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The Isle of Pines

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About

The stunning Isle of Pines lies just south the main island Grande Terre, about 80 km from capital city Noumea. There are also other smaller islets within the islands encircled reef.

The island is covered with a beautiful pine tree known as the Araucaria which is offset against palm trees, white sand, and turquoise water. Under the water are spectacular colourful corals and fish.

Explorer Captain James Cook, dubbed the island, the 'Jewel of the Pacific' which is a huge thing to say for a man who visited and explored the whole South Pacific region. The indigenous people called Kunies called the island Kunié.

In the past this island was used as a convict settlement for French prisoners who became known as the 'wretches in paradise'. The island was fully handed back to the Kunies when the prison closed.

Today, the island is one of the tourist hot spots of New Caledonia and without a doubt the most beautiful island in all of New Caledonia. There is one small settlement on the island named Vao. It is dominated by a structure called Mission Church.

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Author & photographer: David Johnson (Virtual Oceania)


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