With its long, white sandy beaches and cliffs bathed in beautiful crystalline water, Lifou, New Caledonia offers no shortage of spectacular diving spots and hiking paths. The island’s varied landscapes are echoed by the nature of its inhabitants. Open and friendly, they offer visitors a warm welcome.

Like its Loyalty Island sisters, Lifou Island is found around a hundred kilometres east of New Caledonia’s main island. And like all of the dispersed isles and islets of the archipelago, Lifou is formed from raised coral covered in dense scrubland.

In addition, if you have the opportunity to travel to the island by boat, you will see it appear in the form of a low, horizontal band of green. This view forms a stark contrast with the vertical profile of the island’s mountainous neighbour, the Caledonian Grande Terre. The approach to Lifou’s coasts (as is true of those of Ouvéa and Maré) can, however, be dangerous. Bordered by dangerous fringing reefs and impressive sheer cliffs, it’s best to leave the navigation to the professionals.

Discover an incredible landscape, from immaculate white sands to cliffs of coral

Despite its apparent horizontality, Lifou soon reveals a variety of landscapes to visitors. From the immaculate white of Luengöni beach to the steep coral cliffs of Jokin, the island is full of stark contrasts.

Spend time exploring Lifou’s beaches, cliffs and bays, or take the time to venture into the waters surrounding the island for some of the country’s best snorkeling. There are so many incredible landscapes to discover, so be sure to pack some sturdy walking shoes to explore in comfort.

Sample vanilla of world-renowned quality

Although its coastline is captivating, visitors shouldn’t overlook Lifou Island’s incredible interior. A vast plain overlaying what used to be a lagoon, the land is covered in dense tropical forests perfect for hikes. In the island’s interior, you can also visit the vanilla plantations of Jozip, Mu, Mucaweng or Traput. These plantations are gaining worldwide recognition for the outstanding quality of their locally produced vanilla. Try it! Your taste buds are sure to know the difference!

Encounter the local culture

Lifou Island’s local culture has been widely preserved, allowing visitors to learn more about the people who have called the region home for generations. Join a guided tour to meet some of the island’s residents, sample delicious local dishes and learn about what makes the people of Lifou so special. If you’d like to get to know more about the island’s more recent heritage, there are plenty of attractions, including the Notre Dame de Lourdes to discover.

  • CEMAID Lifou
  • Opening hours: Monday to Thurday : 7h30 - 11h30 and 12h30 - 16h30, Friday : 7h30 - 11h30 and 12h30 - 15h30
  • Phone: + 687 45 00 32
  • Email: cemaid@cyerdidact.mls
Lifou Loyalty islands in New Caledonia
Practical information

Covering a total of 1,150 k㎡ (an area equivalent to Martinique), Lifou is the largest island within the Loyalty Islands archipelago. At its broadest point, its east and west coasts are separated by 63 kilometres. It is also the archipelago’s most populated island, with around 10,000 inhabitants recorded during the last census (although, in reality, many of them live between Nouméa and Lifou). The population is distributed across three common law districts: Wetr, Lösi and Gaïca. Wé is the largest settlement and also the capital of the Loyalty Islands.

Discover the must-sees in Lifou

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What to do in Lifou

Traditional festivals

Finally, should your stay on Lifou, New Caledonia coincide with the dates of the major traditional festivals, with a bit of luck, you will observe all the vibrancy of the island’s customs and traditions.

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