Cliffs of Lékiny, OuvéaCliffs of Lékiny, Ouvéa
©Cliffs of Lékiny, Ouvéa|Ben Thouard - The Explorers

Lékiny Cliffs


Facing the Mouli bridge south of Ouvéa, the high Falaises de Lékiny (Lékiny cliffs) are visible from afar. Standing in the heart of a protected reserve, there’s only one option for visiting them: enlist the help of local tribal guide Félix Alosio. The excursion lasts around 2h30 and promises to be one of the most beautiful experiences in New Caledonia!

The Loyalty Island of Ouvéa is less than a 40 minutes by flight from Nouméa-Magenta domestic airport. Once there, it’s a good idea to rent a car or scooter (book in advance) to get to the island’s sites of interest. Located south-east of Ouvéa, it’s possible to catch a glimpse of the Lékiny Cliffs from the pont de Mouli. But to get close enough to enjoy the exceptional natural setting, you’ll need to be accompanied by a guide from the Lékiny tribe.

  • Book your outing at least 24 hours in advance.
  • The outing is subject to a fee and depends on tide times.
  • Bring snorkelling equipment (fins, mask, snorkel) and ideally water shoes.
  • Closed shoes are essential for walking on the limestone rocks.
Top 5 things to do at the Lekiny Cliffs

1. Guided tours along the cliffs

Embark on an unforgettable adventure with a guided stroll by a Lékiny tribe member, tracing the enchanting Hnymek sea arm that stands as a natural boundary against the rugged, towering cliffs pockmarked with mysterious caves. Brace yourself for a visual feast, where the hues play a starring role – from the mesmerising turquoise of the lagoon to the deep, soulful blue of the mighty ocean. The journey unfolds along a shaded cliffside balcony, a scenic masterpiece carved by the relentless forces of erosion. Find yourself midway up amidst limestone columns, soaking in the awe-inspiring views. Cap off this epic excursion with a splash of palm-walking through crystal-clear waters teeming with an underwater wonderland – a living, breathing aquarium showcasing a kaleidoscope of colourful species. Set aside a solid two hours for this hike, covering a distance of 3.7 km round trip.

2. Bathing beneath the limestone cliffs

One of the highlights of the guided tour is the moment when you leave the steep rocks to descend to the lagoon and swim with the fish! Equipped with mask, fins and snorkel, we admire the colorful seabed. As Lékiny Bay is classified as an “customary and natural reserve“, swimming at this site without a guide present is a no-go. Fish, rays, and even sharks swing by for a family reunion, especially during the baby-birthing season from November to December. It’s an underwater spectacle in an untouched paradise that you won’t want to miss.

3. Discover the chapel set in a rock cavity

The route to the Lekiny Cliffs first reaches a grotto that was once used as a cyclone shelter, then a chapel dating from 1963. The latter was built to commemorate the rescue of Illians who found refuge here during the deadly hurricane of 1953.

Did you know?

When the plague struck Ouvéa between the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the sick were quarantined in the caves of the Falaises de Lékiny.

“These caves are taboo because our elders are buried there. We can still see skeletons in certain cavities.”

Félix Alosio, local tribal guide of the Falaises de Lékiny

4. Observe the seabed from the belvedere

overlooking the lagoon

Climbing along the cliffs also opens the door to one of the most beautiful views on Ouvéa island. From their 40-metre heights, the Falaises de Lékiny overlook the entire southern part of the island, with a breathtaking panorama over the bays of Lékiny and Fayava, the Mouli bridge and the islet Fayava. The water is so translucent that it’s easy to spot the multicolored fish swimming in the lagoon.

5. Picnic on the beach at Lékiny campsite

Here’s a savvy tip for you – hit up your accommodation for a cheeky packed lunch (usually rocking a top-notch sandwich), and brace yourself for a meal with a view of an incredible panorama of the iconic Lékiny cliffs. From the sandy shores, you will also be able to feast your eyes on the picturesque pont de Mouli and kick back in a cool, shady ironwood park.