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What to do in Lifou, New Caledonia

Published 29th Dec 2023

So you have done a bit more research on New Caledonia, and after hitting the amazing city of Noumea you want to explore the islands? Fantastic!

Isle of Pines is the natural choice, being so close to the main island of Grand Terre, it is also incredibly famous. However, if you venture a little further to the Loyalty Islands, we know you will be blown away with the abundant beauty, culture, food, scenery & wildlife of the Islands. Lifou is an incredible choice, and if you have the opportunity to stay overnight, you definitely should (minimum 3 days is recommended, if you have the time!)

Lifou is a short 40 minute flight from Noumea, with regular flights operating, this is the fastest and most convenient way to get there. You will depart from Noumea Magenta Airport, which is conveniently located around 10 minutes drive from the city centre of Noumea.

Your alternative is a ferry across to Lifou from Noumea, the high-speed ferry takes approximately 2 hours each way.

Get a car!

We don’t say this lightly, Lifou is a LOT bigger than you imagine it is! at over 1100km squared, Lifou is the largest atoll in the world, and a little larger than Singapore for comparison.

The roads are quiet, so if you are looking to dip your toes into driving on the right-hand side, this could be a good place to learn.

The roads are fantastic to drive on, and all attractions are easily accessible by car and some have short walks to reach.

Contact the Spacifica Travel team to assist in renting a car on Lifou!

Where to stay?

If you are lucky enough to spend some decent time in Lifou, you have a few options, all dependant on your budget & needs.

A wonderful budget hotel Oasis de Kiamu can be found in Jozip, nearly halfway down the island, roughly a 30 minute drive from the airport. This is a very comfortable bed, hospitable service and amazing home cooked food (oh did we mention they make their own rum varieties??)

If you want something a little more resort style, opt for the Drehu Village, this hotel has large rooms with balconies, oceanfront, and plenty of places to relax after a long day adventuring.

If you prefer the indulgence of 5 star, The Intercontinental Lifou Wadra Bay Resort is scheduled to open in early 2024. It is a beautiful boutique hotel with all the 5 star luxuries, and can be found in Wadra Bay, about 50 minutes drive from Lifou Airport at the bottom of the island of Lifou in a pristine and serene location.

Spacious rooms, on site spa, gym and restaurants alongside a large lagoon built for rehabilitating injured turtles, this hotel is a beautiful way to showcase the Island of Lifou.

So then what?

Alright let’s talk activities. Lifou is a wild and rugged landscape full of hidden swimming holes and crashing cliffs. A short drive will have you going from ocean level natural swimming holes to 200m above sea level at a lookout.

A must see is the Jokin cliffs, this is best left to the afternoon, where you can walk down the steps to the ocean and go for a snorkel. Any and all sealife is abundant, and the water is so clear will feel as though you have stepped into a Disney film. After a swim, make sure to catch the sunset over the water, a truly magic experience.

Did someone say Vanilla? Vanilla on Lifou is a must-see. There are multiple plantations, and some roadside stalls where you can purchase vanilla from farm direct.

Vanilla House is a great way to be shown the entire production of Vanilla, from growing, to harvesting, sweating and drying the vanilla and how it is graded for sale. You can purchase many vanilla products from the small store on site.

Swim, Swim, Swim! There are so many beaches scattered around Lifou, a personal favourite of ours are the Ocean Pools or rock pools.

These are naturally formed pools nearby the church at Baie de Jinek, near the township of Easo. The rough rocks overtime have worn into pristine calm ocean pools which are easy to access and safe to swim in.

How do I book?

Lifou, New Caledonia is such a special place. If you need any help looking for further suggestions or assistance booking your island getaway, get in touch with the team at Spacifica Travel who can help with all things New Caledonia & surrounds on 1800 800 722 or email where our 7 days a week team would be happy to help!

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