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Panoramic photo by Richard Chesher PRO EXPERT MAESTRO Taken 03:29, 23/10/2009 - Views loading...

Lifou Accommodation New Caledonia Helen Gaze

The World > Pacific Ocean Islands > Melanesia > New Caledonia > Loyalty Islands > Lifou

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On the island of Lifou, one of the four Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia, the people retain their ancient style of architecture as part of their daily lives. Generally a newly married couple build the traditional thatched hut first - called a Case (pronounced "Cahz")- and then later they often build a western style home. But even when their modern home is finished they continue to use the thatched hut as their bedroom and for family meetings. It is actually quite rare to find well maintained traditional homes in the south Pacific these days.

Some families - like this one at Chez Helen Gaze - have made cases available to visitors and this is known as "tribal accommodation". It is pretty basic by western standards - you just sleep on mats (sometimes mattresses) on the floor. Sheets and pillows are supplied but no soap or towels. You can go inside this one for a virtual look.

For full contact details and locations of where you can stay with a family in Lifou be sure to visit Accommodation Loyalty Islands

Visit the official Destination Iles Loyalte website for Lifou, Loyalty Islands

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Nearby images in Lifou

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A: Lifou Beach Tour New Caledonia Helen Gaze

by Richard Chesher, 20 meters away

Just a few paces from Helen Gaze's guest "cases"  there is a nice little beach with plenty of shade t...

Lifou Beach Tour New Caledonia Helen Gaze

B: Lifou New Caledonia Accommodation Helen Gaze Inside

by Richard Chesher, 20 meters away

This is the inside of the traditional thatched hut that visitors stay in at Chez Helen Gaze of the Mu...

Lifou New Caledonia Accommodation Helen Gaze Inside

C: Lifou tour New Caledonia Vanilla Plantation Mou

by Richard Chesher, 590 meters away

Many people on Lifou grow vanilla for sale to visitors and for export to other countries of the world...

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D: Lifou Traditional Dance missionary arrival in New Caledonia

by Richard Chesher, 2.4 km away

The Weekend Touristique Ahmelewedr is a commemoration of the 1841 arrival of Christianity in New Cale...

Lifou Traditional Dance missionary arrival in New Caledonia

E: Lifou Missionary Arrival

by Richard Chesher, 2.6 km away

During the annual "Weekend Touristique Ahmelewedr" the villagers of Mou re-enact the day in 1841 when...

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F: Lifou Culture Chief Compound New Caledonia

by Richard Chesher, 2.7 km away

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G: Lifou Island Tour Secluded Beach New Caledonia

by Richard Chesher, 3.3 km away

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H: Lifou Tour Niekej Beach Nouvelle Caledonie

by Richard Chesher, 3.3 km away

Niekej Beach is just south of Mou on the island of Lifou. It's a small beach and there are no houses,...

Lifou Tour Niekej Beach Nouvelle Caledonie

I: Lifou Tour Beach Niekej New Caledonia

by Richard Chesher, 3.4 km away

There is a little sandy parking area just off the road between Mou and Xodre that leads to this splen...

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J: Luengoni Beach

by Gregory Panayotou, 5.4 km away

Luengoni Beach

This panorama was taken in Lifou

This is an overview of Lifou

Lifou Island is the largest of the Loyalty Islands, in the archipelago of New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France in the Pacific Ocean.

The Loyalty Islands comprise the Province Iles Loyaute of New Caledonia. There are 4 major islands, Ouvea in the north, Lifou in the middle and Mare in the south. 40,000 people live on these islands, with over half on the largest island of Lifou.

All three islands began as atolls - a circular ring of islands with a central lagoon. About a million years ago the sea floor bulged under these atolls upwards. Ouvea, on the northern slope of the bulge, still retains the characteristics of an atoll, a circular group of islands with a central lagoon, but it is tilted, with the southeastern side raised up into two long islands and the lagoon getting progressively deeper to the northwest.

The coral reefs and islets of Lifou were lifted about 80 meters out of the sea with the central lagoon now a forested plateau. Mare was also lifted right out of the water and also has a central forested plateau. The ancient, uplifted coral has left a multitude of caves, cliffs and sink-holes that are fun to explore. The coastal areas have new reefs around them and there are a number of very pretty beaches.

The people of the Loyalty Islands speak French and their own tribal languages, a mixture of Melanesian and Polynesian. Many also speak some English. The physical infrastructure of roads, schools and medical facilities are modern and high quality. The people of the Loyalty Islands honour their cultural heritage and this is especially evident in the construction of their homes, their respect of custom, celebrations and family life.

Each island has at least one international standard hotel and the villages offer "tribal stays" with guests staying in traditional styled thatched huts or small guest houses. The islands are only about a 40 minute flight from Noumea and Air Caledonie, the domestic airline, flies to each island several times a day. There is also a high speed catamaran from Noumea, the Betico II, with air conditioned guest rooms for the trip (about 3 hours to Mare, 4 hours to Lifou and 5 hours to Ouvea). Each island has it's own special personality and things to see and do. For full details on the tourism features of the Loyalty Islands visit the official web site www.iles-loyaute.com

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