vatu and 100 vatu. The 1 vatu, 2 vatu, 5 vatu and 100 vatu are made from a compound of nickel and brass while the 10 vatu, 20 vatu and 50 vatu are a cupro-nickel compound. At 23mm, the 100 vatu coin is similar in size to the Australian and New Zealand dollars however the thickness is more like the current British pound coin. Many traders in Vanuatu will accept real dollar coins in place of Vanuatu currency, regardless of the issuing country.

Although no longer in circulation, banknotes were introduced to the Vanuatu currency for a time. Introduced by the Central Bank of Vanuatu in 1982, notes were available in 100 vatu, 500 vatu and 1,000 vatu and officially replaced the former New Hebrides franc notes. In 1988, the 100 vatu note was replaced by the 100 vatu coin however the following year in 1989 5,000 vatu notes were introduced. A financial restructure in 1993 saw the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu take over the issuance of paper money and introduce new designs for the 500 vatu and 1,000 vatu notes. 200 vatu notes were then introduced in 1995 to reduce the amount of 100 vatu coins needing to be produced. In 2010 polymer 10,000 vatu notes were introduced, quickly followed in 2011 by polymer 5,000 vatu notes however as of 2013 vatu banknotes are no longer in circulation.