Souvenir Shopping on the Ile des Pins


Most of the resorts on the Ile des Pins would have some form of gift-shop/ boutique selling the same sort of stuff you would find at similar resorts anywhere else in the world. One such can be found at the Hotel Kou-Bugny on Kuto Beach, a short walk from the jetty. Continue reading “Souvenir Shopping on the Ile des Pins”


Climb It Or Admire It From Kuto Bay


Having completed a wonderful island tour, walked the length of Kanumera Bay and relaxed a bit with friends on the gorgeous Kuto Beach there were still a couple of hours left before our cruise ship was scheduled to leave the Ile des Pins.

I had planned on hiking up Pic N’ga, the highest point on the island and easily accessible from Kuto Beach. While I felt I could have fitted the walk in (advertised as 1.5 – 2 hrs max duration) I had read that the track was not wonderfully well marked so there was a risk that I would arrive back too late. Continue reading “Climb It Or Admire It From Kuto Bay”

A Postcard From The South Pacific


This is the stuff that picture postcards from the South Pacific are made off.

Kuto is a crescent shaped, white powder sand, beach over a kilometre in length. It is lapped by the warm, transparent and turquoise waters of the South Pacific and flanked by swaying palms, and many of the island’s endemic columnar pines, providing ample shade between swims, sun bathing or strolls along the beach. If you are into beaches, what more could you possibly need? Continue reading “A Postcard From The South Pacific”


Horrid And Stray Dogs


One thing you will notice on the Ile des Pins (and indeed on Maré which we also visited) is the number of stray dogs that congregate at places frequented by tourists, particularly where they think they can get some food – i.e. on the beaches. Continue reading “Horrid And Stray Dogs”


Kanumera Bay – Stunning


Having completed a 2 hour island tour there was still more than sufficient time for a walk along a significant part of Kanumera Bay which, if forced to pick a favourite between it and Kuto Beach, I would rate it higher – because, at least when I visited, it was less busy and there was more shade, from a combination of palms and the Auracaria columnaris pines from which the island takes its name, for those wishing to linger. Additionally, I found the Bay to be a lot more photogenic and I trust I have managed to capture some of its beauty in the images attached. Continue reading “Kanumera Bay – Stunning”


Prisoners In Paradise


Most visitors sunning themselves, snorkelling and otherwise enjoying themselves on Kuto Beach would be totally oblivious to the fact that most 19th century visitors to the Ile des Pins spent their time here locked up in cells with no opportunity to enjoy the island and its beaches as today’s visitors do. They would be oblivious to the fact that the island’s main colonial prison was a short distance from the beach. Continue reading “Prisoners In Paradise”


An Unexpected French Speaking Queen


There are several limestone caves on the Ile des Pins. The best known and most accessible one is the Cave or Grotto of Queen Hortense, set in verdant tropical rainforest and abounding with stalactites, lianas, banyan roots, ferns and (harmless) bats. Continue reading “An Unexpected French Speaking Queen”


Pirogues And Pancakes At The Bay

Pirogue at St Joseph’s Bay

During his second voyage in 1774, Captain Cook visited New Caledonia. Jacques Brosse, in his book, Great Voyages of Exploration, 1983, wrote:

“To the south of New Caledonia, he discovered a small island remarkable for its high conifers, which were so crowded together that from a distance they looked like basalt columns. The species belonged to the genus Araucaria, then unknown. These Auracaria columnaris, which measured as high as 70 meters, looked like giant pines, and Cook therefore called the place the Isle of Pines.” Continue reading “Pirogues And Pancakes At The Bay”


St Joseph’s – Remembering The Marist Connection


Not being able to get into the Notre-Dame de l’Assomption church, due to preparations for a funeral being underway, I had a little time to have a look around the grounds of the adjacent St Joseph’s College. It was there I came across a commemorative monument recognising 116 years of Marist Brothers’ service to education on the Ile des Pins, through their operation of St Joseph’s, which opened here in 1877. Continue reading “St Joseph’s – Remembering The Marist Connection”


Art In The Pacific


On the Ile des Pins primary and lower level secondary schooling is available. Students must move to Noumea to finish their secondary schooling and go to university. Many go overseas for the later – most to France or Australia/New Zealand. Continue reading “Art In The Pacific”