3 days in Ouvea
With its narrow neck of land connecting the northern and southern segments, Ouvéa’s peculiar shape is familiar to everyone. Having booked your air ticket to Noumea, you can carry on to this island which has been nicknamed « the closest island to paradise ».
The wonders of the South
If your mind is set on long white-sand beaches streching out into infinity, your flight to New Caledonia will transport you to the holiday site you have been dreaming of. Mouli Beach, location of the Hotel Paradis d’Ouvéa, invites you to put down your towel and have a dip in its turquoise waters. Looking out from the Mouli bridge, you can enjoy an endless procession of rays, turtles and other marine animals.
Tour to the Pleiades
To its north and south, the island of Ouvéa is extended by clusters of islets, known as the Pléiades. The dozen or so to the south are spread out over several kilometres. Pierre, a local guide, organizes excursions out to sea to discover these tiny gems of nature. On the programme: the boat trip, snorkeling to observe throngs of underwater creatures and some homemade snacks for refreshment.
Trip to the Blue Hole of Hanawa
Finally, in the narrowest, central part of the island, there is the Blue Hole of Hanawa. The two coasts here are scarcely 40 metres apart! The blue hole, easily located at the side of the road, is actually a well filled with seawater and a thin layer of fresh water on the surface. After these aquatic adventures, make your way back to Mouli beach, so as not to miss the spectacular sunset.
The North and its marine life
Scuba diving at the Taurus Pass
Book your flight to Noumea and connection to Ouvéa, where the sea is always the centre of the island’s life and activties. For amateur divers, this is one of the best spots in New Caledonia. Head to the Pléiades du Nord (Northern Pléiades) or find the pass at Taureau. Thanks to its extraordinary visibility, this is the rendez-vous site for many large pelagic species, such as the dogtooth tuna, or manta and leopard rays.
The shark pass
In the north of the island, Antoine, another local guide, offers walking tours departing from Saint-Joseph, to visit the beach at Grand Nord, with its shark run. Lemon sharks have taken up the custom of coming here to reproduce and it is not unusual to see their young ones swimming around. This species has the peculiar habit of returning to own place of origin to give birth to the next generation.
A protected nature
Meeting with the parakeet of Ouvéa
The famous Ouvéa parakeet is endemic to the island, and one of the most endangered species in the Pacific. The majority of these psittacidaes live in the large forest in the north of the island. They can be seen around the Gite Beauvoisin and in the Gossana Commune. Guided tours to observe them are also available.
The art of handicraft
It is also worthwhile stopping to see the oil mill at Wadrilla. Ouvéa began to produce copra oil at the beginning of the 1990’s, benefiting from its 3,000-plus-hectare coconut grove. The product is used to manufacture biofuel, as well as being a raw material for soap.