Welcome the Loyalty Islands, a world apart where men lives with nature.
For those who know a bit New Caledonia, you know certainly about the Loyalty Islands, for all the others, and for those who are interested, we are going to make a general point on these islands and useful information to know.
Since we are here, in particular since we went to Lifou, we hear about the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia, but what it is exactly?
Besides the fact that they are islands (that you will have understood), with incredible beaches, and wonderful landscapes which will remain for ever engraved in your memory, it is also a place where people are open-handed, where you will always feel as a guest, and where the Kanak culture have a lot of importance and history.
A bit of geography
The Loyalty Islands province is situated approximately 125 km away of the East coast of the Great Land of New Caledonia.
It’s composed from north to south of four main islands of coral origin : Ouvéa, Lifou, Tiga and Maré. There are also numerous small islands surroundings, as well as the cliffs of Beautemps-Beaupré in the northwest of Ouvéa.
Loyalty Islands covers a total surface of 1 981 km², that is approximately 10 % of the territory of New Caledonia. A magic piece of confetti in the heart of the Pacific.
The province of Loyalty Islands consists of three customary areas : Iaaï ( Ouvéa), Drehu ( Lifou), Nengone ( Maré).
A bit of history
Just like New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands have its own history.
They were discovered by the Europeans in 1793. From 1840 the Protestants missionaries and Catholics fight to evangelize the natives and convert them. The success of the English Protestant missionaries explains that Loyalty Islands are even today, with strong Protestant majority and that numerous Anglo-Saxon traditions remain still alive.
They were annexed by France just in 1864. Unfit to an intensive colonization, they will be established in native reserve, a status which will definitively forge the history of the archipelago and the particular character of the Loyaltiens.
Consisted to 97 % of Melanesian, Loyalty Islands count less than 10 % of the total population of New Caledonia and loses every year inhabitants exiling themself on the Great Land to look for work there, or to follow the schooling of the children.
Loyalties people are very rooted in the custom and the oral traditions, the custom governs life of all, at any time and even in the civil conflicts.
The earth is in the center of the Melanesian culture. Loyalty having never been administratively colonised, almost all of the territory is established by customary lands, on which the traditional authorities hold multiple rights. The first occupiers are still have control of the ground.
( Source http: // www.iles-loyaute.com)
But they are especially people with the heart on the hand, that will be pleased to welcome you, to make you discover their way of life. The tourist is always a guest there … On the condition of knowing how to respect this difficult balance in the meeting between two persons of various culture.
A Code of Business Ethics of the traveler
To being able to maintain this fragile balance and respect needs and rights of its hosts, the Province of Loyalty Islands set up a Code of Business Ethics of the traveler to make the tourism a vector of development while respecting and by encouraging the cultural diversity of the peoples.
It is what we call the sustainable tourism …
You can get yourself this charter in all the touristic places and i site, or pdf by clicking on the image.
Only has to remain the print of our steps …
Islands Loyalty : useful information
- When to come ? There is no more convenient period to come to visit loyalty, the weather is often very beautiful. Off season and except school holidays, it will show you its nature, but it is also interesting to participate in the big parties as the one of the Yam in March. Be also on the lookout for the IBozu offers twice a year, which allow you to save on the transport and the accommodation.
- How to come ? By plane with Air Caledonia from the aerodrome of Magenta. If you do not stay for a long time in New Caledonia, and that you wish to make several islands, there is a pass which can be interesting. By Boat with Betico.
- Is a visa needed ? If you are French or European, you don’t need a visa to come to New Caledonia. For others, the visa is beyond a stay of 3 months. Being short-term tourists visa, you will need to show a ticket of exit of the territory.
- The currency : in New Caledonia, the currency is the Frank Pacific (1€=119,33 cfp or xpf). You can pay in check or by Credit Card, but it’s better to have enough cash for all the small transactions or activities.
- The time zone is the same than in Nouméa GMT+10 (9 in summer time)
- The climate is tropical, Loyalty benefits of eternal spring. It makes an average of 25°C, it could be a bit cold at night in winter, take warm clothes and sleeping bags from May till October.
- The health : there are pharmacies on all the islands as well as hospital or health centers for the small cuts, plan a first-aid kit. Plan good anti-mosquitoes because there are few mosquito nets, nevertheless the dengue is a bit present on loyalty because of its low population density.
- The water is drinkable everywhere, often it is some filtered rainwater, having no sanitary risk
- Animals are not dangerous in New Caledonia, even if the shark attacks make the news these last days, they remain exceptions. On islands, do not disturb striped snakes (very venomous snakes) which are the only dangerous but too lazy and kind to be afraid
- The electricity is the same than in France, all the holiday cottages are supplied with it. On the other hand most of the holiday cottages have not any hot water. Trust me, we can live with it.
- The driving : we lead to the right everywhere, the caution and the speed limit (from 30 to 50 kph) is imperative around tribes to protect the local populations walking, especially the children. You can rent car, scooter or bike according to your desires. Hitch hiking is a rather common practice which works well on Loyalty, Watch when the night comes (no light and often alcoholized people).
I think of having made the tour of informations about Loyalty Islands. Know that although the Island of Pines is a part of the South Province, almost all the information above also applies to it, including as regards the kindness of people you will have understood ! 😉
And as usual, we wait for your comments, for your experiences and for your further informations !
And because the images are better than the words, I leave you with this video of Loyalty Islands …
Do not forget to travel flatware and take advantage of 5 % of reduction on your Chapka insurance.
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