Isle of Pines

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WorldSouth PacificNew CaledoniaIsle of Pines
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22°39.474′S, 167°26.64′E
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Local chartlet

The Isle of Pines is a delightful cruising destination about 60 nm SE of Noumea. You must clear into Noumea first before heading to the Isle of Pines, even if you have sailed passed it on the way into New Caledonia. There are a number of anchorages around the island, but most boats stay in the area of Kuto. Getting there from Noumea frequently involves a bit of a slog into the Trade Winds, but you can usually get an excellent run back when you return north.

Baie de Kuto from Pic Nga
Baie de Kuto anchorage
Baie de Kanumera anchorage
Statue de St Maurice at Vao
Grotte de la Reine Hortense


Submit the chart details that are required for safe navigation.

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Chart Number


Local weather conditions?

Sources for Weather forecasts:
Local forecasts are, of course, in French, but non-French speakers should find them relatively easy to understand. A very useful vocabulary can be found at How to Understand French Weather Forecasts for Sailors.

The main source of weather information for the area around New Caledonia is Meteo France Nouvelle-Calédonie. The marine section provides a 6 day forecast for the whole region, with details for each of the passes through the barrier reef.

Nouméa radio broadcasts the weather report in French on VHF 16, everyday at 6:30, 9:30, 15:15, 18:30.

There is a set of repeater channels allowing receipt of weather info anywhere in the country:

  • Nouméa area: VHF 26
  • Southern portion of the Grande Terre: VHF 28
  • Isle of Pines and the Southern Lagoon: VHF 25
  • Grande Terre North West coast: VHF 25
  • Northern portion of Grande Terre: VHF 24
  • Ouvea: VHF 23
  • Lifou: VHF 26
  • Maré: VHF 87


Popular passages/routes, timing, etc.


List Islands


Also see Cruiser's Nets


To get to the Isle of Pines from Noumea, follow the obvious track back to Canal Woodin. There are a number of bays in this vicinity where you can anchor for the night if necessary. Examples include Baie Ire on the northern side of Ile Ouen and Rade De L'Est just inside Baie Du Prony. From Canal Woodin it is around 35 nm to Kuto and there is a large number of reefs to navigate around. Unless you are either familiar with the area or very confident navigating around reefs it is desirable to follow the designated shipping tracks.

Leaving the Canal Woodin head across to Cap N'doua until you pick up the set of leads that head off at 159 degrees. Follow this track passed Illot Ugo and on to Recif Peo 3eme, with its west cardinal mark and quick flashing light (GP Fl 9, 10sec). Three quarters of a mile passed the light come around to 125 degrees and hold this course for 24 nm. At this stage, look for leads behind Baie De Kutema and, when aligned, follow them on a track of 59 degrees into Baie de Kuto.

Reefs in the vicinity of this course appear to be well charted and so it might be safe to take some short cuts in good conditions with clear visibility and correct sun angles. However, the path described is charted for and used by the larger inter island ships and will keep you safely away from the many hazards.


Check-in MUST be done at Noumea



  • Baie de Kuto - a commercial wharf used primarily by the Inter Island ferries.

Marinas & Yacht Clubs



The main anchorages are Baie de Kuto and Baie de Kanumera. Which you use will depend on the wind direction. These two anchorages are close to each other, separated by Presqu'lle de Kuto.

In Baie de Kuto, anchor off the obvious resort on the beach (Kou-Bugny Hotel). Stay clear of the main wharf and the area delineated by yellow bouys. The ferry from Noumea docks at the main wharf, so give them plenty of room. You can land a dinghy on the beach or at the jetty inshore from the wharf. There is good water at the jetty. This is the best anchorage in easterly conditions.

Baie de Kanumera offers shelter in westerly conditions. There are two small coves at the head of the bay. If anchoring in the western most cove, be careful of the large coral outcrop on the western side of the bay - this is generally just below the surface and potentially quite dangerous. Water can be found at a tap beside the road, just inshore from the Tabu rock (don't climb on this).

For the adventurous and those with more time, there are a number of other anchorages around the Isle of Pines.

Port de Vao requires great care to access. From Kuto, stay inside the lagoon and eyeball your way around to the anchorage, keeping a close eye out for coral heads. The anchorage (by the peninsula, opposite Vao) is only satisfactory in winds between south and East.

Note that it is forbidden to sail within Upi, St Joseph and Koroxu bays.

There are several other anchorages around the Isle of Pines. For details see the Cruising Guide to New Caledonia.

Yacht Services and Repairs

Also see each Port

Marine Stores


Yacht Services/Repairs/Yards


Fuel, Water & Electricity

There is a fuel station in Kuto, a short distance from the beach area. They will deliver fuel to the wharf.
Water is available from the jetty at Kuto.

Tourism and Things to do Ashore


  • The climb to the top of Pic Nga is relatively straight forward. The climb of 260 metres is rewarded by views of the entire Isle of Pines.
  • Convict era ruins can be found across the road from the bakery just north of Kuto.
  • Grotte de la Reine Hortense is an interesting cave to be found near the airport.
  • The Statue de St Maurice is a monument to the first landing of European missionaries on the Isle of Pines. It is at Vao.

Grocery & Supply Stores

  • A small grocery store and bakery is about 2km north of Kou Bugny hotel. Fresh bread is available there most days.
  • The petrol station sells some hardware and fishing gear.
  • The largest town, Vao, is about 7 km east of Kuto. There is a larger grocery store, post office and other facilities.


  • There are a number of resorts around the Kuto area, with restaurants attached.


Available at Kou Bugny Hotel.


Motorbike & Car Rentals

  • Kou Bugny Hotel offers car rental

Garbage Disposal

Look for labeled (Poubelle) rubbish disposal platforms near the beach.


Transportation (local and/or international)

  • There are ferry and air services connecting regularly to Noumea.


Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)



Publications, Guides, etc.


We welcome users' contributions to the Wiki. Please click on Comments to view other users' comments, add your own personal experiences or recommend any changes to this page following your visit.

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