As you approach the New Caledonian island of Lifou, the impossibly turquoise waters almost seem too surreal to believe. But they're certainly real and, in fact, the crystal-clear waters are teeming with marine life, including green sea turtles. There are three main attractions to visit on Lifou: Notre Dame de Lourdes Church at the top of the hill, Jinek Bay and the Grotto Caves. Tickets need to be purchased from the ship before disembarking to snorkel in Jinek Bay. While you can bring your snorkel gear, reef shoes are not permitted (to protect the coral). Foam (pool) noodles are available to use for free while in the bay. There is an abundance of colourful coral and marine life, and the bay is ideal for families to explore.
There is a lovely little church at the top of a hill. The walk is not overly strenuous, but comfortable, closed-toed footwear is recommended, as well as a hat and a bottle of water. There are rugged concrete steps and some parts of the climb are a little steep. There are numerous vantage points to take photos on your way to the top, so make sure you stop to take in the breathtaking scenery. Your efforts will be rewarded as the views are magnificent. The small Catholic church provides a quiet spot for reflection and a cool spot to catch your breath.
You'll find the Grotto Caves in the opposite direction. You can purchase tickets for AUD$10 at the mouth of the bush walk. The walk is challenging as there are knotted tree roots and vines along the path. It is also a steep climb down once you reach the entrance to the caves. Ensure you wear sturdy shoes, as the ground is covered with leaves and other debris. After a steep descent, you'll find a deep, cool pool -- but be careful as it's dark and slippery.
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Awards and Recognition
Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination
- 2017 Top-Rated South Pacific Destinations
Lifou Cruise Reviews
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