FOR vastly experienced New Zealand yachting couple Pam and Keith Goodall, building a home at Undine Bay in North Efate was a no brainer.
To this couple who have literally sailed around the world for years, Undine Bay was the answer to all their dreams.
“We had looked in other parts of the world like the Caribbean and then through the Pacific and even in other islands of Vanuatu, so we knew what type of house we wanted and how we wanted to live,’’ said Pam.
The couple settled on Undine Bay Marina Estates and could not be happier with their choice.
“As well as the beautiful beach and the wonderful setting with the islands on the horizon, the man-made canal where we could moor our yacht in safety was a winning bonus,” said Pam.
The Goodalls bought their 16-metre Hanse 23 yacht in Germany in 2005 and planned to sail it around the Mediterranean for two or three years.
But that stretched into eight years, with the couple returning regularly to Auckland where Keith has an accounting business.
“There was just so much to see and do in the Med, which is why we stayed so long,” said Pam.
The couple finally tore themselves away from that part of the world and sailed to the Caribbean, where they spent the next three years hopping around numerous islands.
“All the time we were shaping in our minds how we wanted to have our island home eventually,” said Keith.
The Goodalls finally set sail for the Pacific and travelled around New Caledonia, Tonga and Fiji before setting their sights on Vanuatu.
“We immediately liked Vanuatu the best of all the places we had been in the Pacific,” said Keith.
“The sailing was great, everywhere we went was unspoilt and the people were so friendly.
“We loved Aore Island and almost bought there, but when we came into Undine Bay, we knew it was for us.”
The couple have five children and 11 grandchildren, so when they started building their two-storey house in August 2015, numbers played a major part.
It was completed in October last year and is a perfect Pacific style home, without any air conditioning, just loads of open space to capture the sea breezes.
“Although when it is really windy on the bay, it just seems to largely pass us by which is lovely,” said Keith.
They have a large loft area upstairs with many beds to accommodate their large extended family.
“The kids and the grandchildren all love it here and there’s just so much to do,” said Pam.
“And many people do not know how much there is to see and do in North Efate itself.
“The distance to Vila is not that great and we are boaties, so over many years we have learnt how make do with whatever we have and improvise.
“Sometimes I don’t understand my fellow New Zealanders because at holiday time they leave Auckland and sit in traffic for four hours to get to their destination.
“Instead they could just jump on a plane and be in Vanuatu in three hours and be part of a real paradise.’’
Keith said there were also advantages to being part of an estate.
“There are more than 50 blocks here and as we are sub-leasing, we don’t have to deal directly with the custom owner, and being part of a large group gives us more bargaining power,” he said.
“Having said that we get on very well with the local villagers and feel we are really part of them and their lives.”
The couple said they believe they will have more neighbours soon to share their world.
“Another New Zealand couple has just settled on a block diagonally opposite us and they are boaties as well,” they said.
“Australians and New Zealanders are keen on their boats and water sports and that is why Undine Bay is so ideal. We can keep our yacht here in safety in the canal and go exploring the islands whenever we want and we are getting a smaller boat just for the bay itself.”
The Goodalls believe that they have found the perfect world for them and will wind down from work in New Zealand in the near future and spend more time at Undine Bay living the dream.