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The Republic of Vanuatu is a country located in the South Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is located some 1,750 km east of Australia, 500 km north-east of New Caledonia, west of Fiji and south of the Solomon Islands. Its colonial name, New Hebrides, is no longer used except for historical reference.
Vanuatu consists of 83 islands, of which two - Matthew and Hunter - are also claimed by the French overseas department of New Caledonia. Most of the islands are mountainous and of volcanic origin, and have a tropical or sub-tropical climate.
The nation's largest towns are the capital Port Vila, which is situated on Efate, and Luganville, on Espiritu Santo.