For anyone who remembers the 1970s “Bounty Bar” adverts, Ouvéa island is just that kind of place. An expanse of empty white sand, tropical greenery and bright blue ocean create a postcard-worthy vista.
This island is a dreamy destination to add to your sailing holiday plans. Foreign yachts must clear at Nouméa before sailing to Ouvéa. To arrange to moor on the island, you need the tribal chief’s permission! Your local Yacht Charter company can take care of this for you.
Overnight sail from Nouméa
Ouvéa is an atoll in New Caledonia. Its an overnight sail from Nouméa or Port Vila, Vanuatu. As a commune in the Loyalty Islands, the island is one of the overseas French Territories in the Pacific Ocean.
The small village of Fayaoué serves as the administrative centre for the commune. The local people speak the languages of Iaai (Melanesian dialect) and Faga Uvea (Polynesian dialect). Due to the increasing amount of visitors to the island, many people on the island now speak some French or English. As a result of Polynesian and Melanesian tribal evolution, currently, the culture is a Kanak society.
25 km of pure white sand
Coconut palms and pines line the almost deserted beach with a backdrop of the silent volcanic mountain which presides over the island. The rich mineral soil produces lush vegetation and a crop of exotic fruits. Visitors are welcomed with a delightful mix of Melanesian and French hospitality.
How to get there
New Caledonia is an ideal South Pacific holiday destination. Firstly, head to Grand Terre, the main island. Provision up in Nouméa’s local market and you are ready for the overnight sail. When you set off, navigate eastward around the tip of Grand Terre to reach the Loyalty Islands The distance to Ouvéa is approximately 140 nautical miles. On the way, you will sail close to Prony Bay which is famous for its rainbow coloured shells and nature reserve. Opposite the bay lies the Isle of Pines – also worth a stop off.
Hiring a skipper
Chartering a yacht to sail to Ouvéa requires a reasonable level of experience in ocean cruising. Therefore, hiring a local skipper is a great way to take the stress out of your holiday and enjoy a unique island hopping adventure.
Largest lagoon on earth
New Caledonia’s lagoon is the largest on earth and listed as a World Heritage Site. While crystal clear waters caress the white sandy island beaches, deep water sailing is plentiful, out in the ocean. Passages between the islands can offer sailors a small challenge, so there is something for everyone here.
The coral islands have exceptionally beautiful reefs. Diving or snorkelling takes you on a voyage into a new underwater world, alive with colourful coral, fish and turtles.