Set like a jewel in the middle of the crystal waters of the ocean and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Ouvéa atoll has landscapes worthy of the world’s most beautiful postcards. Beyond its sparkling white sand beaches, the atoll is preserved from urban modernity, and a very special sort of sweet life is king. This all makes the island of Ouvéa more than worthy of its nickname as the island closest to paradise you’ll find!

In the 1970s, the young Japanese writer Katsura Morimura made no mistake: seduced by the beauty of the island and the warm welcome she received, she titled her novel The Island the Closest to Paradise. This literary work narrates the romantic love story between a young Japanese woman and a descendant of the country on the island. Although the writer has since passed away, her cultural heritage has survived. Young Japanese people, whether they’ve read the book or seen the movie of the same name, have a very special affection for the island. Some even come here on their honeymoon!

One of the most beautiful atolls in the South Pacific

Every year, the enormous beach that extend over nearly 25 km welcomes lots of foreign visitors on its immaculate white sand. Bordered by clear, bright water with changing color, the beach offers an idyllic view. Just a little imagination, and you could see yourself at the dawn of the humanity, untouched and pure.

The island has the modest dimensions of a miniature island. It’s only 35 km long and is crossed by a single road winding through countless coconut palms, and in places is only 40 meters wide!

Today
  • Tourism office in Iaai
  • Opening hours: Monday to Thursday : 7h30 - 16h30, and Friday : 7h30 - 15h30
  • Telephone: + 687 45 10 84
  • Email: si.iaai@canl.nc
Ouvéa Loyalty islands in New Caledonia
Practical information

In Ouvéa, two languages coexist: Iaaï, a Kanak language, and Faga-Uvea, of Polynesian origin. Indeed, the origins of the inhabitants of Ouvéa are a result of Polynesian and Melanesian migrations. This is why Polynesian influence is particularly marked here, all the way to the very name of the island: Uvéa, or Wallis Island in Polynesian.

Discover the must-sees in Ouvéa

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What to do in Ouvéa

World-famous diving sites

Besides diving in the crystal-clear waters, the blue hole of Hanawa is an invitation to dive into the unknown. In Mouli, sea turtles, eagle rays and other marine wildlife enchant divers with a constant ballet under the pillars of the bridge.

Finally, in the north of the island, whether you’re at the Pleiades or at the edge of the Beautemps-Beaupré islands, the waters abound with world-famous diving spots. Whoever hasn’t dived in the Taureau pass, the Styx pass or in the cave of the Island of the Lizard are lucky that they still have the chance to discover these beautiful sites.

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