Île des Pins
January 19th to 21st, 2005

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...

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.

Mom and her sis' eating a chicken Bougna.
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.

Baie de Kuto

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...

Anse de Kanumera

Saint Maurice

Saint Maurice is a small community, with a beach at the end of a dirt road...


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 sure...


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 separate page.

Baie d'Ouro

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 look left ...

... 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

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)

Piscine d'Oro

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).