Million Dollar point is literally a rubbish dump. At the
end of World War 2 the US Forces were pulling out of Vanuatu and
had a huge amount of large equipment still on the island. Most of
this equipment was earth moving and transport vehicles, things like
bulldozers and transport trucks. I've been told 2 different
reasons why the US Forces did not want to take the equipment with them.
The first is the lack of transport to take it all off the island.
No doubt the loss of the SS President Coolidge did not help this.
The second reason was the the US government did not want to push all
this surplus equipment on to the US economy. This huge amount of
equipment would flood the market and have a significant negative effect
on the US manufacturing.
Negotiations with the French for a fair price for this equipment did not go well for the US. The French believed that the US would have to leave all of the equipment there anyway so why should they pay for it. Ultimately the US did not leave the equipment for the French but built a wharf and drove every piece of the equipment into the Ocean at Million Dollar point. What you see now is huge pile of trucks, dozers and other large equipment from the shallows down to below 30m.
The dive itself is an easy one. Basically walk in off the beach put your fins on and swim out past coral bommies into 10-12m. Following the line of the beach we quickly came across a small ship, popular for pictures of divers in the wheelhouse. Past here the junk pile really starts and we are going deeper down to 15m or so. All around us are big trucks and wheels all easily recognisable- the amount of machinery is mind boggling. There are also lots of fish here and if you are lucky like we were a turtle as well.
This is a very different dive to the Coolidge but one that you must do while in Vanuatu.
This site was last updated 28/10/11