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Visit New Caledonia - Loyalty Islands, Lifou, Mare and Ouvea

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New Caledonia is an overseas territory of France located in the southwest Pacific. The full and official name is New Caledonia and Dependencies. The official language is French. The official currency is the Franc. Its capital city is Noumea. This is a tiny harbor town with fishing boats, yachts, and cruise liners.

Isle of Pines
Isle of Pines in New Caledonia in the South Pacific
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This archipelago is divided into 3 provinces, the Islands Province, North Province and South Province. The Islands Province (Province des Îles) includes the Loyalty Islands, a series of islands and islets located around 60 miles from the main island of New Caledonia. Six of these islands are inhabited, with Lifou, Mare and Ouvea being the largest in size. The Isle of Pines is part of the South Province (Province Sud) of New Caledonia. Its pristine water, diverse and colorful tropical fish, and magnificent lagoon make it an incredible destination for scuba diving and snorkeling.

The Grotte de la Reine Hortense is an extremely impressive cave that is frequented by visitors far and wide. With a gorgeous garden of tropical flora at its front, an interior domain of impressive stalactites, and legendary tales of the hidden escape of the wife of a tribal chief, Queen Hortense, this cave has much to draw people to it.

Lifou Boats
Lifou Boats on the Beach in New Caledonia
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Linderalique Rocks, located in the town of Heinghene, is another impressive sight with its rocks of black limestone that tower as much as 196 feet into the air. Their tops are sharp and jagged, adding to their mystique. Additionally, it is possible to kayak beneath the rock formation and journey to another impressive cave, the Grotte de Linderalique. Many of the caves in this area are inhabited by flying foxes.

Parc Provincial de la Riviere Bleue sits at one of the ends of a hydroelectric dam. It's actually a recreational park and reserve with numerous species of birds. In fact, the national bird of New Caledonia, the cagou, makes its home there as well. One of the best reasons for going to this spot is the famous drowned forest where you can see the skeletal remains of the drowned trees from long ago.

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