January 17th and 18th, 2005

Ouvéa is one of 3 islands that form "Les Iles Loyautés". It's the northern-most one. The island is mostly known for its sandy beaches. The west coast of the island features 25 km of thin white sandy beaches facing a turquoise blue lagoon.

I was also fortunate to go scuba diving the second day, and we managed to see many things I had never seen before, not even in an aquarium. We saw a manta ray, for instance, about 3 or 4 meters wide, swiming around us at about 2 meters. Sometimes, we thought we could almost touch it. We also saw several types of sharks, a tuna (thon dent-de-chien), and myriads of angel fish, butterfly fish, surgeon fish, clown fish, etc. I can't say that I was disappointed not to see a turtle, as we had seen so many things already, and because I briefly saw one during my first dive in the Nouméa area.

All pictures are available either in tar or zip formats. Also available is a tar archive of the original pictures, before being reworked (these are actually the same). Note that the tarballs contain all the pictures I took, not just the ones I present on this page.

Ouvéa, the northern island.

Ouvea is actually made of two islands that were joined by a bridge. There's Ouvea, which is by far the longest of the two, and Mouli. The bridge is named "Pont de Mouli", which means Mouli Bridge.

Ouvéa is not very big, but is is shaped all in length. It's about 40km in length, but some parts of the width of the island do not exceed 40m. The largest width is probably below 5 km. So we rented a car to visit this island. The other option was bikes, but we had a lot of rain the first day.

Apart from the kms of sandy beaches on the west coast of this island, the drive across the island was a bit monotonous. There were a few communities to see a a few points of interest, but nothing significant.

Coconut tree field in the northern tip of Ouvéa.


Mouli is the southern peninsula. It stopped being considered an island after Mouli Bridge was built. It is much smaller to Ouvéa, about 10km long, and also shaped all in length.

Pont de Mouli (Mouli Bridge).

It's amazing what you can see from this bridge. The bridge is the boundary of a marine reserve lying on the east side. So if you look east from the bridge for a few minutes, you are almost guarantied to spot some eagle rays, or some turtles. If you'r lucky, you can see a shark once in a while. We also saw a huge flock of mackrels just below the bridge.

Just west of the bridge, this is the start of the sandy beach of Mouli, which runs almost all the way to the southern tip of this peninsula. We're looking north, and facing "La Passe de Lifou" (Lifou Pass) above which Mouli Bridge has been build. Just beyond is Ouvéa.

East side of Mouli, just 200 meters south of Pont de Mouli.

Because we are on the east side, this is a marine reserve. It is permitted to have a dip, as long as you do not go father than a few meters from the shore. Boats are permited in the reserve, though.

The same beach, now looking south.

Still from the same beach, now looking east. The island we see is "Fayawa Wasaü Island". It's a very small island of about 1/2 km2.


We took the plane between Nouméa and Ouvéa. On the way back, the weather was good, and we managed to see some nice atolls. The pictures are not very good unfortunately, but they give an idea of how beautiful the area is.