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New Caledonia

Maré (Nengone)

Loyalty Islands

Nécé Tribe (West Coast)Nécé Tribe

Maré is the island in the Loyalty islands which has best kept its strong traditional customs.

From the cliffs of Tadine to its underwater caves, and the natural aquarium, Maré offers the visitor one pleasant geological surprise after another.

Maré is the second largest island in the archipelago with its 400 square miles. It is also the highest at more than 426 feet above sea level.

Its population of 7000 people have managed to preserve their original traditions, which makes Maré the most "authentic" of all the Loyalty Islands.

Just like the neighboring islands,

Maré has seen its share of tribal wars between Catholics and Protestants.

However, now the population is 80% Protestant and 20% Catholic, and the people live together in perfect harmony among the 29 tribes on the island.

The Avocado Festival in Nécé (West Coast)
The Avocado Festival

 Maré kids playing in water

Tadine is the main village on Maré. It's a peaceful little village with its little port (the only one on Maré).

Just like everywhere else on the island, visitors are welcomed warmly as long as they respect the local "customs". Don't hesitate to talk with the locals.

The Mareans are curious, talkative people! And be sure not to miss the natural aquarium about 1.2 miles from Tadine toward Eni.

It's a beautiful pool with translucent waters.You can also take a swim at the water hole in Eni, just as you enter the village on your left.

Other places to visit:

On the east coast of the island, you can visit a village called Roche (rock). You'll understand why when you see the 260 feet tall coral mountains there.

In the direction of Wakone, you can see the legendary "Saut de Guerrier" (Warrior's Leap): it's a 22 feet wide crevasse that a warrior is supposed to have jumped across while he was being chased by the enemy.Don't try it yourself, unless, that is, your name is Carl Lewis.

From Tadine going toward the north, you'll arrive at Nécé; the residence of the great Nasseline Chiefs.Warning! It is strictly forbidden to take pictures of the sepultures in honor of ancestors' memory next to Chief Nidoish's house.

As you continue on to the north, you'll arrive at Ro. From there you can see the island of Tiga. There is a brand of sailboards by the same name, because their creator fell so in love with the beauty of this island (visit by invitation only).

 

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