Melanesian Encounter

Part of New Caledonia but a world away, the tiny Loyalty Islands beckon with rich culture and brilliant scenery, take it all in on this informative tour of Lifou which will show you the magic of Melanesian culture, local villages and notable landmarks. Your tour begins with a drive through Easo Village with breath-taking views of Santal Bay. Keep an eye out for Notre Dame de Lourdes high up on the cliff, it’s a historic chapel constructed in 1898 by Catholic missionaries with the iron statue of Our Lady of Lourdes standing tall on the chapel's roof. Continue through Xepenehe, a coastal village with vibrant blue-green water, hand-carved totems and a charming white bridge arching between jagged rocks. Here, and in the settlement of Kumo, you’ll see traditional houses and their brightly coloured gardens. At Hnathalo village you’ll be invited to meet the local Chief in his traditional thatched-roof hut, it’s the largest in New Caledonia. Get a real insight into the local way of life as you wander through the village with your guide then learn how to cook a traditional bougna, Lifou’s version of the backyard BBQ. Yum! You can also browse for souvenirs and handicrafts made by locals. Next up, explore the St Pierre Baptist Church, a rustic chapel built by missionaries in 1883. On the journey back to port, take in the vibrant greens and blues, from sea to sky, through the open windows of the island-style bus. Special Notes: Local custom requires removing hats and shoes before entering houses. Modest attire is required for visiting local villages; knees, shoulders and midriffs must be covered; short shorts and swimwear are not allowed. It is important to ask permission before taking an individual's photograph. The bus is not air-conditioned or equipped with a PA system. Local escorts and students will act as guides who will do their best to speak English, but please keep in mind that the limited tourism infrastructure is part of Lifou's charm. Restroom facilities are rustic. To make your adventure as enjoyable as possible please wear comfortable flat-soled shoes, clothing suited to the weather conditions, bring a hat, plenty of sunscreen and bottled water.
  • Tour Code


  • Location


  • Activity Types

    Special Interest

  • Experience Types

    Culture & History

  • Duration

    2 hours

  • Fitness Level


  • Price

    Adult from $65.99
    Children (12 & under) from $39.99

  • Popular!


Be it the flora, distinctive architecture or island vistas, be sure to bring your camera along on this tour. As a courtesy, ask permission before taking photographs of the Melanesian people.


Special Notes

Please respect the local sensitivities and dress appropriately. That means no swimwear or revealing clothing. Please wear comfortable flat-soled shoes, clothing suited to the weather conditions, a hat, SPF30+ or higher factor sunscreen and bottled water. The non air-conditioned buses and vans are not fitted with microphones, however an experienced tour guide travels on each vehicle. Restroom facilities may be rustic. Please remove hats and shoes at the Chief’s Hut.

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