"Ile des Pins, New Caledonia" Île des Pins by minstrel74

Île des Pins Travel Guide: 54 reviews and 88 photos

I've had the good fortune to visit many beautiful islands in the South Pacific. Trying to identify the most beautiful or most spectacular of these has always been difficult and in any case is probably an exercise in futility. That being said, this relatively small island off the southwest coast of Grande Terre in New Caledonia is perhaps the most beautiful island I have ever visited. The beaches are world-class and unspoilt, the turqoise glow of the surrounding ocean is breathtaking, and the crowds are thin. Almost all the other travelers here were from France (and a few from Japan), which led me to believe that this island gem hasn't yet appeared on the radar of most international travelers. I'm sure it will someday, though. I'm just glad to have visited it when I did. It's beauty is unmatched. If you are looking for a spectactular island paradise away from the hordes of tourists found in other parts of the South Pacific, this is a good place to check out. You won't regret it.

Beaches of Ile des Pins

Ile des Pins has several worthy attractions, but the beaches alone are worth the time and expense it takes to get here. I spent most of my time hanging out around the Kuto Peninsula, which is flanked by two of the most magnificent stretches of white sand you'll ever see. As you can see from some of these images, the area is eminently photogenic and the visual memories you take from here will stay with you forever. The water is also very still, which makes for ideal swimming conditions. Take it from me--I would normally gasp and flail at the slightest hint of a wave!

Around the island

Aside from its beaches, there are plenty of other things to do on Ile des Pins. A handful of caves are found around the island that can be explored independently and a dirt path leads to Pic Nga, at 262 meters a great vantage point that affords a sweeping panorama of the entire island. To access these attractions, a ring road circles the island. The road itself is worth some exploration and makes for a fantastic if somewhat difficult bicycle ride.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:spectacular beaches, magnificent views, and not many crowds
  • Cons:Pricey accomodation and equally pricey meals
  • In a nutshell:An island gem of unparalled beauty--and no crowds!
  • Last visit to Île des Pins: Nov 1997
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (5)

Comments (6)

  • lou31's Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2005 at 5:23 AM

    You have summed up this georgeous place well. I found it hard to put it into words. I felt I had landed in an unknown tropical paradise. So unspoilt...I fell priveleged to have been there.

  • XenoHumph's Profile Photo
    Feb 8, 2005 at 8:57 AM

    Looks like the French got themselves a little piece of paradise down there! Excellent page again!

  • girladventure's Profile Photo
    Jan 25, 2005 at 9:22 PM

    My kinda place too....hopefully I can visit this paradise before it gets too populated. Were there any rock climbing areas?

  • Maria_75's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2004 at 2:08 PM

    Another great page with wonderful pictures! This really seems like my kind of place!!! :)

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Oct 10, 2004 at 10:01 PM

    many, only english speaking tourist feel a bit 'lost' not understanding french.New Caledonia is a real Gem in the South Pacific, thats for sure. superb page with fine narration, tks Sean

  • Geisha_Girl's Profile Photo
    Sep 20, 2004 at 3:49 PM

    Glad to see another American experience this gem of the S. Pacific. I was there in May. I'll never forget the sand here - glistening powder white with a glimmer of red crystals! Nowhere else in the world is there sand like that! Great write up and images!


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