What to do and see in Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia: The Best Places and Tips

November 12, 2017 Major Galusha

Discover the best top things to do in Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia including Piscine Naturelle, Upi Bay, Kuto Bay, Kanumera Bay, Kunie Scuba Center, Oro Bay, Ile des Pins Private Tours, Pic N'Ga, Atoll de Nokanhui, Mana Nautique.
Restaurants in Ile Des Pins

1. Piscine Naturelle

Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia +687 46.15.15
Excellent
76%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 898 reviews

Piscine Naturelle

Reviewed By Samhainn22

This is a magnificent place to swim and snorkel. At low tide walk up the dry river bed to the bay on the other side. The white sand of the river bed, surrounded by pine trees is very special.

2. Upi Bay

Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
72%
Good
21%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 120 reviews

Upi Bay

Reviewed By RonRSydney_Australia - Sydney, Australia

Upi Bay and Isle of Pines is such a beautiful part of the South Pacific. Generally accessed by cruise ships, this is such a nice spot to visit, with sparkling clear and safe water and friendly locals.

3. Kuto Bay

Kuto Bay, Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
71%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 181 reviews

Kuto Bay

Reviewed By blackeldo - Kiama, Australia

….COULD LEAD TO A GAMBLING ADDICTION
KUTO BAY is the “sheltered” anchorage area for cruise liner shore excursions on the Isle of Pines. It’s very picaresque with deep blue water contrasting nicely with a background of tropical green hills and sparkling white curved beaches: the 1300m Plage de Kuto and 1000m hard to access Plage de Kutema.
But first - give yourself a virtual fist bump if you manage to actually get ashore. You see, the short low headlands of this south-west corner of the island doesn’t shelter the anchorage that well from prevailing south-east trades on more blustery days. This makes loading people into tenders at the ship a bit rocky – plus many don’t enjoy a rougher ride to shore. In 4 ship visits (I once flew in) I have got off the ship only twice: for one lady on our tender this latest was the first success in 6 visits.**
Once ashore after walking 100m from the tender pier you will be at the head of a narrow isthmus with PLAGE DE KUTO on the pier side and KUNAMERA BAY with the attractive PLAGE DE KAA and the popular snorkelling islet ROCHER DE KAA NUE MERA on the other. The first 150m of the isthmus between the Beaches has a good range of locals’ stalls offering the usual clothing/sarongs/hats/touristy trinkets/food/drinks/hair-braiding, massages….yada (food won’t be cheaper than the ship’s free stuff but the beer and personal grooming are) plus a wide range of island tours (village, cultural, land and water based scenic areas, fishing and more. These tend to be at a good discount to tours provided by the cruise lines.
There are some rest rooms in the area.
PLAGE DE KUTO
If you are a bucks-down micro bean-counter like me, a great NO COST way to spend time on ILES DE PINS is to turn left onto lovely PLAGE DE KUTO. This is a very sheltered beach: the south-east trades blow off the shore, where high hoop pines, coconut palmss and casuarinas impose a barrier. I have never felt more than a gentle zephyr here and the water tends to glassy conditions (the bay is a favoured mooring area for the island’s small boats and cruising yachts). Maybe the smallest ripple breaks on the sand. This is white and clean – stretching for well over a km to the north – the first 250m attracts a moderate crowd when ships call (PLAGE DE KAA with the popular snorkelling islet ROCHER DE KAA NUE MERA across the other side of the isthmus attracts more) but central and far ends of the beach see few people – just the place for seclusion-seeking sun-lovers.
Off the beach water is clear and shelves gently – the bottom is sand so snorkelers looking for coral and associated fish will be disappointed – but I have seen some nice whiting and garfish (for better snorkelling ROCHER DE KAA NUE MERA (Rock of Kanumera [bay]) is a few hundred meters across the isthmus.
The beach is devoid of any development except the RESTAURANT KU BUGNEY – this low profile place behind the sand has knockout views but I dunno if that makes the charges for food and drinks acceptable to the average cruise visitor. One thing for sure, 10K CFP ($12 AUD) for a beer didn’t entice this micro bean counter onto the Terrace. Note the low-key hotel part of this complex is inshore on the isthmus – across the road.
Trees at the back of the sand provide shade.
There is no lifeguard but conditions along here have always been very benign all my visits (I also stayed in a big resort fronting this beach for several days when I flew in [late 70s]. The resort was soon after burned down by locals protesting for independence).
PLAGE DE KAA and ROCHER DE KAA NUE MERA
After time on KUTO head the short distance across the isthmus to KUNEMERA BAY** for a nice beach area and better (but not great) snorkelling. This area has its own TRIPADVISOR PAGE where I and others have reviews and pix which may be a help.
TIPS – if you are successful in getting ashore consider this a lucky day. When back on board, head for the casino roulette wheel and put your hard-earned on whatever number/colour floats your boat. Trouble is you may have to fight your way thru repeat cruisers who also consider it their lucky day.
- If you pick a locals' tour from one of the onshore stalls, ensure there is a good overlap of time between return and the last tender departure. The ship won’t wait.
- If you simply want to have some beach/snorkelling time don’t join the queues for tickets and entry to early tenders ashore – after a few hours there is no need for tickets and queues disappear. Only people doing paid trips need to get off the ship early.
**don’t be discouraged by my stories of access problems: I’m sure others have a much better record than mine (actually LADY BLACKELDO is running 3 in 5 and my son 1 in 1). Plus this is such a nice area that I am never put off by a cruise with ISLE OF PINES on the itinerary.

