Relax on long white sandy beaches and snorkel among the spectacular coral reefs – that’s a typical day on the exquisite island of Lifou. An overnight sail from Nouméa or Vanuatu takes you to this tropical paradise in the Loyalty Islands. Yacht Charter is a big part of life on Lifou offering plentiful mooring possibilities. Let us help you discover this beautiful island for your next holiday charter.
Lifou is the most important of the Loyalty Islands in the archipelago of New Caledonia. This is a French overseas territory in the southern part of the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia.
It was a former coral atoll created by a submerged volcano. Over 2 million years ago, the island lifted to its present elevation, just 60 metres above sea level at its highest point. The island has a flat landscape with no hills. Despite also having no rivers, there is abundant vegetation and dense jungles. The terraced cliffs overlook sandy beaches and breathtaking coral reefs. Freshwater comes from rain seeping through the calcareous soil forming ponds on the island.
The indigenous Kanak tribes, who live on the island, descend from Melanesians and Polynesians. In total, 19 different tribes live on the three Loyalty Islands. Their native language is Drehu, which is also another name for the island of Lifou. The current high chief of the island is Evanes Boula, who is also the chief of most of the three island´s tribes.
Dumont d’Urville from France discovered the island in 1857. It became famous as a stop off for whalers and traders. Also, missionaries landed on most of the islands in this group, during the 19th-century. Both the Catholic and Protestant churches supported their mission to convert the natives and to “save their souls”. Consequently, Christianity is still apparent within some of the tribes living on the island.
The South Pacific waters are rich in marine life. The region is abundant with many species of fish, crab, lobster, and turtles. Local crops include bananas and coconuts, bananas, sweet potatoes, yam and vanilla pods. Additionally, the French introduced coffee plantations in the 19th-century, and the production of coffee continues.
France annexed the Loyalty Islands in 1864, but did not entirely colonise the region. Later, Lifou became an Aboriginal Reserve with incumbents from Australia.