I am passionate about living life to its fullest. I love travelling, going on adventures and I enjoy the finer things in life.
Published January 4th 2013
Not for the faint hearted
Lifou is the largest of the four Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia. At 1,207 kilometres squared, it is the largest coral atoll in the world and is a very popular cruise ship destination. The scope for adventure on this island is wide, so let me take you on a journey not for the faint hearted.
The beaches in Lifou provide the tropical paradise you can only dream about. But what's more, they are also home to some amazing wildlife. Get your camera out ready to take a few photos of the deceptively-fast, majestic turtles that roam these waters. Lifou's beaches are a popular destination for watersports such as canoeing, windsurfing and sailing. You can hire single canoes from $16 per person per hour and this is a great way to view the enormous cliffs from below.
If you like the sound of canoeing, you might also like to try your hand at snorkelling at the Baie de Jinek. This is not to be missed! Also known as Jinek Bay, this snorkelling beach is renown for its vast expanse of corals and wide variety of tropical fish. Couple this with warm and crystal clear water and this provides the perfect platform for a stunning afternoon of snorkelling.
While snorkelling is great fun, some of us prefer an adventure – a plunge into the unknown as one might say. Lucky for you, I have found the perfect solution. Behind the Catholic church lies what can only be described as exhilarating fun. Welcome to the caves. You enter down a windy path into a forest-like trail (bring sturdy shoes, it gets slippery) until you reach the very bottom where you come across some dark caves. From here, you stand on the edge of the rocks in your swim gear and take the leap of faith. You jump straight into a freshwater water hole, but the catch is that it is pitch black! The cave itself has a glimmer of sunlight seeping in, but the jump into the pitch-black hole provides a thrill like no other. This is the kind of adventure that needs to be added to bucket list and more importantly, ticked off after visiting Lifou.
For those who are slightly less willing to plunge into darkness, or canoe or snorkel their way to fill their daily excitement quota, Lifou provides the perfect scenic walk to a spot that provides breathtaking views of the island. Coming from Easo Beach (where the cruise ship docks), if you continue walking past Baie de Jinek, you will reach an old white church on top of a hill (this can also be seen from the cruise ship as you arrive). Take the 800m walk to the top of the hill and it will take your breath away (literally too!). It provides a 360 degree view of Lifou – a sight not to be missed. (Note: this is not the same church mentioned above regarding the caves).
While sightseeing and cave jumping will satisfy your tourist side, you should not leave without experiencing the cultural side of Lifou. As I arrived via a cruise ship, the native people performed for us traditional song and dance. Even as we explored a part of the island (a very small part), the locals would wave and yell out "Hello" or "How are you?" while the local children would give us frangipanis to place in our hair. The locals were so friendly and welcoming.
Lifou is the place for all people – everyone from the ones who crave an adventure. to the ones who want nothing more than to sip a cocktail in the sun. So bring a camera, an open mind, a lion heart and a desire to cross off a few items on your bucket list and get ready for the island of Lifou.
To find out what other activities Lifou has to offer, click here.
To find out more about Carnival Spirit Cruise Ships, click here.
To find out more about Isle of Pines, New Caledonia, click here.