Ile Ndukue is the first of a small archipelago of high, dry islands in the huge Baie de St. Vincent on the west coast of Grande Terre some 25 nautical miles NW of Noumea. It is not one of the best anchorages in New Caledonia's western lagoon, but it is a reasonable stop when travelling up the west coast; something like a rest stop off a major highway. A pull over and park kind of place. As long as the wind is out of an easterly direction it's calm and comfortable for the night with a good sand bottom in only 6 meters of water.
There is nothing much of interest ashore, here. The beach is small, rocky or muddy, and the slope of the hillside is steep with crumbly soil making it a risky climb to the top of the hill for a lookaround. The reefs are kind of silted up. We saw some large Crown of Thorns starfish eating the coral, keeping the reefs dull and lifeless. The Tontuta River flows into the Baie de St. Vincent not far from here and this keeps the coral development limited to species that can survive periods of heavy siltation.
As I said, the best feature of this quiet little bay is that it is just off the course up and down the west coast, like a pull-over rest area off the main road.
New Caledonia is the closest South Pacific Island to Australia and New Zealand. It is a French Territory and although the official language is French the culture is a blend of Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian, and more. There is one large mountainous island called Grande Terre and 6 smaller islands - the three Loyalty Islands, Belep and the Isle of Pines.The islands are remarkably unpopulated and there are vast areas of wilderness. There are hundreds of kilometers of walking treks, camp grounds, more than 42 parks and reserves, and crystal clear rivers with sparkling waterfalls. Almost one third of the population is located in the capital city of Noumea. Nickel mining is the primary industry and is the major contributor to the high standard of living in the country. Grande Terre is surrounded by the second largest barrier reef in the world and the protected lagoon created by this barrier reef is the largest in the world. Listed as a World Heritage Site in 2008, the lagoon is 24,000 square kilometers and supports a diverse and luxuriant fauna of fish and invertebrates.The vibrant, clear and rich colors are one of the first things that visitors notice when they arrive. Noumea has a complete range of hotels, resorts, restaurants, and activities to welcome visitors.