Mare New Caledonia
Mare Island New Caledonia
The island of Mare in New Caledonia is one of the largest in area, for many, it is a bit of a hidden gem. Mare, New Caledonia is, quite often, not the first-place people think of heading when they head to the islands. This is a great shame, because there is just so much to see and do here.
We have selected some of the best things to do and places to visit while in Mare Island in New Caledonia. Check them out
10 Most frequent questions and answers about Mare Island
The Islands are part of the New Caledonia, a French Special Communities (the French-administered territories outside France). The locals speak the language of Nengone.
However, French and Japanese are also widely spoken. Very few restaurants here speak English.
It is located in the Pacific along the east coast of New Caledonia. The Island is 42 km long and 16 to 33 km wide.
It is 178 km to the northeast of Noumea. There are flights available connecting Noumea and Qantas in Mare Island. There are also ships operating from Noumea to Tadine.
Mare Island has tropical weather. It is influenced by the trade winds. The months of April – May and October – November are the best time to visit. This is because during the months of December – March, the temperature is very high and torrential rains occur very often making the sea rough.
There are also cyclones during this season. The temperature is very low in the months of June – September in the range of 15 – 20 degrees Celsius.
The sea water is very cold making it unpleasant to enjoy swimming in crystal clear waters.
There are about 6900 people living on the Island. They are mainly of Melanesian heritage. There are also Europeans living here. They form only 2% of the population. The signboards used to be in French. The English signboards started appearing in the Island only after Australia added it to its Cruise in 2013.
Tadine Island is the cruise port of Mare Island. Many tourists are unaware of the island. Also, not all the cruises operating in South Pacific have included Mare Island in their Itinerary. Only 2 cruise services in the world have included the island in their itinerary. They are the Carnival Cruise and the P&O cruise ships. The Cruise ships dock at the Tadine Beach in Mare Island.
One can take the cruise that has a one-day itinerary in Mare Island. These cruises include the whole of South Pacific. Apart from this, there are cruises that operate exclusively in New Caledonia. They extend the stay to 1 night and 2 days.
Apart from Cruises, there are ferries operating from Noumea to Tadine Island.
One can also reach Mare Island by taking flights from Noumea to reach La Roche airport. There are 4 – 5 flights operating between the 2 airports every day
The Island does not have many tourists visiting though it is pristine, pure and miraculous. This makes the island pollution free and very clean. This is mainly because the number of tourist spots and its features are comparatively less than the other destinations like Noumea, Isle of Pine or Lifou.
It doesn’t mean Island’s exquisiteness and gorgeousness is less. One should only skip the island if there is not a choice
One can hire a car to tour Mare Island. There are tender boats, scooters and mountain bikes available here for rent. There are also bicycles available for rent.
Out of all options, it is ideal to hire bicycles to explore the land. The roads are not well constructed. Also, bicycles are of great help when one intends to traverse the forest.
While riding the bicycle one has to ride on the right-hand side of the road. While riding, one can notice a peculiar horn sound used by the locals!
THINGS TO DO IN MARE NEW CALEDONIA
Swimming in the Yedjele beach is an enjoyable activity in the island. Also one can snorkel at the pede beach, Yedjele beach and the Tadine beach. The Pede beach is the best for scuba diving. Many tourists’ spots of the island are forbidden to conserve the marine species that are threatened by constant landform changes due to limestone rocks and underground volcanoes
Warrior Jump IN MARE NEW CALEDONIA
Visit Warrior Jump
The Warrior Jump cliff is located at about 7 km from the La Roche Airport. To reach the cliff, take the Wakone road. The road reaches a junction, at last, hitting a dead tree trunk. One has to take left and continue to reach the dead end.The cliff is 7 metres wide and almost 30 metres high.
The locals believe in a story associated with the name of the cliff. A warrior chased by his enemies crossed the cliff by jumping the 7-meter width safely, while his followers lost their lives drowning when they tried to pursue him.
A protective barrier aids to walk along the cliff safely. The ocean below is very deep. However, the place is gorgeous and exceptional to watch from the barrier.
The Bone of the Leper Hospital – Leposarium Bone
Visit Leposarium Bone
Mare Island has one of the deepest and largest underwater caves in the world. The cave begins as a small sinkhole which is just 50 metres in diameter. It later leads to an underground freshwater lake. The Lake is very deep 400,000 cubic metres of water.
