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Maré, a French paradise in the South Pacific

Bonjour from Maré island in New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific. Maré has only recently opened its ports to cruise ships, so the island provides a much more authentic experience of New Caledonian life. 

I spent a day in Maré at Yedjele beach (aka paradise) and boy is it stunning! This picturesque beach has instagram worthy crystal clear water and white sand. I couldn't take my eyes off the colour of the water! The beach is lined with coconut trees and pine trees. Along the foreshore are local vendors offering everything you need for a great beach day. Hire your snorkelling gear from the locals, it's much cheaper than from a resort or cruise ship. The water is shallow and warm most of the year. Snorkelling around the coral is easy even for beginners as the water is calm and you can easily touch the sand. 

Grab a local beer or fresh coconut and sit in the shallows while listening to chilled reggae / RnB music played by the vendors. Life doesn't get much better than this! If you're up for street food, you'll have no problems finding great lunch. I tried banana fritters (with flour made from a local plant) and the largest spring rolls I have ever seen. The locals know very little English but it's enough to communicate without the use of a translator app. They accept Australian as well as local currency. We found that paying Australian usually ended up a cheaper option. 

If you're feeling adventurous, you can walk through the shallow water to find your own private beach (well worth it). Just be sure to keep an eye on the tide. 

Transport is limited on the island so be sure to hire a scooter or car if you have the chance. There are so many beautiful sites to explore and the island is larger than you may think. 

Maré is a little piece of paradise! Well worth exploring for a day or 2. 

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