There is an amazing variety of tiny sea shells in the tide line on the Paradis Beach in Ouvea. Scientifically called Micro-Mollusks, they are every bit as beautiful as larger shells and some are just a little bigger than the grains of sand on the beach. Scroll around the image and see what you can find. Not nearly as much fun as crawling along the beach itself on your hands and knees looking for the nicest ones - but fun anyway. In the collection there are tiny sea urchins, called pea urchins, that are related to sand dollars. Some of these are just 2-mm in diameter and adults can be only 5-mm in diameter. The giant crater on the beach was created by a crab. The beach crabs are very shy (with good reason) and normally hide in their burrows if anyone comes by. Want to come to Ouvea to see what you can find? Click on the Ouvea Express
Here is the official Destination Iles Loyalte website on Ouvea, Loyalty Islands
Ouvea Atoll is the northernmost of the four Loyalty Islands. The eastern side of the atoll was uplifted millions of years ago so the whole eastern side forms one long narrow coral island with one of the world's most spectacular white sand beaches along the proctected lagoon. Ouvea is a 40 minute flight from Noumea, New Caledonia aboard Air Caledonie's new ATR turboprop planes. There is one 4 star Ouvea hotel - the Paradis d'Ouvea - two "Gites" and 6 "tribal stay" accommodation. There are also two managed campsites. Ouvea is popular with visitors - especially Japanese visitors - primarily because of the breathtaking beauty of the beach, but also because of the clear protected waters and coral reefs that offer great diving, interesting walks and annual festivals to attend. Two distinct cultural groups live on Ouvea, the Polynesian speaking people of the northern villages and the Melanesian speaking people of the southern villages. All of them also speak French and are French citizens because New Caledonia is part of France.