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New Caledonia Travel Guide

Kuto Bay, Isle of Pines
Long white sands face Kuto Bay, Isle of Pines.

Speleology

The Isle of Pines boasts three important caves, each one different from the others. Using the map, Paradise Cave is very easy to find: Take the obvious path to the right at the end of the access road. Much of the cave is flooded, and there are refreshing pools where you can take a dip.

The Oumagne Caves are near Touété village, a 30-minute walk from the airport. The cave floor is relatively level, and a large opening at the far end provides lighting. A fast-flowing stream disappears into the cave as swarms of swallows circle overhead.

The trail to Ouatchia Cave begins about a 40-minute walk southeast of the Oumagne Caves. It's a bit hard to find and getting a guide to lead you along the narrow underground passage past some sparkling white formations would be a good idea. Ouatchia Cave is by far the most difficult of these three caves, but it's also the best.

Scuba Diving

The top reef diving is at Gadji Pass off the north end of the island, especially the Gie Island Drop-off and fantastic Oupere Grotto. The strong tidal flow means abundant marinelife and spectacular coral and sponge coloration, which can be appreciated through rents in the reef.

The Scuba Center also offers freshwater diving into Paradise Cave, with its huge stalactites and stalagmites—truly a unique experience.

Scuba diving is arranged by the Kunié Scuba Center, based at the Hotel Kodjeue. There's a surcharge if fewer than four divers are present.