We went to plenty of amazing places on our Christmas cruise through the South Pacific, but by far my favorite port was Maré, New Caledonia. Talk about actual paradise on earth, Maré is a little slice of heaven. It’s underdeveloped, underpopulated, and just …perfect. I genuinely hope it can stay exactly the way it is for years to come. I’m pretty darn sure cruise tourism is one of it’s only source of outside income, because businesses on the island were slim to none.
Derik and I had spent the entire cruise avoiding shore excursions (seriously they’re way too overpriced…or at least for our budget), but we had heard through the grapevine that buying the bus ticket via the shore excursions desk was the only way to get to the popular beach spot. Looking back on it, I’m glad we purchased the bus ticket, but even if we hadn’t we would have had a lovely time exploring the island closer to the ship terminal (if you want to call it that…it’s more like a dock).
Once we arrived on the island, we jumped aboard a crickety old bus, and were strangely seated right in the middle of the aisle! It was cramped, sweaty, and dusty, but we didn’t mind due to the views out our window. I think Derik and I may have been giggling the whole time due to the fact that we were in these tiny little fold-up seats kind of right in the middle of everyone.
I had come down with a bad sinus cold the day before, so I opted out of snorkeling (sadly). Derik said he had a great time exploring the reef, and said there was an over abundance of clownfish at this particular spot. The water was SO CLEAR and absolutely gorgeous, that I was perfectly content wading around in the ocean and laying on the white sand beach.
Would I visit again? In a heartbeat. The locals were so kind and friendly, the ocean so spotless, and the weather so warm. There is literally only one hotel (Hotel Nengone Village Maré) on this tiny island, and it is definitely on my hotel bucket list!