The island of Mare, in the Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia, is an ancient uplifted coral atoll and is honeycombed with old coral caves. This tiny lagoon is connected to the sea by a cave. It is only a few hundred meters from the ocean and so fish and corals are able to populate the lagoon. It is shallow but the water is clear and calm all the time. Just about every visitor to Mare stops by to toss some bread crumbs to the tropical fish - and the fish perk up and come finning over as soon as someone peers down into the lagoon. To arrange your visit to Mare Island visit the official Destination Loyalty Islands Tourism Site - or get a copy of the interactive Guide to New Caledonia Tourism.
Mare Island is the southernmost of the four Loyalty Islands in New Caledonia. It is an uplifted coral atoll with jagged cliffs on the southern shores 130 metres high. The center of the island, the ancient lagoon, is flat and there are several caves and sink-holes - some with salt water and others with fresh water. Air Caledonie offers two flights a day to Mare - a 40 minute flight. There is also a 3.5 hour high speed ocean going catamaran Betico II. There is just one Mare hotel, the Nengone Village Hotel, one Gite, two tribal stays, and one camping ground. The primary attraction for visitors are the wilderness walks, the snorkelling, the lovely beaches, and the festivals. There is no public transport on Mare but there are small tour buses, taxis, and rental car agencies. The island is small enough that you can also rent a bicycle and visit many of the main tourism destinations. As in all the Loyalty Islands the people speak their own local Melanesian language plus French.