Lifou Island
Lifou Island
4.5
The area
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3 within 10 kms

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles693 reviews
Excellent
329
Very good
252
Average
83
Poor
18
Terrible
11

caseyj1937
Australia429 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We stayed here for three days as part of exploring the Loyalty Islands.
It was a very laid back and basic sort of place and if this isn’t your style you will be disappointed. The whole place feels like a big country town not really a tourist destination as such.
The locals were really great, nothing was any trouble and people were generally very helpful. Definitely brush up on some basic French or get good at miming. It is good for a laugh and you can make yourself understood.
We hired a car for the day (A$105) and was able to pretty much see the whole place in a day with a snorkel in the bay where the cruise ships pull up. Not much to see there snorkeling wise, had some lunch and walked to the church.
Signage is pretty woeful in the north, easy to miss a turn as we did for Jinek Bay.
There is a small town of We where you can get supplies at a fairly decent supermarket and fuel at Total (bowsers stop at midday). Apparently it is not uncommon for the fuel to runout in the Loyalty Islands.
Beaches generally are pretty darn lovely, lots of spots for swims, walks and picnics.
We really enjoyed stopping in the south on a Saturday to watch the women’s cricket game, played in dresses! Picked up an older gent who needed a ride to town. It is common for people to stop and offer walkers a ride.
Accommodation is limited and fairly basic and expensive for what you get, but put it into context. New Caledonia generally is very expensive.
Would we come back, no. Worth the stop, yes.
Written 5 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aussietravelblogger
Australia77 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
Day cruise stop. Due to weather we didn't venture too far from beach, and did not go on an organised tour. Reach shore by tender boat, short walk to beach, swimming was nice, water temperature was cool but not cold. Reef shoes are best as sand and water edge is shells and stones. People were snorkelling, due to rain the visibility was not so clear, we personally didn't see any fish or coral.
Local markets are typical for island stops, limited choice and variety but you will find trinkets or local dresses or bags to buy. Massages also available, not much privacy, shelters are crowded and passers-by can see. Limited bathroom facilities. A pleasant day, despite the intermittent rain and threatening storms. It was worthwhile getting off the ship for a swim.
Written 26 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jenjo2222
Adelaide, Australia32 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Lovely Island, had a nice walk to the Church up on the hill. Take your own snorkeling gear and reef shoes with you. You don't need to have a tour to the other side of the island, which is very expensive and a rip off. I have been many times to the island and you can swim right near the jetty and see lots of fish and turtles. You can easily spend the morning there and back on ship for lunch. Even if you don't swim it is nice to get off the ship for a couple of hours and at least have a walk around.
Written 20 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mikenliz
Perth, Australia159 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
Nice island, we walked from the cruise terminal to Jinek Bay (not far), where you can purchase a ticket to snorkel in the marine reserve.
Beautiful clear water, with many shallow areas if required.
Very scenic. Well worth a visit
Written 9 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rabbs27
Vancouver, Canada745 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2019
we tought about going and doing some exploring of the island. but instead we went to the closest beach from the port, and it was nice. a bit crowded from the cruise but you could still go out snorkeling and find a nice spot in the shade.
Written 18 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lastword2016
Edinburgh, UK533 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
This was a late change of destination because we were unable to land on the Isle of Pines, so we knew little about it before we landed. However, we loved it! It’s part of New Caledonia, and it matched our expectation of what a small South Pacific island would be like. The people were friendly, and they warmly welcomed us to their homeland. The island was very pretty, with palm-fringed beaches, and beautiful water, and above all, very peaceful. It felt unspoiled. We walked on country roads, paddled in the sea, and just enjoyed being in a little bit a paradise at the other side of the world. Lovely.
Written 14 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DrNeilG-UK
Manchester, UK91 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
This is a very picturesque island. We visited as part of our cruise. We did not have any trips planned so explored ourselves. We walked up to the cathedral which was a pleasant walk and it was good to see the views when we got to the top. The sea was beautiful and it was pleasant to sit on the sand and relax for a short while. We noticed that there was broken glass on the beach and surrounding areas and one cruise passenger told us that they sat down next to a used condom! Perhaps some cleaning up of the beach is required. We had a good couple of hours and the views were beautiful and picturesque. I would not prioritise a visit to the island but that is always easy to say when you have already had the opportunity to go.
Written 26 December 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

