Vanimo is a small township with an economy based around the timber industry. Logging company Vanimo Forest Products, which is owned by Malaysian company Rimbunan Hijau, is the chief employer.
Vanimo is known as a surfing destination. It has a reputation of having the most consistent waves in Papua New Guinea. Surfing season is mid October through to late April.
Vanimo also is a popular destination for foreign workers in Papua/Indonesia who need to leave the country in order to renew their visas. In this case they come over for a day to visit the Indonesian consulate, stay in one of the hotels along the "sundaun-road" and head back to the border 24 hours later.