To the south of the New Caledonia mainland (Grand Terre) lies an island where boats slice their way through turquoise waters, where fish, turtles and dolphins abound, where some bays are so limpid they are called swimming pools. This slice of paradise is called Isle of Pines. An alternate name might be the gates of heaven.
Between the mainland and this tiny island lies a lagoon that is said to be the most beautiful in the world inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
A holiday on Isle of Pines is possibly the epitome of ‘eco-tourism’. Choose the rhythm that suits you during the day – taking it easy or lots of physical activity. In the evening it’s relax – there’s in fact little else to do, other than have a quiet drink and dinner, then, if you’re lucky enough to find yourself on the island at full moon, take a walk along the beach at low tide – it’s an unforgettable holiday experience.
Swimming, fishing, walking, camping, relaxing, pampering, reading. No stress, no nightlife. Hmm, could you do that? For those that can’t, there are hotels with activity desks to suggest outings, including 4WD excursions, scuba diving, nature walks, kayaking and pedal boats – and much more so you won’t want to ever leave.
Le Méridien – a Rainbow Tourism Accredited property – is a luxurious retreat with deluxe hotel rooms and intimate bungalows on spectacular Oro Bay. Set within a centuries-old, large coconut, the idyllic resort takes full advantage of the natural aquamarine lagoons and powdery white sand beaches to relax and inspire you. It blends a French and Melanesian menu at the restaurant boasting fresh-caught fish and snails.