Shabadran Terraces, MaréShabadran Terraces, Maré
©Shabadran Terraces, Maré|Ben Thouard - The Explorers

Shabadran terraces


Get ready to uncover the mysteries of Maré, the mysterious jewel of New Caledonia’s islands! Nestled among the myriad natural wonders of this Loyalty Island, the baie de Shabadran is a hiker’s paradise, boasting a breathtaking spectacle of coral cliffs, crystal-clear coves, and lush tropical greenery. If you’re up for an adventure, the Terrasses de Shabadran hike is an absolute must on your Maré itinerary – but fair warning, it’s not for the faint-hearted! Strap on your best hiking shoes, throw on a trusty hat, and don’t forget to hydrate – this trek is a journey worth earning! Follow in the footsteps of your local guide as you unlock the secrets of Maré’s hidden gem.

Maré is one of the Loyalty Islands to the east of Grande Terre. From Nouméa, it can be reached by a 40-minute flight from the domestic Nouméa-Magenta airport. The ferry Betico 2 also operates a few rotations. The crossing from the Noumea ferry terminal takes 4-5 hours. Once there, to explore the island and get to the Terrasses de Shabadran, you’ll need to rent a vehicle. Book it in advance, and the rental company will deliver it to you at La Roche airfield or the port of Tadine. Get behind the wheel and drive the few kilometers to the tribe Kurine in the southeast of the island, the excursion’s starting point. This is where the adventure begins, first by pick-up truck, then on foot.

  • Take advantage of the Fête de l’Avocat (Avocado festival) to head to Maré and punctuate your trip with unforgettable encounters!
  • Check the weather conditions the day before your excursion and be sure to confirm the start of the hike with your local guide.
  • Respect the nature around you and remember that you’re entering customary lands.
  • Pay for the excursion in cash.
  • The lightly shaded trail and short but tricky passage require good physical condition. Not recommended for young children, the elderly or pregnant women.
  • Equip yourself with good shoes for walking on coral rock.
  • Bring water, a hat and sunscreen.
  • Excursion lasts 1 full day, but camping is possible on site (ask for info when booking).
Top 5 things to do at the Terrasses de Shabadran

1. Hiking along the coast

The hike to the Shabadran terraces is done exclusively accompanied by a guide from the Kurine tribe. You’ll first be driven by pick-up (often in the skip for an authentic experience!) through the middle of a vast coconut grove to the trailhead. Then, guided by the tribe member, you’ll hike for around two and a half hours over coral rocks to a first stop, ideal for your first impressive photos. The hike continues between a plane and a steep cliff, before descending to the beach. You’re now facing the ocean, close enough to hear the waves crashing against the rocks.

2. Swimming in natural pools

Step into a world of grey-white rocks, velvety white sand, and clear water! After a few kilometres of adventure, you’ve earned the ultimate refreshment. Hidden in this tucked-away slice of paradise are petite pools, nature’s own Jacuzzis – the perfect remedy for a sun-soaked journey. But hold your seahorses! While these natural wonders are a dream, the ocean’s a bit of a tough cookie here, so don’t go testing its limits. Stick close to the shore and let those crystal-clear pools work their magic on you!

3. Watch the horizon during whale season

From the top of the steep cliffs, the view is not only breathtaking, it’s also a prime whale-watching spot during whale season, from mid-July to mid-September. These humpback whales come to calve in the warm waters of New Caledonia. If you’ve got them, bring your binoculars!

4. Take a break in a unique setting

Get ready for the magic moment – as soon as you conquer those first peaks on the hike, brace yourself for a visual feast! Coral cliffs cascade dramatically down to the crystal-clear water, little pockets of pristine white sand creeks, and a sprinkle of tropical trees adding that perfect touch of greenery. Nature provides the perfect backdrop for what’s bound to be one of the most beautiful photos of your entire New Caledonia adventure!

5. Picnic on the beach

During the excursion, a nice break is planned to enjoy the magic of the beach sheltered from sea currents. Swimming, lounging, strolling among the rocks and a meal in the shade of the coconut palms are all on the agenda! Perfect for building up your strength before heading back to the excursion starting point.

A little tip: ask your accommodation to prepare a packed lunch for you or purchase some snacks for the road as there is nowhere to get food on site.