GregoryBBundaberg
Bundaberg, Australia170 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2014 • Friends
We are regular Cruisers to Lifou, 2 or 3 times a year so we know it fairly well. If you are relatively fit, people with us are from 50 to 74 years old, so you dont need to be super fit but enjoy a walk. Once you have tendered to the beach then walk up through the stalls, shortest way up (the stairs are the quickest). Dont worry about renting bikes, they are $15 per hour and you cant ride anywhere and back in an hour. The local 2 hour tours are $30 and their is NO GUIDE and you aren't allowed to talk to the driver. Best way is to walk, head up the roadway and turn left, you have a K or so to flat track on bitumen to two great sites. First is church of Our Lady of Lourdes, this is an arduous climb to the church BUT well worth it so take your time and walk slowly up the pathway. The view to the Coral Sea and your ship is unsurpassed. This church has been completely renovated by the local Community who use the church. There is now solar powered lights as well as a covered area. After doing this head back down and start walking on the road back to the ship, about 500 metres from the bottom of the hill climb you will see a road turn to the left, follow this down to the waters edge. Here is some magnificent coral and fish, great snorkeling BUT the locals have a team there and they will charge you A$15.00 each to ENTER the water. It is worthwhile if you are a snorkeler, great underwater views. After leaving here head back up the road towards the ship, walk past the ship turnoff and keep heading up the coastal road. You will come across another Catholic operational church on the left hand side and opposite it a mini museum with local history. Beside this is a well decorated cemetery in traditional Kanak splendor. NOW, beside this is a $10 cave experience, WOW, this is fabulous and only $10 each to climb down through the caves, it is a rope assist down and up and there is one squeeze which is ok and you can walk through but the view and experience is priceless. Up the road on the opposite side is a resort for locals and we just walk in there and down to the waters edge for a beautiful view of the ship and great snorkeling but be careful, it is open water and can be dangerous. Lots of sea caves around there.
Written 8 June 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

susieque29
Sydney, Australia73 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2012 • Family
Watch the exchange rate when you arrive at the island. The people offering tours unashamedly round up the rate to benefit themselves and overcharge so much! They will accept Australian dollars, which we did not know until after we arrived, which makes life easier. You do not have to get a tour guide to have an amazing snorkel experience. Once you arrive, follow the road up the hill a short distance and turn left (right heads you to the church). Walk about 5 mins along the road till it forks. Take the right hand fork and you will be at a rocky lagoon like area. There are clean toilets here (unlike other places in New Caledonia). You climb down the rocks and on to either rough stairs, or wooden steps, and into the warm ocean and instantly be amazed at the coral and fish. This is the BEST place in NC to snorkel. Go out as far as you can, off sea ledges and be amazed. It was like a scene from a movie! The white sand makes the water impossibly blue. I could not count the different types of fish I saw. The colours are surreal! We loved this place and would return again. Take reef shoes as there is a lot of coral in the sand and just under the grass on land.
Written 21 December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Counting_The_Miles
Wyong, Australia9 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
Stopped off in Lifou on a Royal Caribbean cruise over Christmas/New Year 2014. Ended up being one of the busier day trips off the ship with plenty to keep us amused for the day. Have to get tendered into shore from the ship as it anchors in Santal Bay. When you arrive you have a few options.

1. NOTRE DAME De LOURDES CHURCH : Head up the hill from where the tender drops you and turn left at the tar road. About 500m along the road it splits. Continue to the left and you'll soon come to an open area with a couple of totem poles either side of a concrete pathway. This is the entry path to the church at the top. The climb isn't too bad, only one bit makes you puff a bit and takes 5-10 mins at an easy pace. No cost to enter the church at the top and there's a good opportunity on the way up to take a photo of the cruise ship anchored in the bay. It's a small church, nothing special but nice enough and 20-25 min walk to get there is very pleasant.

2. SNORKELING at JINEK BAY: Only an approx 10-15 min stroll from where the cruise tender drops you off. Head straight up the hill to the tar road and turn left heading in the direction of the church but veer to the right where it splits and you'll come to Jinek Bay. Have read a lot of people say they had to book a snorkeling pass before going. We didn't. Just turned up and paid the locals at the site the $15AUD each with no problem. Kids reckon it was worth every cent as it was by far the best snorkeling on the whole trip. Colourful coral and loads of fish!

3. CHURCH OF EASO : A short walk (15-20 mins) from the tender drop off. Head up the hill and turn right at the tar road. Church was built in the 1890's.

4. LOCAL BUS TOUR : Grab a taxi/mini bus for a private tour, cost negotiable. A couple of our older family members did this and enjoyed the drive around. Took them to the Church of Easo and corresponding cemetery, local village etc

5. SWIM IN SANTAL BAY : If you don't wish to walk to the churches or snorkel in Jinek Bay you can simply bob about in Santal Bay where the tender drops you off. There's canoes and kayak hire if you like and we even got to swim with a sea turtle that was happily swimming around!

6. MARKETS : Take a wander through the markets set up by the locals although same type of products that you'll find on the other island stops. Found them to be a little more expensive than the other Vanuatu stops.

Overall, we found this a good stop as we spent the whole day on the island rather than find ourselves back on the ship just after lunch.
Written 18 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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LIFOU ISLAND (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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