Monday morning… back to work! You probably haven’t noticed it but I was actually away for a week on a cruise with Celebrity Cruises. We spend three days on the beautiful islands of New Caledonia. What a dream destination!
White beaches and warm waters, exotic fruits and friendly people, exciting history and colourful fish, all with that little bit of French chic! While we were lucky and did not even brush the recent cyclone in the area, my heart goes out to the wonderful people of Vanuatu. What a tragedy, what devastation. I hope that the wounds will be healed soon and that the islands will get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Anyway, we visited three islands in total last week, the heavenly Isle of Pines, lovely Lifou – part of the Loyalty Islands, and Noumea the capital of New Caledonia.
Popular Cruise Stop Isle of Pines: Kuto Bay
Of course there are also a number of photos that I’d like to share. So rather than writing too much today about the Isle of Pines before I have fully recovered from my week away I’d like to share some dreamy shots of the beaches around the area where the cruise ships will stop on the Isle of Pines.
The area is called Kuto Bay, a long stretch of a white sandy beach that is so bright and shiny it turns the water a lovely turquoise colour. Look at the photos, there’s no Photoshopping happening here!
Kuto Beach is not also where the tender boats of the big cruise ships will land, it is also home to a number of smaller resorts, so if you are planning on staying on the Isle of Pines chances are that this will be your local beach as there are not many options to choose from, unless you want to go for a homestay option. Not a bad location, eh?
From Kuto Bay it’s just a one minute walk to the other site of the peninsula to another beautiful bay called Kanumera Bay. It’s the most wonderful location with calm, clear waters that are just perfect for snorkelers. You can snorkel all the way around the sacred rock in the middle of the bay, Rocher de Kaa Nuë Méra, but don’t think about climbing it!
The rock is connected to the mainland by a narrow sandbank, perfect for little kids. But honeymooners will also love this idyllic setting, the warm water and the many, many colourful fish. At the far end of the beach you will find the restaurant and bar of the Oure Tera Resort which absolute beachfront, friendly and shady, and perfect for a relaxing afternoon drink.
If you feel more adventurous, attempt a walk up the main road towards Wero village where you will find the ruins of an old French political convict prison. There is no fence and no fee to be paid but I suggest you treat carefully to avoid injury. It’s a sneak peek into the island’s penitentiary past. It’s hard to imagine now but the Isle of Pines must have been hell for hundreds of people in a time not so long ago… deportation meant lifelong exile from France, a cruel punishment for people that had different political opinions. Venture a bit further and discover also the famous Cemetery of the Deported.
Having said that, the best thing to do is just lie back and relax. Take a dip in the warm water and explore the underwater world with your snorkelling gear. Listen to the birds and enjoy the amazing colours all around you!
If you happen to do a tour around the island, there’s Vao village to explore as well as the Grotto of Queen Hortense as well as St Josephs Bay with its display of tribal boats and St Maurice Bay with its stunning memorial.