Chateaubriand bay on Lifou islandChateaubriand bay on Lifou island
©Chateaubriand bay on Lifou island|Anaëlle Chretien & Steven Lequertier

24 hours in Lifou

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Awakening in Lifou, the largest of the Loyalty Islands, Steven and I found ourselves in a realm where time hangs suspended between sea and sky. From the gentle hues of dawn to the tranquil moments of dusk, every encounter becomes a sensory celebration. Embark on a journey with us to discover Lifou’s inviting sandy beaches, pristine waters, and authentic connections, diving into the island’s unique atmosphere.

Anaëlle and StevenAnaëlle and Steven
©Anaëlle and Steven
Anaëlle and Steven

Anaëlle and Steven are content creators who have recently settled in New Caledonia. For New Caledonia Tourism, they agreed to share their favourite places and other goodtips, which they document in photos and videos during their getaways. From the mainland to the islands, from their favourite walks to the best shopping spots, Anaëlle and Steven take you on a journey to discover the must-sees in New Caledonia. Follow their adventures on @anaellechretienoff and @stevenlqr.

What we truly love about New Caledonia is the diversity of the landscapes, from the sea to the mountains.

Anaëlle and Steven

A delicious breakfast at Au Coeur de Lito B&B

complete with damper bread-making experience

At the gîte Au Coeur de Lito, our initiation into a traditional Kanak hut stay became a lasting memory. Nestled in the serene Drueulu tribe, this haven comprises two inviting paillotes and a spacious family hut accommodating up to eight people.

Beyond the cozy lodging, our interactions with the locals and the damper-making session with Theodore added a fantastic touch to our stay. While mastering our host’s technique proved a challenge, we embraced the learning experience.

Drifting off to sleep in the quiet of this traditional Kanak hut and waking up to the aromas of a homemade breakfast enhanced our overall stay.

A scenic road trip to the beaches

Luengöni, Chateaubriand, and Kiki

After a wonderful breakfast, we eagerly set off for Luengöni Beach, captivated by its paradisiacal allure and the cotton-soft sand beneath our feet. Driving along the kilometre-long bay, we relished the sensation of almost having the world to ourselves, complemented by the presence of a majestic coral rock near the shoreline.

Chateaubriand, with its unspoiled beauty and wind-kissed white sand, enchanted us further. Nestled in the heart of the island near Wé village, this bay unveiled a panoramic vista worthy of a postcard.

Our final exploration led us to the hidden gem, Kiki Beach. With its crystalline waters and imposing cliffs, this spot quickly became one of our Lifou favourites. Keep in mind that reaching it involves a short 30-minute walk, and visiting during low tide ensures optimal beach enjoyment.

Snorkelling adventures

in Jokin and Jinek Bay

Paying a visit to the Cliffs of Jokin, a recommended spot for vibrant marine life, we equipped ourselves with fins, masks, and snorkels, and claimed a staircase to the exceptionally clear waters. These easily accessible and meticulously landscaped cliffs are a Lifou must-see, drawing tourists and locals alike to marvel at the underwater splendour.

Pro tip: linger until dusk to witness the breathtaking sunset casting sublime orange hues across the landscape.

Jinek Bay bestowed upon us the enchanting sight of whales, creating a magical moment. This exceptional snorkelling location allows you to observe a myriad of fish in an idyllic setting, complete with a small faré for relaxed sea-view lunches. This spot remains etched in our memories as a highlight of our Lifou sojourn.

With Lifou Nature, we organised a snorkelling hike, preceded by a guide’s explanation about making an offering to the guardian of the place—placing branches or foliage on the designated pile. Once through the forest, we arrived at the water’s edge and put on our fins and masks. During the snorkelling adventure, Steven encountered numerous small fish and harmless reef sharks, an exhilarating and safe encounter.

An exotic lunch

at Le Traon table d'hôte

Steven and I had the pleasure of sampling a local delicacy: coconut crab. Our gracious host guided us through the art of relishing this unique treat, using a small branch as improvised cutlery. His warm presence elevated the entire meal, rendering it an unforgettable experience.

Fun fact: The coconut crab, renowned for its agility, is adept at climbing trees, particularly coconut palms and other varieties (hence its name). Even the smallest specimens can skilfully grasp a coconut and carefully extract its meat, showcasing their resourcefulness.

To reach Le Traon table d’hôte, look for the large Kanak flag and turn left!

Unveil the mysteries of Devil's Cave

during a captivating visit

This unique adventure was a first for me, and I have no regrets! Situated in the northeast of Lifou, the Grotte du Diable is a site steeped in history, where human bones and skulls bear witness to ancient cannibalistic practices.

Our guide, a charming elderly gentleman who stepped in for his son, led the tour exceptionally well. After a 10-minute walk, enriched with detailed explanations from our guide, we climbed up using ropes to reach the cave.

We were immediately struck by the beauty of the place. The interplay of light and shadow cast onto the rock faces created a spectacular natural backdrop that we won’t soon forget.

In Lifou, legend has it that the devil has taken up residence in the Tingeting cave. Avoid wandering around at night, or you might incur a curse.

While the trail is very straightforward, we still recommend wearing closed-toe shoes.

A soothing sunset

at Peng beach

Conveniently located just a stone’s throw from Wé, Peng beach charmed us with its tranquillity and its crystal-clear waters.

This spot highlights the vastness of Lifou, especially as you gaze at the island’s tip stretching towards the horizon. The sunset, with its vibrant colour palette mirrored by the lagoon, is simply splendid here.

We love wandering around and discovering secluded, uncrowded, and wild coves. Peng beach is undoubtedly, our favourite beach in Lifou!

A delightful dinner and relaxation

at Le Drehu Village hotel

Drehu Village, a wondrous 3-star hotel in Lifou, holds a special place in our hearts. This wasn’t our first visit, and its enchanting setting—bungalows opening onto Chateaubriand Beach—and the warm hospitality of the staff keep drawing us back.

The quality of service at this three-star gem is very satisfying, and the staff’s warm welcome leaves a lasting impression.

A delightful extra: a whole range of activities are on offer. Excursions by minibus to uncover the hidden treasures of the island’s north and south, and snorkelling gear and canoes-kayaks provided for aquatic adventures. For cycling enthusiasts, bikes are also available for rent to explore Lifou at our own pace.

Additional Information

  • Every year, Lifou hosts the unmissable Vanilla Festival (Fête de la Vanille), a unique celebration that unveils the secrets of this spice and offers a deep dive into Kanak culture.
  • To fully explore Lifou’s essential attractions, we recommend renting a car for convenient transportation.
  • Sunset lovers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to experience the breathtaking view from Faré Falaise. This charming homestay, perched on the cliffs of the Jokin tribe, provides an unforgettable panorama of the lagoon. You’ll certainly love it!

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas