Banks Islands

Map of Banks Islands Vanuatu, Author Alexandre François - to view full picture click on image



The Banks Islands (in Bislama Bankis) are a group of islands in northern Vanuatu. Together with the Torres Islands to the northwest, they make up the northernmost province of Torba. The group lies about 40 km (25 mi) north of Maewo, and includes Gaua and Vanua Lava, two of the 13 largest islands in Vanuatu. In 2009, the islands supported a population of 8,533 on a land area of 780 km².

The largest island is Gaua (formerly called Santa Maria), which has a rugged terrain, rising to Mount Gharat, an active volcano at the center of the island, at 797 m (2,615 ft). The freshwater Lake Letas in the crater is the largest lake in Vanuatu. The slightly smaller Vanua Lava, is higher at 946 m (3,104 ft); it also has an active volcano at Mount Suretamate (also spelled Süretimiat or Sere’ama, 921 m (3,022 ft)). To its east are two islets, Ravenga and Kwakea (or Qakea). Sola, the provincial capital, is on this island. The third largest island, Ureparapara (also known as Parapara), is an old volcanic cone that has been breached by the sea, forming Divers Bay on its east coast.

To the east of these larger islands lie a number of smaller ones. The furthest north, 50 km (31 mi) northeast of Ureparapara, is Vet Tagde (Vot Tande or Vot Ganai), an extinct volcano that last erupted 3.5 million years ago. The Rowa Islands (or Reef Islands) are a few very small, low islands on a coral atoll. Mota Lava is the largest and highest (411 m) of this eastern chain of islands; off its southern coast, attached by high corals that one can wade through at low tide, is the tiny islet of Ra. Mota, Merig, and Merelava complete the southeastern part of the archipelago.

Source from Wikipedia


In Banks islands, Neil Thomas Ministries have established  five (5) churches in four (4) different islands and one (1) NTCU School, please see areas below:


1 in MERELAVA island

1 in GAUA island

2 in LANUALAVA island, and

1 in UREPARAPARA island.


1 NTCU school in Gaua island.