Called ‘Nengone’ in the local language, Mare is the wildest, highest and most mysterious of the three Loyalty Islands. Its untamed beauty is made up of rocky cliffs, secret creeks and beautiful, long, white sandy beaches. Mare has a rich history with many legends which are often linked to its rugged and colourful landscape. Today Mare is a quiet unspoilt island, renowned for its tranquil beauty, its hospitality as well as its fruit and vegetables, especially its avocados, which have a special festival dedicated to them every year!
Tadine is the capital town of Mare – with its leisurely lifestyle which follows the traditional calendar of Nature. It is a good starting point to visit the island. Visit its colourful market on Tuesdays and Fridays (6am – 12 midday).
‘Warrior’s jump’ cliff, Wakone
This impressive cliff crevice is famous for its legend where a local warrior named Hnor, who was pursued by the neighbouring enemy clan, jumped across the 7m crevasse and escaped whilst his pursuers fell to their death 30m below on the rocks, trying to do the same thing!
Marvel at all the multi-coloured beauty of this natural sea water aquarium where in times of cyclones, many beautiful tropical fish and turtles come to take refuge. It is forbidden to swim in it. The independent Kanak leader, Yeiwene Yeiwene, who was killed in 1989 with Tjibaou, is buried nearby.
The Loyalty Islands have no rivers. Rainwater flows down into the coral caves and remains crystal clear. The Bone Hole is one such spectacular chasm – 40 m deep and 30m wide where creepers and Banyan tree roots hang down into the abyss.
This is one of the most beautiful places in the whole of New Caledonia. A 2 hour hike (one way) leads you to an impressive coral ledge overlooking the deep blue of the ocean where the waves hit the coral terraces in a spectacular way . At the end you will discover the secret beach and 3 fascinating blow holes.
Asicen cliffs and forest walk
A short 4km hike through the tropical forest accompanied by your guide will take you the Asicen cliffs. The cliffs have wild bee hives and other mysterious rock caverns which are the home to many local legends.
There are about 60 vanilla plantations in Mare where you can see this much sought-after creeping orchid growing naturally and hear how is ‘married’ to produce its subtle aromas and tastes which are used to enhance local and international dishes alike.