Stunning scenic beauty
A Jewel in the crown of the South Pacific.
Perhaps the most picturesque corner of an island that seems to be beautiful wherever you look, Oro Bay with its "natural aquarium" and standing rock attracts more visitors than anywhere else on the island and is the only spot that gets close to what could be called "crowded". Nevertheless, it is not to be missed!more
A large, overgrown limestone rock jutting out into Kanumera Bay and connected to it by a narrow sandbar is one of the most popular scenic wonders of this island.Old guidebooks warn that it's on private land where trespassers are not welcome, but these days it seemed to be freely accessible.more
This perect horseshoe-shaped bay has one of the very finest beaches in the South Pacific.It is very accessible, being right next to the wharf where the ferries coming from Noumea dock, and has accomodation as well.You'd expect it to be crowded, but somehow it isn't - just click on the photo to see how many tourists were enjoying it at the time of...more
My husband is native to New Caledonia and we have visited on Ile-des-Pins-- I find it odd that the author of the tip was warned not to try the traditional dishes. Definitely find a place to have some Bougna! This is a traditional dish that is cooked in a pit in the ground, heated by fiery hot rocks... the bougna is wrapped in papaya leaves to be...more
Restaurants will be hard to find and very expensive. I wondered into a beach side resort and paid $15 for a bowl of hot chips!! The staff were not too friendly either and I was more tolerated than anything. However I was pleasantly surprised when a group of local native women gathered on the esplanade of Kuto Bay with numerous traditional dishes....more
109 Reviews and Opinions
There are several flights to the island from Noumea daily.Note that the airport is in the "remote" interior of the island far from any of the beaches and not served by public transport, so you may be in for an expensive taxi-ride if you arrive here.More convenient is arriving by sea.The Betico hydrofoil runs here from Noumea 2 or 3 times weekly,...more
Its wonderful to see some of the villagers fishing in the surrounding bays, it truly looks like an incredible lifestyle. If you have the opportunity see if you can hitch a ride on one of the boats on a fishing trip or hire one to expolre the lagoon and maybee do some fishing yourself. You will be amazed by the colours and warmth of the watermore
Just as you get off the jetty there is a cute little stall selling sarongs. The French lady is very friendly and the sarongs are eyecatching. I paid $20 for one and it is very well made. I wish I had've bought more for gifts. They came in the most beautiful colours of blue, green, pink or apricot etc.
What to buy: Sarongs and post cards.
What to pay: Around $20 for sarongs.
From what a saw or heard the main language here is French. I was taken back to find that the local women who were selling the hot dishes had little knowledge of English. Even simple phrases were not understood. May be I just tried talking to the wrong ones.
The Rock at Kanumera Bay, is a sacred area and although it is ideal for snorkelling around its base in the crystal clear waters, The Rock is sacred ground to the local villagers who believe that the souls of their ancestors are now the plentiful "Striped T-shirt" snake.
As a mark of respect I would suggest that you do not climb onto this rock....not to mention the hundreds of snakes that inhabit the island! the snakes are docile however if they are provoked into attack they will prove to be deadly!
Photo Equipment: I do not like digital cameras so I always travel with my Minolta SLR camera with 2 lenses (1x 35/80 and 1x 75/300 zoom), a two times converter, a polariser for both lenses, a spare battery and 10 spare rolls of 400 asa film (36) with 1 loaded into the camera. I find you do not have to worry about the expensive batteries required for the remote areas you can find yourself in or finding power for the battery recharger.
The main island is surrounded by a scattering of uninhabited, smaller islets.
Perhaps the most inviting of these is Ilot Brosse with its own dense pine forest, ringed by seemingly perfect white-sand beaches.
To reach any of these islands you will have to charter a boat of some sort - though I haven't done it, I would be willing to guess that it won't be cheap!
The island's crystal clear waters are irresistable for snorkellers, with Oro Bay's "Natural Aquarium" and Kanumera Bay being the most popular, readily accessible spots.That said, I must admit that while there was plenty of coral here, diversity seemed pretty low.Maybe I am just spoilt though - others said they loved it! ;-)more
There are various interesting hiking trails around the island.Perhaps the most popular is the one leading from te Kuto area up to Pic N'Ga, the island's highest point, which offers good views.For forest walks, the east coast seemed better, with narrow trails through rainforest alive with exotic birdlife.more
Favorite thing: One feature that was conspicuous by it's abscence was rubbish bins. We walked around for ages until we found an odd structure which proved to be on closer inspection - a rubbish bin. A raised platform 4-5 feet off the ground and about 5 feet square. Obviously built to deter local dogs or wild life.