This place was once a Leposarium – the institution that treats leprosy. However, it drowned in water due to high tides. The water later began to erode the limestone beneath the institution that led to the caving action.
To reach the cave, take the CR 14 road. After hitting a roundabout, turn left towards Penelo. At about 2 km from the roundabout, a sign will appear indicating the directions to the cave. One has to walk 1.5 km of track to reach the destination.
The cave of Pethoen Mare
cave of Pethoen in Mare
The cave looks like a huge curtain from the front. The cave has a lake of fresh water. Swimming experience in the cave is simply the best. Some adventurers would love the experience of climbing the rocks and have a high jump into the deep waters.
The caves are made of karst formations. Karst are the landforms made by water where there is abundant limestone. Limestone absorbs water. Therefore the rainwater and the fresh water are absorbed by the limestone rocks here which makes them expand. This is the reason for the rod-like structures hanging from the ceiling inside the caves. These are called stalactites. The growth from the floor towards the ceiling are called stalagmites
When the stalactite and stalagmite meet columns are formed.
However, the caving in is due to the erosion of sea water.
From the Leposarium Bone, reach the CR 14 roundabout. From here turn left that is drive towards the south. Take the first left towards Medu. There are no signs to the caves. One can ask the locals after taking the left turn.
Trou de Bone – A magnanimous sinkhole
It is also called the Bone hole. This is not the same Leprosy bone hole (Leposarium bone). It is located around 3 km from the La Roche – Tadine Road. It is the road to Thogone. There are no sign boards to reach the spot. One has to look out for a metal guard rail beside the road. From here enquire the locals to reach the spot.
Trou de Bone is a deep sinkhole that has a beautiful pool at its foot. It is on the right-hand side of the road that is heading to Thogne. It is 40m deep and its floor can be clearly witnessed under the crystal clear waters. It is one of the biggest sinkholes in the world. One can see the roots of the banyan tree thick as trunk symbolising its age. The lakes have small creatures living which can be very well seen through the waters.
The waters give a beautiful sight of turquoise blue reflecting the lush green on the walls of the holes. The picturesque of the place is simply mesmerising!
Echoing off the Bone Sinkhole
This is a must to try fun activity at the sinkhole. The echoing effect of the sinkhole is enjoyable! Here it is more fun than the echoes of the mountains as there is water. Multiple echoes emerge due to the presence of all 3 different medium air, water and solid (land). This is because sound travels at a different speed in different mediums.
Formation of the Bone Sinkhole
Sinkholes are formed in limestone and other soluble rock surfaces. The limestone beneath the soil dissolves forcing the soil above to sink forming a hole called the sinkholes.
Satellite images spot more than 50 sinkholes in the area. However, the locals say there are more hidden sinkholes in the lush greens.
Visit Natural Aquarium in Mare New Caledonia
The look of the water is simply gorgeous. There are various shades of blue. The water pool is crystal clear. The fish are colorful and one can also spot turtles.
The marine life in the Natural aquarium depends on the tides. When the tides are high, no marine activities can be found. On the other hand, the waters are rich with colorful fish and a variety of organisms when the sea is calm.
One can walk along the rails to watch the animals. Swimming and other activities are forbidden.
One has to take the road to Tadine from Medu. After crossing Wabao, Cengeite, there will be signs directing to the Natural aquarium
VISIT TADINE BEACH IN MARE NEW CALEDONIA
The cruise docks at the Tadine Beach. The Beach is extremely lively. It has shops and coconut trees on the shore. The shops sell many handcrafted goods and some beach wears. One can snorkel in the waters of the beach.
Ask the coconut sellers to cut the coconut to scoop the pulp out of it after drinking the water inside it. The scooped pulp is highly delicious and is tender! There are also hair braiders here.
The ambience is primitive with local kids playing around. The people here are friendly with tourists. One can have the New Caledonia’s beer in the bars on the beach.
Carry smaller denominations to the place as beer, food and other expenses would come under 25 to 30 New Zealand Dollars.
VISIT YEJELE BEACH IN MARE NEW CALEDONIA
Perhaps the real highlight of a trip to New Caledonia is just exploring the beauty of the island. It has remained relatively untouched. Sure, there isn’t a whole lot to do here in terms of tourism. You have the yejele beach in Mare, New Caledonia,but most of the island is just about kicking back and relaxing.