4. Kanumera Bay

Isle Of Pines, Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
68%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 425 reviews

Kanumera Bay

Reviewed By pandkgraham - Alstonville, Australia

We arrived at Kanumera Bay via a 2 hour Isle tour.
The area is very nice and quiet pleasing, but it became very overcrowded...with swimmers crowding around the base of the island.
The stalls are a nice touch, several had indigenous wears for sale, but when looking at other wears...many were made in China with a little profit built in....french profit.
Some of the wears, I have seen in stalls in the markets at Phuket at a greater reduced prices.
One thing that stood out, was that the Isle of Pines was experiencing a drought and as such many of the public toilets were closed.
So it became a task to find a public toilet block that was open.
The food stalls sold local cooked produce and it was very tasty.
Overall, Kanumera Bay is a nice pace to visit...

5. Kunie Scuba Center

Bp 180 | Vao, Ile Des Pins 98832, New Caledonia
Excellent
85%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 128 reviews

Kunie Scuba Center

Reviewed By Kurt B - Perth, Australia

I booked my day of diving with Kunie Scuba Centre before leaving Australia. They were quick to respond and provided all information requested.
The dive boat is of the RIB type which is comfortable and has enough room for everybody.
The dive guide was knowledeable with very explained pre-dive briefing and easy going.
Would recommend this dive centre.

6. Oro Bay

Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
66%
Good
26%
Satisfactory
6%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 129 reviews

Oro Bay

Reviewed By 647warrenp - Brisbane, Australia

When you arrive here by sailboats its almost magical as you have always dreamt about what a tropical island and water would look like. It fulfils every imagination from sea life to historic sites and the relaxed local lifestyle!

7. Ile des Pins Private Tours

Vao, Ile Des Pins 98832, New Caledonia
Excellent
84%
Good
13%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 126 reviews

Ile des Pins Private Tours

Enjoy a private tours at Ile des Pins ! Up to 6 guests. All tours options are on my website. Email me your request and I will reply shortly. Thank you very much for your interest. Zerena

Reviewed By kiwi47 - New Zealand

We have tried to visit Ile des Pines previously, but at peak holiday times, accomodation is heavily booked as are flights.
This time we bought return day trip flights from Noumea. No rental cars were available.
After Reading reviews, we booked Zerena’s Private Full Day tour of the island ( Naturelle Piscine for next visit), for just me and my husband, although the van can take up to 6.
We were picked up at the Airport by Zerena and had a great time visiting the Grotto, vanilla garden, villages, church,Prison ruins and the most beautiful bays and Beaches.
There was a cruise ship in port, but Zerena avoided the crowds all day and finished swimming at the beautiful Port beach after the cruise passengers had gone.. Thursday’s return flight is a later one, which gave us more Island time and Zerena was kind enough to extend the usual tour time and return us later to the airport,
The visit was enhanced by Zerena having local knowledge and information on such things as the Medicinal properties of local plants.
We chose the Lobster lunch( ours was not served on a beach, like others had). Zerena suggested an Octopus Salad too and it was a delicious entree.
We had very relaxed day, and felt like we were visiting a friend. The visit ticked off Ile des Pins from my bucket list... but only made us eager to return as soon as possible and next time to stay. There is so much to see here.
I will add ,the forecast was for showers until the afternoon and 26, we had clear blue skies and mid 30’s!
A big thanks Zerena!

8. Pic N'Ga

Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
54%
Good
34%
Satisfactory
10%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 118 reviews

Pic N'Ga

Reviewed By Catlets - Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Everybody should come up here. You have an amazing view over the hole Island.
Its about an hour walk each way but well worth it. You don't need to be an experienced walker but you should wear some good shoes, Flip Flops are not advisable.
It starts with a walk thru the the woods, which is beautiful. Come here when there are no cruise ships so you are alone. There is even a geocache up on top.

9. Atoll de Nokanhui

Ile Des Pins, New Caledonia
Excellent
92%
Good
6%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 63 reviews

Atoll de Nokanhui

Reviewed By macf1an - Sofia, Bulgaria

Snow-white sand, eye-watering blue. Everywhere around you. That's pretty much what you'll experience there. If you want to have an excellent time - go when it is warm but beware of the snakes. They are absolutely everywhere and it takes some time before you start actually seeing them, as they blend really well.

10. Mana Nautique

Ile Des Pins 98832, New Caledonia
Excellent
82%
Good
8%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
2%
Terrible
7%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 109 reviews

Mana Nautique

Reviewed By nzbill - New

We were collected from our hotel and taken to the beach and onto the boat. Two other couples joined us and three crew on board. Jonathan had excellent English which was helpful for us as everyone else spoke French. Life jackets were offered but no-one took them. On reflection this was probably silly - they should at least be carried on the boat. We went turtle hunting and eventually found one. All into the water to get acquainted before it was sent on its way. Also spotted rays and sharks and dolphins. Time on a white sand island followed by a delicious lobster lunch. Some snorkelling over a lovely reef was spectacular.
A fun day out with friendly people. Expensive, but so is everything in New Caledonia!

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