This gem of southern New Caledonia quite rightly lays claim to the title of “the closest island to paradise,” a description often attributed to its northern counterpart, Ouvéa. Bathed in crystalline waters, l'Île des Pins is also an ocean of light with floating outrigger canoes that are the pride of its inhabitants, the Kuniés. Close your eyes and breathe deeply. No, you’re not dreaming – you really are on l'Île des Pins!
The southernmost of the Caledonian islands is situated almost on the Tropic of Capricorn with a latitude of 22° south. This geographical situation affords the island a very mild climate.
James Cook set down his anchor on its coasts in 1774. It was the English admiral who gave the island its name, due to its abundant New Caledonia pines with their characteristic slender silhouettes.
Kuto, Oro, Upi, Kanumera: exceptional bays
Accessible by boat or plane (and what a flight over the southern lagoon – a must!), the island has long been one of New Caledonia’s most touristic locations, without losing anything of its soul or authenticity!
The center of the island is occupied by a slightly raised plateau whose highest point is N’ga Peak (262 m), which offers breathtaking views, but l'Île des Pins owes its fame to its bays above all else.
The latter boast large beaches of incredibly pure white sand, like Kuto bay, as well as extraordinarily clear turquoise water in which you can admire the remarkable marine flora and fauna, in neighbouring Kanumera bay, for example.
The natural swimming pool of Oro bay: a legendary place
A stone’s throw from Oro bay is one of the island’s legendary locations: the natural sea water swimming pool. Separated from the bay by a simple barrier of rocks, this “swimming pool” is a gem of natural extravagance much loved by snorkeling fans. Nearby and allowing you to reach Oro bay, we recommend you take a walk along the slender river of sand at low-tide. Quite simply beautiful…
- Information point in Ile des Pins
- Opening hours:
- Telephone: + 687 46 10 27
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 1872, France created a penitentiary colony in the south-west of the island to house insurgents from the Paris municipality deported to Caledonia. The penal colony’s ruins are now largely overgrown by vegetation, but the water tower, dating back to 1875, is still in service. You can also take stock in front of the 230 anonymous graves (except two!) of the deportee cemetery.
Discover the must-sees in the Isle of PinesVoir plus
What to do in Ile des Pins
Relax on board an outrigger canoe in Upi bay or take a day-trip to Nokanhui atoll, a pearl of white sand lost in the blue of the ocean. The expression “alone in the world” will ring true like never before!
If you are need of a refreshing break after basking in the sun, visit Oumagne cave, also known as Queen Hortense’s grotto, in the north of the island, and listen to the story of the great chief Kaoua’s daughter…
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New Caledonia is just waiting for you
Experience both city and beach with this combination package.