Many of the people who head to the island enjoy walking around the regular local markets. There is so much fresh stuff on sale that it is unreal. You will be able to pick up a real culinary delight. Of course, you will also be able to purchase local arts and crafts which look sublime.
Local Business : There are local buses available to reach Yejele beach from Tadine island. The beach has crystal clear turquoise water and white sand. The locals sell fresh Kebabs, coconuts and lobster. The beach is empty even on weekends.
The Yejele beach is perfect for sun-baking and swimming.
It also offers lively activities. One can hire beach chairs to enjoy the pristine turquoise water under the shades of the coconut trees. There are open-air barbeques and beers. The music at some of the shops here is really loud which gives good partying effect. The Beach also offers massage.
Pede Beach Mare New Caledonia
Visit Pede Beach
The beach is ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. Hire a local guide to visit scuba dive into the underwater caves here. The view of the caves amidst corals is spectacular. It will mesmerise the traveller with its marine life. The paradise would just sweep out one’s heart!
The coastal line of the beach is 3 km long and ends at an anchorage. As one walks along the beach, they can spot red blazes sparkling in the water. These are nothing but different types of corals.
Shabardhan beach Mare New Caledonia
It is one of the unique beaches of New Caledonia, rather the entire South Pacific. The beach has coral reefs and rocks that form step-like structures at places where the water hits the shore.
The shore is filled with white sand but is too small as it is full of lush greenery making it cool and extraordinary for a swim! One should definitely not miss the beach.
Eni Beach Mare New Caledonia
Visit Eni Beach
Eni beach of Mare Islands is the best for snorkelling. The beach is beautiful with crystal clear turquoise water and white sand.
The waters are shallow. It is ideal for snorkelling. One can find colourful fish, crabs dancing in and out of the corals. The shore has tall coconut trees. One can also stop by them at frequent intervals to have a drink under the shades
The Snorkelling glasses can be rented for 5 Australian dollars.
However if one is interested in seeing more colourful coral reefs and more variety of fishes, one has to cross the buoy. Never cross the buoy unless you are a trained swimmer. Though the water can be silent, it is deeper after the buoy. Also, one should be very careful not to step on a poisonous coral.
Not all the corals are safe. Some corals have thorny structures that prick in with a poisonous fluid when one tries to step on it. So be very cautious when crossing the buoy.
Accommodation in Mare Islands
The Island has visitors only when the cruises arrive. A very rare number of cruises have included the island to their itinerary. Therefore a very few resorts are found. Not all the resorts are luxurious. They are just sufficient to meet the needs. If one plans to stay here, they have to select the resorts and hotels near the Tadine beach and Pede beach. These places have comparatively better places to stay
None of the resorts or hotels provides food. Though the accommodation is not luxurious, it is comfortable. The rates are much cheaper as compared to the other tourist spots of New Caledonia.
Island of Mare
In most cases, you will not be staying on the island of Mare in New Caledonia. Instead, you will be heading to the island for a day trip. Sure, there are places to stay on Mare, but nowhere near the quality that you would get if you stayed on one of the main islands.
In any case, there is not a whole lot to do here that will keep you entertained for weeks on end, even if you are one of those people that prefers relaxing on the beach! If you wish to head to the beaches, in particular the yejele beach, then there are regular buses which are affordable and will take you there.
Of course, you should go during the warmer months of the year if you really wish to get the most out of a trip to this part of the island!
Unspoiled Beauty of Mare
If you do wish to explore the unspoiled beauty of Mare, New Caledonia, and it is likely that you will want to, then you would do well to hire a bike or motorised scooter from the locals. They are surprisingly affordable for a day trip! It is also a great way to get out and about. Make sure that you are first in the queue for these, particularly if you are arriving on a cruise, because these transportation methods get snapped up quickly!
Firstly, if you head to the island, then you may want to consider Mare, New Caledonia tours. This is probably going to provide you with the best of the island. The best tours will also give you some space to explore the area ‘on your own’.
One of the main reasons as to why people love Mare Island, New Caledonia is the fact that it is not quite as developed as the rest of the island. It has a very rustic feel to it. While most of New Caledonia is all about French culture, this island is very much about the natives.
The Best Experience Ever
Mare Island is the second largest island in the Loyalty Archipelago. It is also known as Nengone. The Loyalty Islands are the group of Archipelago to the east of New Caledonia. They include Ouvea, Lifou and Mare. Mare islands are the atolls just like Lifou, the largest atoll in the world.