Most people who know me, will know my love for a nice tropical beach with white sand, turquoise waters with unspoiled reef. So last year when I was fortunate enough to visit Lifou as a port of call while cruising, there was no doubt I was going to leave with an everlasting love for the island.
Lifou is a paradise lover’s dream; with its long, white sandy beaches, caves and cliffs bathed in beautiful crystalline water, Lifou offers spectacular diving spots and hiking paths. Lifou (or Drehu in the local language) is situated in the South Pacific (a few hours away by plane) of the East Coast of Australia. The island itself is the largest island of the Loyalty Islands in the archipelago of New Caledonia.
Upon arriving and after a little exploring, I knew there was more to this island other than just a nice beach to sit and relax on.
So, what is there to do in Lifou?
Ocean / Reef Focus:
Being a tropical island there is a huge ocean focus. Snorkelling and diving are probably two of the most popular activities thanks to the gorgeous reef that surrounds the island. I’m not a snorkeler or diver myself but believe me when I say there is something for everyone when it comes to water / beach activities. You can lounge around on the beautiful beaches (Easo Beach is where we situated ourselves for the day and were lucky enough to swim with sea turtles, rays etc), kayak or paddle board (I tried the paddle board option but funnily, kept falling off due to the choppiness of the ocean the day we were there. I then opted for the kayak which was a much safer bet). If you get a chance, definitely check out Jinek Bay which is a marine preserve on the island. They only allow so many people to snorkel there a day.
The island itself, has a beautiful landscape. There are plenty of locals that offer tours to all the sights on Lifou or you can walk to many from where the tender boats drop you from the ship.
If you’re visiting by cruise ship and opt to visit places you can walk to there are a few options that are close by from the jetty that is used by the tender boats:
- Church of Notre Dame de Lourdes on a cliff overlooking the bay. You can usually see this church high up on the cliff from where the cruise ship anchors up. It’s a bit of a hike, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear and have water on you. The views are stunning though.
- There is a Small museum which is an easy 10 minute walk. It’s quite small but it showcases the history of the island and it’s people.
- Grottos / Caves, about a 10-15 minute walk from the jetty of Eso Beach, you will find the caves and grottos. There is a small entrance fee but well worth the visit.
One thing I did find one this island and most people will say the same thing about most of the islands in the South Pacific, the locals are always friendly, happy and tend to live on island time.
To find out more about Lifou or New Caledonia in general, please check out the New Caledonia website.
As I’m always up for finding new islands, ones like Lifou that are picturesque, not over populated, I would love to hear some recommendations. So please drop these below in the comment section.