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It’s easy to see why Isle of Pines is commonly referred to as the jewel of the pacific. Its beauty is simply breathtaking.
Captain James Cook was the first European to discover Isle of Pines in 1774 on his second voyage to New Zealand. He gave the island its name after seeing the tall native pines for which it is famous. Cook never set foot on the island, but noted it was inhabited because he saw smoke. The 1840’s saw the arrival of missionaries - Protestant then Catholic, as well as traders looking for precious sandalwood. In 1872 the island became a penal colony for 3000 French convicts. Today, nearly 140 years later, the island is less populated than previously and remains extremely protected by the tribal system.
1958 (2014 census)
Guest favourites, the most booked Shore Tours at this port
Our handpicked Shore Tours are a must for any guest.
Scattered across the island you’ll notice the distinctive, yet beautiful araucaria conifer trees. Fittingly, it’s these very trees that earned the island it’s name when Captain James Cook sighted it back in 1774.
Enjoy our scenic boat tour around the nearby bays and islets. Head out to Turtle Bay home to loggerhead and green turtles in their natural environment, if the turtles are feeling really friendly, you might be able to join them in the water for a swim! Take a dip or a stroll, or simply relax on the white sand of the uninhabited islet known as Brush Island.
Shop for souvenirs including handicrafts, clothing and sandalwood products at small stalls plotted along the main bay.
Snorkel and spend some time relaxing on the beach. Remember that climbing onto the islet in the middle of the bay is strictly tabu and should not be attempted.
The island is well known for its limestone caves. The grotto of Queen Hortense is one of the largest and most impressive and can be viewed on our “Island Discovery” tour.
Your ship will anchor offshore and the ship’s tender boats will transfer you ashore.
There are limited taxis on the island, but there are some local transfers available ashore. Make sure you agree on a price before commencing your journey.
Food and drink is sometimes available for purchase onshore. Quarantine authorities do not generally allow food such as fruit and vegetables, dairy and meat products or sandwiches to be taken off the ship, however commercially packaged confectionery, chips and bottled drinking water are allowed subject to inspection.
Local handicrafts including hats, sarongs (known locally as pareo), bags and other items of clothing are available from small markets and stalls. Some sandalwood products, including the precious, aromatic oil derived from the roots and inner wood of the trunk, can also be purchased. Any souvenirs that are made of plant material or animal products must be declared to quarantine authorities on arrival in Australia or New Zealand. Plant material such as certain seeds and animal products including feathers may be restricted or need to be treated at the owners’ expense on arrival in Australia or New Zealand.
Situated just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, New Caledonia’s climate is tropical. It’s warm and dry most of the year with afternoon trade winds helping to keep humidity low.
Australian dollars are accepted but change may not be available. We recommend that you take small denominations of Australian dollars and local currency ashore. For convenience, you should consider changing money onboard the ship before heading ashore.
There are limited public telephones and no internet access available in the Isle of Pines. Mobile coverage may be available as long as global roaming is selected prior to leaving home.
To make your day ashore as enjoyable as possible, please wear comfortable flat soled shoes, lightweight clothing and a hat - and don’t forget your swimwear! You are also advised to bring sunscreen and bottled water. Remember to take a jacket during the cooler months. When visiting local villages, huts and churches please respect the local customs. Males, wear t-shirts with sleeves - no singlets. Women should wear skirts or shorts that fall below the knee and cover their shoulders. Please also remove your hats when entering buildings.
There are a range of tours available for you to really get the most out of your time in Isle of Pines. Tours can be booked onboard at the Shore Tours desk and are subject to availability. Passengers are required to meet at a specific location for each Shore Tour departure. Please refer to your tour ticket for the correct time and place.
Coral is an extremely precious marine organism. In an effort to preserve its natural beauty and habitat please avoid touching it in all circumstances. Furthermore, just as with Australia’s beaches, blue bottles can visit occasionally in the summer months. During your time ashore we also ask that you dispose of your rubbish thoughtfully.