Maré, one of the four Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia, is one of the least developed places in the country but what it lacks in facilities it more than makes up for in beauty. Also, most importantly perhaps, the beer here is half the price it was at our other cruise stops in New Caledonia!
While beautiful rock holes, gorgeous reefs and crystal clear sea encircle the island, the highlight of our visit was a trip to Yedjélé Beach at Ceigeïté, eight kms south of Tadine. This is Maré’s finest beach, its palm-fringed white sands and habitually warm crystal clear waters inviting the swimmer and snorkeller – truly one of the postcard perfect beaches that are found throughout the South Pacific islands.
While it was a little on the chilly and cloudy side when we visited (October 2016) the water temperature was pleasant and those of us who ventured in for a snorkel were amply rewarded with a plethora of colourful fish and sea cucumbers. Had the coral been in better shape I would have rated it up there with some of the better snorkelling spots I have visited.
Given that the beach is over a kilometre long it didn’t feel that crowded, notwithstanding the onslaught of probably half the passengers from the Carnival Spirit, over a period of 5-6 hrs. What a place this would be if you had it all to yourself – as I suspect you would on a day devoid of cruise ships visits.
Getting to Yedjélé Beach
Noting that there is no public transport on Maré, we bought a return shuttle bus ticket to Yedjélé Beach on board our cruise ship, the Carnival Spirit, prior to disembarking. An adult return ticket cost A$19 (discount for children) in 2016. A friend told me that you can buy a ticket for $A16 at the bus boarding point – I did not verify this. The buses are basic but sufficient for the 8km or 15mins ride.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on my trip to Maré, New Caledonia. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Shopping At Yedjele Beach – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – Maré – New Caledonia’s Hidden Gem