For me, the Ile des Pins was a stop on a short South Pacific cruise. A number of operators offer cruises from Australia which stop at the Ile des Pins and this is the way the majority of international visitors get to and from the island. That said, the island is also a popular weekend retreat for Noumeans, Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, being a short flight or boat ride from the Ile des Pins.
Air Caledonie (http://www.air-caledonie.nc/en/) flies to the Ile des Pins three times daily from Noumea (four times on Saturdays and Sundays). Fares (economy only) vary from XPF 6,000 to XPF 9,300, one way, for the 25 minutes flight. If you fly remember that the airport is rather isolated so ensure you organise transfers with your accommodation. If on a day trip you will invariably want to visit the Kuto Beach area. There are a couple of taxis which you can take from the airport to Kuto (where boats/ships arrive and where you will find two fantastic beaches) for around around XPF 1,500.
Alternatively, by Betico Ferry (http://www.betico.nc/content/english-info), it is a 2.5hr trip between Noumea and Kuto, Ile des Pins. The ferry runs on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday and costs between XPF 5,900 and XPF 8,200 – adult, one way. Day returns cost between XPF 10,900 and XPF 14,100. The ferry is the catamaran to the rear of pictures 2 and 3.
While I have taken neither option, based on prior experience of travelling in the Pacific, I would suggest you fly at least one way as views down onto the sea and coral reefs from the sky would be spectacular.
Car hire (limited so book in advance) and tours are available via various accommodations and, as mentioned earlier, there is a (very) limited taxi service. Outside the limited taxi service there is no public transport service on the Ile des Pins.
This blog entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on my trip to Ile des Pins, New Caledonia. I suggest you continue with my next entry – A Warm Island Welcome – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – No Hurries, No Worries.