Île des Pins
We spent 3 days and 3 nights on this island, and it was meant to be
the peak of our journey in New Caledonia. We were not disappointed...
January 19th to 21st, 2005
All pictures are available either in tar
or zip formats. Also available is a tar
archive of the original pictures,
before being reworked (these are actually the same).
Note that the tarballs
contain all the pictures I took, not just the ones I present
on this page.
There are two ways to travel to this island, located south of the
mainland. You can take a boat called the betico, which takes about
2.5 hours but beware of sea-sickness. It has also the drawback of
only making 2 trips a week, so travel dates are not flexible. And
there is the plane, which not that much more expensive, and takes
20 minutes. We took the plane.
We arrived roughtly at lunch time, on a day where a boat from Australia
was mooring. On the one hand, this is bad, because the island is
litterally flooded with tourists. But on the other hand, this
means that we enjoyed a small show of Kanak music, singing and dancing
on the beach, while eating a small chicken bougna, a traditional dish
made of some taro roots, igname roots, potatoes, cooked in coconut milk
wrapped inside banana leaves, The cooking is done in a kanak oven: hot
stones put inside a hole, on which the bougna is placed, before covering
the hole with soil and fabric.
Mom and her sis' eating a chicken Bougna.
We had a very nice bungalow at the Kou Bugny Hotel, conveniently located
in front of the "Baie de Kuto", which is said to be one of the nicest
beaches of the island. From a beach of thin white sand, the sea offers
several tones of turquoise and green...
Saint Maurice is a small community, with a beach at the end of a dirt
Vao is the only village of the island, and most of the inhabitants live
there. It's a pretty village made of 8 neighborhoods, corresponding to
the 8 tribes that each used to occupy a part of the island: Gadji,
Ouapan, Touété, Ouatchia, Youwati, Vao, Komagna, and Kéré.
Église de la Mission (Mission Church).
Built in 1860.
If I remember correctly, this is the chief's house. This seems to be
confirmed by the two poles at the garden entrance. But I'm no longer
Saint-Joseph is the name of the beach where a very popular local
attraction starts: Everyday, in the morning, several traditional
pirogues sail inside the Baie d'Upi. I took so many pictures of
that little trip that I actually made it a
Another exceptional beach, on the west coast of the island.
This is what you first see when you're on the road that arrives
at this beach. But then you step on the beach ...
... and right. A beautiful beach, and nobody else but us to enjoy it.
So you choose a shady spot...
... And go cool down in the water while eating your lunch.
Baie des Crabes is located at the northern tip of the island. You
reach it after driving through a muddy road. At the end of the road,
you find the beach, and a ranch where the owner offers horse riding
trips. Midway in the muddy road, we spotted some "crabes cocotiers"
(literally "coconut crabs") which eat ... coconuts. To drill through
the coconut shell, nature provided them with one giant claw.
No trespassing ...
(except if you're a crab)
This is the second part of the pirogue attraction. The pirogue sailors
first take you from Saint-Joseph across the Baie d'Upi to the start of
a small trail that leads to the Piscine d'Oro (Oro's pool). Hiking the
trail is said to be very easy and to take no more than 30 minutes. We
didn't do that part, and instead elected to drive to another trail
ending at the same place. We wanted to be there at a different time and
avoid the tourist rush.
Other places Around The Island|
Grotte de Komwiêmara (Komwiêmara Cave).