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Lifou, New Caledonia

Lifou Island or Drehu in the local language is the largest, most populous and most important island of the Loyalty Islands (Loyalty Islands Province), in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. With a total area of 1,207 square kilometers Lifou is located east of Australia at 20.9°S 167.2°E / -20.9; 167.2.

Background

First discovered by the Frenchman Dumont d’Urville in 1857, it was soon visited by whalers and traders, and became a destination for Protestant and Catholic Missionaries out to save the local populations' souls. In 1864 the islands were annexed by France who in turn established it as an Aboriginal Reserve as it was not believed suitable for extensive colonialization.

Administration

The island is part of the... Read more

Lifou, New Caledonia

Destination:

Lifou Island or Drehu in the local language is the largest, most populous and most important island of the Loyalty Islands (Loyalty Islands Province), in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean. With a total area of 1,207 square kilometers Lifou is located east of Australia at 20.9°S 167.2°E / -20.9; 167.2.

Background

First discovered by the Frenchman Dumont d’Urville in 1857, it was soon visited by whalers and traders, and became a destination for Protestant and Catholic Missionaries out to save the local populations' souls. In 1864 the islands were annexed by France who in turn established it as an Aboriginal Reserve as it was not believed suitable for extensive colonialization.

Administration

The island is part of the commune (municipality) of Lifou, in the Loyalty Islands Province of New Caledonia. The administrative center of the commune is located at Wé, on the east side of Lifou Island at Chateaubriand Bay. The local currency is the CFP Franc (French Pacific Franc).

Geography

Irregular in shape, Lifou Island is 81 km (50 mi) long and 16 to 24 km (10 to 15 miles) wide. The island is flat with no hills or rivers, but has abundant vegetation, dense interior jungles, fertile soils, terraced cliffs and breath taking reefs and corals.

Lifou Island is a former coral atoll that was part of a submerged volcano. Nearly 2 million years ago, the island was uplifted to its present shape and elevation, today it sits at a mere 60m above sea level at its highest point. Since there are no rivers on Lifou, the water comes from rain that seeps through the calcareous soil and forms freshwater ponds.

Economy

Tourism is a major industry on the island. Chief exports include copra, rubber, vanilla and sugarcane.

Culture

The term Kanak is used for natives of the islands and their native language of the island is Drehu, with people descending from Melanesians and Polynesians. With a total of 19 different tribes inhabiting the three Loyalty Islands, six of which are on Lifou.


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Lifou, New Caledonia: Port Information


Cruise ships anchor offshore, and passengers are transported ashore by tender boats (close to the village of Easo).
The Easo beach is very beautiful. 

Get around Lifou, New Caledonia


Everything you need is within walking distance.

What to see in Lifou, New Caledonia


The islands' beautiful water is prime for snorkeling and swimming. Jinek Bay, a natural marine reserve, along with Jokin Bay on the northern shore of Lifou are stunning in their coral and marine life including sea turtles.

What to do in Lifou, New Caledonia


Lifou is known for its snorkeling.
Corals are spectacular. 

What to eat and drink in Lifou, New Caledonia


With its rich Pacific waters fish including crab, lobster, turtle are in abundance, along with typical raised animals such as goat, pig and chicken. Crops include coconut, banana, taro, sweet potato, yam and vanilla. While the French introduction of coffee stayed on.

Shopping in Lifou, New Caledonia


You can buy local food and souvenirs near the pier.  

Safety in Lifou, New Caledonia


New Caledonia is fairly safe, but it is wise to take the following precautions:
  • When snorkeling, avoid contact with sea urchins, which are often poisonous, and coral structures, which can cause scrapes that swell badly and take a long time to heal.
  • Sea kraits (tricot rayé) are commonly seen in shallow lagoons and have a potentially lethal venom. However, bites are rare since they are not aggressive when left alone and only attack when threatened.
There are sharks, some of them quite large, though Great White Sharks are rare. Avoid shark attacks by:
  • Not carrying fish that you have caught (and may be bleeding) while in the water.
  • Facing the shark, so that to the shark you appear large, vertical and difficult to bite.

Language spoken in Lifou, New Caledonia


Without some basic understanding of the French Language, it makes it difficult to get around on the island. 

LOCAL TIME

11:32 am
September 16, 2019
Pacific/Noumea

CURRENT WEATHER

19.65 °C / 67.37 °F
sky is clear
Mon

20.11 °C/68 °F
light rain
Tue

20.65 °C/69 °F
light rain
Wed

20.45 °C/69 °F
light rain
Thu

21.05 °C/70 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

XPF

1 USD = 0 XPF
1 EUR = 0 XPF
1 GBP = 0 XPF
1 AUD = 0 XPF
1 CAD = 0 XPF

Latest travel blogs about Lifou, New Caledonia




The Lifou Island. New Caledonia


The Lifou Island  is one of the smallest, remote and most backward islands, which compose New Caledonia. There are three tribal districts, a few villages, and 8000 inhabitants. There are neither rivers nor lakes. Drinking water is extracted in the caves. There are neither cities nor...

This cruise was very affordable.  And here is a detailed report on the cruise "To the Aborigines, or a Total Solar Eclipse". Sydney - Brisbane - Hamilton Island - Mackay - Lifou (New Caledonia) - Isle of Pines - Noumea - Sydney We spent one day on the fauna of Australia...
We continue our  tour around Lifou Island . The driver brought us to a beautiful deserted 1.2-mile (2 km) long Chateaubriand Beach located near the village of We. The beach near the pier is called Easo. The majority of the tourists go there. The sea bottom is not very...
Lifou Island  was the second stop of our cruise. The stop lasted from 8 am to 5 pm. The cruise ship remained in the harbor not far from Baie de Sandal located on the west of the island. It got its name from a big amount of sandalwood that used to be there before. Tourists are...