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New Caledonia

The Loyalty Islands

 Posted by Christophe Le Corre
Christophe Le Corre
, October 01, 2013 at 09:40:15 :: New Caledonia

Mouli beach, OuveaLocated east of the Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands (îles Loyauté in French) are part of the third province of New Caledonia, a French territory. The province is divided into three municipalities: Lifou, Mare and Ouvéa.

The municipality of Lifou

Lifou comprises Lifou Island and the tiny Tiga Island.

Lifou Island (Drehu in the local language) is well-known for its breathtaking cliff-top views and small secret beaches. With an area of 1150 km2, Lifou is the most populous and the largest island of the Loyalty Islands. While the interior of the island is covered with dense tropical forest, the coast is crenellated with long deep bays which link long white sand beaches.

Tiga Island (Tokanod in the local language), with its 6 km (3.7 mi) long and 2 km (1.2 mi) wide, is located 35 km (22 mi) from Lifou Island. It is the smallest of the Islands.

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Isle of Pines, New Caledonia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 21, 2009 at 15:40:13 :: New Caledonia

The Isle of Pines (French: Île des Pins; Kanak name: Kunyié), often called the "Jewel of the Pacific", is an island located in the Pacific Ocean, in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France. It lies 80 km south-east of Nouméa or just a short 20 minute flight or 2.5 hour fast cat trip from Nouméa. The island is 14 km wide, 18 km long, with 60 km of coastline and surrounded by its own extensive reef system and the population is approximately 2,000. Its largest town is Vao.

The Piscine Naturelle, Isle of Pines

Captain James Cook, in 1774, was the first European to see The Isle of Pines on his second voyage to New Zealand. He named the island after the tall pines (Araucaria columnaris) that cover the island. In the 1840s, European settlement came to the island in the form of missionaries attempting to teach the locals Christianity, as well as sandalwood traders. In 1853, the French took possession of the island and in 1872 the island became a French penal colony, home to approximately 3,000 political deportees from the Paris Commune.

Vao church, Isle of Pines

The Isle of Pines is a breathtakingly beautiful haven of peace inhabited by the incredibly warm Kanak people. It is often nicknamed l'"île la plus proche du paradis" (the closest island to Paradise) and is famous for snorkeling and scuba diving in and around its colorful lagoon.

Le Rocher Sacré de la baie de Kanuméra sur l'île des Pins
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In The News

New Caledonia

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, January 16, 2007 at 09:23:50

Place Bir Hakeim et son monument aux morts de la Première Guerre mondiale vue de la Caserne Gally Passeboc, et vue de Nouméa, Nouvelle-CalédonieNew Caledonia (Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies), also called Kanaky or Le caillou, is an overseas territory of France. It is surrounded by many beautiful "white sand beaches" islands like the Ilot Canard and the Phare Amédée near Noumea or the île des Pins (île la plus proche du paradis) and îlot Brosse, south New-Caledonia.White sand beach at Ilot Brosse

You can also visit the Loyalty Islands (îles Loyauté) with its six inhabited islands: Lifou Island, Maré Island, Tiga Island, Ouvéa Island, Mouli Island, and Faiava Island, as well as several smaller uninhabited islands and islets.

UNESCO World Heritage

Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 25, 2009 at 16:55:32

Location New Caledonia
Coordinates S20 24 43 E164 33 59
Type Natural
Property 1574300.0000 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description ( )

This serial site comprises six marine clusters that represent the main diversity of coral reefs and associated ecosystems in the French Pacific Ocean archipelago of New Caledonia and one of the three most extensive reef systems in the world. These Lagoons are of exceptional natural beauty. They feature an exceptional diversity of coral and fish species and a continuum of habitats from mangroves to seagrasses with the world’s most diverse concentration of reef structures. The Lagoons of New Caledonia display intact ecosystems, with healthy populations of large predators, and a great number and diversity of big fish. They provide habitat to a number of emblematic or threatened marine species such as turtles, whales or dugongs whose population here is the third largest in the world.

Photos from Landolia

Natural pool, Isle of Pines Mouli bridge, Ouvea Lagoon, Ouvea

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