Spotlight On The Isle Of Pines
The Isle of Pines, a small island located in the archipelago of New Caledonia, is a veritable paradise for any holiday-maker. Captain James Cook discovered this charming island and nicknamed it the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’, which has caught on with travellers ever since due to its lush Araucaria pine trees, powdery white sand and aquamarine waters. If you’re boarding a cruise that stops off at the Isle of Pines, take a look at some of the top activities to plan before you arrive.
Take a Guided Tour
It can be hard to know where to go when visiting a foreign destination, so why not take a guided tour to learn about the Isle of Pines’ culture and magical landmarks? When arriving at Kuto Bay’s jetty, there will be many locals ready to take visitors on a tour. However, the Island Discovery Tour is perfect for those wanting to book in advance. During this tour, friendly guides will take you into the caves, the village of Vao and its 19th century Catholic church. You can also go exploring at the island’s former convict prison, the Vestiges du Bagne, and you can go snorkelling with clouds of fish in the natural rook pool, the Piscine Naturelle (Natural Aquarium).
There are many dive sites around the Isle of Pines where you can discover well-preserved intricate reefs, coral and an incredible array of tropical fish. Experienced divers may want to try exploring the Garden of Eden, which consists of rifts between 5 and 50 metres deep. Isle of Pines’ Kunie Scuba Centre is the only option for scuba diving on the island. As they speak little English, it’s important that you either understand some French phrases or that you’re an experienced and capable diver.
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Bask in the Bays
On the Isle of Pines, you’re welcomed with some of the world’s whitest sands and bluest waters. The curved, kilometre-long Kuto Bay is one of the main beaches next to the wharf. Here you can sunbathe, swim and relax, as well as purchase locally made souvenirs at the market stands. Rivalling Kuto Bay’s beauty is Kanumera Bay. Just a short distance to the south, Kanumera Bay is a great place to snorkel in crystal waters. You can also take pictures of the large limestone rock, which juts out into the ocean and is deemed sacred by the locals.
Explore the Grottos and Caverns
Head inland and explore the Isle of Pines’ grottos and caverns. If you’d like a quick swim, Paradise Cave is home to natural pools. Or, if you’d like to see some impressive stalactites and learn about some local history, then visit the Grotte de Hortense. There is a small token fee on entry and it is reached by a short walk through the woods. Here a local will show you around and discuss its points of interest.
Are you ready to explore the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’? For more information and to learn more about fantastic cruise deals, give us a call on 1300 954 661 and speak to one of our friendly specialists.
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