Plage Du Paradis Douvea @anaellechretienoff @stevenlqr Nct 2033 05 09 2Plage Du Paradis Douvea @anaellechretienoff @stevenlqr Nct 2033 05 09 2
©Plage Du Paradis Douvea @anaellechretienoff @stevenlqr Nct 2033 05 09 2|Anaëlle Chretien & Steven Lequertier

24h in Ouvéa

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Today, Steven and I are taking you to the Loyalty Islands. Come with us to Ouvéa for 24 timeless hours on “the island closest to paradise”, with its crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, kilometres of white sandy beaches, mysterious caves… and many other treasures. An unforgettable encounter with the island and, most importantly, its warm-hearted inhabitants with their deeply-rooted traditions!

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

Breakfast overlooking the lagoon at Paradis d'Ouvéa

Our stay in Ouvéa with Steven was like an unreal interlude. And it started as soon as we arrived at the 4-star hotel, the Paradis d’Ouvéa. Located on the edge of Mouli beach, it is surrounded by several kilometres of magnificent white sand.

Le Paradis offers different types of bungalows, facing the lagoon or nestled in the pretty garden just behind it. Even the swimming pool has been designed as a waterfall to blend in with its surroundings. In the morning, when we got up and had breakfast facing the sea, we had the impression of being elsewhere.

The restaurant’s menu, full of island produce, is varied and we ate very well in the evening, with the staff taking great care of us.

Diving into the Ouvéa Garden at Les Pléiades du Sud

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, the Ouvéa lagoon is surrounded to the north and south by around twenty islets and reefs known as the Pleiades. Pierre, our guide for a half-day excursion to the Pléiades du Sud (Southern Pléiades), affectionately calls it the ‘garden of Ouvéa.’

It’s easy to see why, given the vibrant colour of the coral! Apart from turtles, sharks, and lots of fish, we were lucky enough to get a close-up look at massive manta rays, engaged in their cleaning rituals. It was magical.

The water was so clear that, even from the boat, we could see just how beautiful and unspoilt the seabed is.

Lunch, alone in the world, at the Didewa table d'hôte

After our sea outing, we made our way to the Mouli tribe for lunch at the Didewa table d’hôte. If you want to try some of the island’s specialities in a breathtaking spot, this is the place not to be missed.

Perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the lagoon, indulging in quality products like this, prepared with care, is truly an experience to be savoured.

Whether it was the crab caught in the morning with a little homemade mayonnaise, the lobster, or the salad served in a stoup, everything was fresh and tender. It’s definitely an address we’ll be keeping and sharing with all our friends.

Hiking along the edge of the Lékiny Cliffs

After lunch, we drove 10 minutes to join Félix and his daughter at the Lékiny tribe. They came with us on a 3-hour hike along the cliffs of the same name, with a swimming break among the colourful fish.

We felt quite small in the middle of this semi-open cliff facing the Mouli bridge. The landscape is genuinely unique: it’s the first time I’ve seen a limestone rock like this. And there are plenty of hidden spots along the way.

The hike starts at the tribe, and you must be accompanied by Félix to visit this “customary and natural” reserve. It’s a good idea to bring sturdy shoes so that you’re comfortable.

Exploring the forest as far as the Anubet Grotto

For those who prefer a nature outing with a dip in freshwater, we recommend a visit to the Anubet Grotto. We’d never heard of it before, so it was a bit of an adventure when we decided to follow Kevin from the Weyep campsite to the tribe of St Paul.

As well as making us smell sandalwood, used by perfumers, helping us spot the animals, and showing us his vanilla plantation, Kevin shared his childhood memories with us, when he spent a lot of time playing in this forest with his friends. We formed a genuine connection with him during the walk, as we did with all our guides in Ouvéa.

When we finally arrived at the grotto, we felt privileged. You know it’s a rare place and that you’re lucky to have the doors to this hidden spot opened for you.

Watching the turtles in the blue holes

Between each activity, Steven and I had fun looking for the famous blue holes, described as “natural cavities dug into the rock by sea water, where marine animals can be seen”.

First, we visited the Turtle Hole, in the north of the island, where we did indeed spot a few turtles poking their heads out of the water. We also chatted to the children who were jumping in for fun. It was unusual and really cool to see.

We also found Hanawa’s blue hole, just before the Casse-Cou pass. It’s a real natural wonder just 4 minutes’ walk from the road, right in the middle of a private garden. You need to call the number provided on site and pay 500 francs per person before you can cross the vegetation to the waterhole.

A timeless moment at Mouli Bridge

Mouli Bridge is the place to be when you go to Ouvéa. You should really take the time to stop there to fully grasp the beauty of the place.

 The water is so clear that you can make out the different species of ray, the details of the many turtles, and more. There’s so much life, it’s fantastic.

Launched two years ago, the complete renovation of Mouli Bridge is nearly finished. Much bigger and more modern, it’s set to be inaugurated in September 2023.

Absolute relaxation on Fayaoué beach

While we haven’t seen everything in New Caledonia yet, Fayaoué Beach is on our must-do list!

Firstly, it’s the longest beach in New Caledonia, stretching over 25 kilometres. And as the island is sparsely populated, you can enjoy all that immaculate white sand as if you were alone in the world! It’s stunning and quite impressive.

Sunbathing, relaxing in the turquoise water, watching a magnificent sunset at the end of the day… It’s truly the ideal place for a relaxing day in a magical setting.

What else you need to know

Steven and I strongly recommend that you rent a scooter or car so that you can explore the island at your own pace. It’s best to do this before you arrive, as some vehicles are reserved well in advance by tourists, and even locals at the time of key events in the calendar (festivals, weddings, etc.).

And don’t forget that Ouvéa is customary land! To access certain sites without a guide, you need to engage with the inhabitants of each tribe and perform the customary rituals before entering. Alternatively, during major events, numerous guided tours are organised.

Anaëlle and Steven's good ideas

Find out more about all their adventures!