Things to do in isle of pines
Isle of pine in New Caledonia is one of the best place to visit. It has so much to offer and visitors to this island have the opportunity to do lots of things. We have listed some of the best places to visit and some of the best things to do while in Isle of Pines in New Caledonia. Check out the activities and amazing places
Oro Bay ISLE OF PINE
It has a beautiful natural pool that is formed by the mighty coral cliffs. It is surrounded by tall pine trees on all sides. The pool is filled with rich tropical fish. The pool is rewarding at any time of a day. One can walk in knee length crystal clear waters. Carry every essential accessory like reef shoes as there are no shops here. One should definitely try to cross the pool to enjoy its clear water and wonders beneath it.
Snorkel in Oro Bay
One of the best things to do while in isle of pines is snorkel in Oro Bay. The pool’s underwater world is a dream of every snorkeler. The water is shallow and colourful fishes come in the middle of the corals which is delightful and enchanting to watch. Do not forget to carry the water shoes and snorkel glasses to get the pleasure of coral striding. Rays, turtles, octopus are also common here.
How to get to Oro Bay ?
One can reach Oro bay by road hiring a car. A scenery lover can take a canoe from the St Joseph Bay. It takes an hour by the canoe to reach Oro Bay accompanied by dolphins and sea turtles. After reaching there, one has to cross a 40 mile easy walk pristine forest to reach the pool.
BEST PLACE TO STAY IN ORO BAY
best Diving spots in isle of pines
The best diving spot in Isle of pines is the Gadgi region. Over million of years ago, the land mass was much larger than it is now, sank into the sea. This separated the island from the New Caleodian mainland. The Coral Polyps formed and started building their reefs in the waters between the separation of the land masses. Diving in the region gives evidence for the ancient coral formation.
The next major geological shift happened recently. The landmass of the island rose causing the land expose to the open air. This can be seen in the Gadgi district where fossilized shells are present all over the rocks that are above the sea.
The Gadgi diving spot also has cave structures under the blue waters. It is called the Oupere Grotto. There are narrow walls and soft yellow corals in these diving spots. The wall opens into an underwater cathedral. A narrow opening from the ceiling illuminates the cave. The view is spectacular and mesmerizing!
The spot of Glee Island Drop off is also spectacular for diving.
isle of pines Caves
The Island boasts of three important caves. The Paradise cave is the most easy to find. It is flooded with refreshing pools
It is the Commune Grotto Trois. It is a sunken cave system. The track to reach the caves is narrow and slippery. It is yet another great diving spot.
A shimmering pool of fresh water can be seen 15 metres below the surface of the caves. Three tall limestone columns appear here. It is the beginning of the diving spot. It then leads to a narrow tunnel where several limestone columns show up.
The site is staggering with underwater stalactites (limestone structure growing form the top of the cave due to absorption of rain water) and stalagmites (limestone structure growing from the bottom of the cave due to rain water)
As the water is crystal clear the visibility simply justifies the name, “PARADISE”! And is ecstatic!
The cave is damp and therefore slippery, it is advisable to wear appropriate shoes for this cave exploration. It is recommended that you also consider taking a torch which will let you take the stalactites which have been hanging here for millennia in more easily…
Grotte D’Oumagne caves
The Oumagne caves are 30 minutes walk from the airport. It is also called the Queen Hortense’s cave. The Queen was the daughter of the tribal chief. She was the only heir to her father. The idea of female leader did not suit with the other tribes even her own tribe did not welcome her. So when she was 16, sensing tension, her father sent her to hide herself in the cave. She hid herself in the Oumagne caves for over a year. Later she came out when the tensions smoothed.
The cave floors are leveled. The lighting comes from the far opening. A stream runs into the caves disappearing at the other end. The stream is fast flowing. However one can also walk inside the cave for some distance without getting wet. The stalactite formations are more evident here and can be touched. Some formations have reached the floor forming columns making the cave look more spectacular and stunning.
Ouatchia cave is at a distance of 10 minute walk from the Oumagne caves. The walk is through forests and is simply pure. One can see tall pines all over the stretch.
places of interest isle of pines
Nokanhui and Moro Islets
The Nokanhui sand bar arises in the heart of the blue lagoon. It is really small and an hour’s time is more than sufficient to explore Nokanhui.
Snorkeling in Norkanhui is good. There are boats connecting the 2 islets. The boats offer delightful sea food in the noon!
The Upi Bay is to the north of Kotomo. One can reach here by the traditional canoe of the island. St Joseph beach is the starting point of Upi Bay.
One can reach the bay in an hour starting from St Joseph beach. It is a 45 minute walk to the Oro Bay from here. Upi bay is very rich in corals
Farher Afield and Deportees Cemetry
In 1871, more than 4000 political prisoners were brought from Paris to Farther Afield. The prison is now empty.
The ruins of the prison are evidently visible. It is constructed of stone and was meant for torture. Around the ruins of the structure, one can see the cell blocks. The grounds are overgrown with tropical vegetation. There are few scavengers found around.
There is no entry fee for the structure. The heat is fiercely burning for the visitors. So, plan to visit the place in the evening. The prison is nothing like the Paradise land Kuto bay.
The cemetery is a short walk from the prison. It has the graves of 230 anonymous deportees. It is located 1km north to the airport.
N’Ga Peak Isle of Pines
It is the Island’s highest point and stands at 263 metres. It takes an hour to climb the peak. It gives a fantastic, unbelievable and out of the world view from the top.
The entire island covered with greenery and surrounded by blue waters of different shades is simply boasting and showing off when viewed from here. Mother Nature’s loveliness and prettiness is simply at its height!
Vao village in the Isle of Pine
The Vao is a village in the Isle of Pine where the Christian missionaries arrived at first in 1848. There was a huge administrative centre in the middle of the village. The interiors of the structures are unfortunately ruined but it is still standing speaking about the French historical conquest of the island.
The town has the statue of St Maurice. It commemorates the first arrival of Christian missionaries. There is also church in the town simply known as Mission Church. It was built in 1960. The locals call it the Notre – Dame de l’Assomption. The ceiling is magnanimous made with different woods that are available in and around the island. The Church also has statues of other saints decorated with Corals. This is the only church in the entire Island. The town has other half ruined public buildings like chief house, police station, etc. There is a huge cross in front of the church.
The locals welcomed Christianity and helped in the construction of the church. The wooden benches here are carefully polished and don’t miss out the beautiful stained glasses.
Bay of St Maurice
The Bay is named after the saint who was the first to step his foot into the waters of Isle of Pine. His statue is surrounded by tribal cravings showing how the locals accepted his preaching.
There are names of the soldiers that left the island to fight the Great war of France in 1858.
The Brush Island can be reached in a small boat from the Isle of Pines. The island is exotic with very rare corals spread all over.
Festival of Yams
If one is interested to learn the culture of the traditional Isle, they should visit in the month of April.
The locals dance, showcase their culinary, artistic skills. They perform water sports. Boat races are also conducted during the festival.