After a night of extremely aggressive games of spoons and my standard few glasses of red wine, we had arrived at the beautiful tropical paradise, Lifou, New Caledonia. Lifou was one of my favourite stops. We didn't book any tours for our day here and instead as soon as we got off the boat we began our mission to find some sort of cliff behind an old church that Keegan had heard about.
The boys playing with their toys. So many GoPros.
Safe to say we spent a good hour walking around the tiny island. Even though we were dying to snorkel, we had two goals for the day and they simply had to be completed. Our first goal was to find this mysterious cave/ cliff/ unknown and second was to find turtles whilst snorkelling.
Found the church and I climbed the crazy small stairs to the top. Because thats just the kind of person I am. Behind the church we saw a path which we thought must be the way to this mysterious place. We were then shouted down by locals that we had to pay them $10 each to go down the path. We were a little put off but paid them the money and continued on our way. After a while we came to a rock wall that we had to squeeze our way through.
This was what was on the other side. The temperature had instantly changed. It was ridiculously humid. We had literally just walked in to some sort of magical secret rainforest. The walk/ climb down the path was pretty fun but most of the time we were too worried about Luke and his knee. He tore his ACL and was having surgery after the cruise.
At the bottom of the path was another rock face that we had to squeeze through. We could hear splashing and people laughing, at this point in time we were dying to see this place, it felt like everything that day had led up to this moment.
We were not let down. We had just stepped in to a mermaid cave. That is the only way I can describe this amazing little place. After squeezing through the last tight rocks you step in to this beautiful cave with the only real light coming from this rain water hole at the top. About one third of the cave floor is rock to stand on whilst the rest is fresh crystal clear, ridiculously deep water. All of us except for Luke jumped in even though the water was freezing. Except for Luke because of his knee. This was one of the most amazing places I have ever been in my life. The funny thing is that I don't think any of us were able to get a good photo of the cave. But I think that's just how it's meant to be. Means you will have to go to Lifou to experience this amazing place for yourself.
. Find the cave in Lifou
After the cave we decided to walk to the complete opposite side of the island to find a nice place to snorkel. We found these spots but there wasn't a way that we could get in to the water. Trust me we tried. It had also started to get a bit cloudy, but that wasn't going to stop us from finding our turtles.
We eventually found a spot to dump our stuff. And although the water was pretty cold, and I am not too great with cold water, I just jumped in because I was too excited to be back in my element. I don't think I even bothered with sunscreen that day, was in way too much of a rush.
This is where I feel at home. It's that place I can just escape all my problems, fears and worries and just completely immerse myself in this underwater wonderland.
Back to my mermaid roots.
. Snorkel in New Caledonia
After a while we all decided to venture past where the coral drops off. We were still all pretty spread out. After about 5 minutes we hear Ben and Keegan losing their minds. We swam over straight away. Underneath us were about five or seven turtles just hanging out! I was pretty bad at spotting them. But look how good their camouflage is.
These are all stills taken from various videos we took. Above is from a video we asked Keegan to take because neither Luke or I could dive down that far.
They swam around us and came up for air a couple of times. I followed one down at one point and managed to touch it!! This was such an incredible experience and I am so happy to have shared it with our cruise friends. We were the only ones out that far in the water and I am pretty sure we were called to come back in because we were too far out. But it was so worth it.
. Find a turtle whilst snorkelling
Turtles are definitely one of my new favourite animals. We eventually had to get back on the boat and cruise to our next stop at Mystery Island. But we had all had a pretty amazing day. We had ticked off the two main things we had wanted to do that day. Lifou is definitely one of my favourite islands that we visited on the cruise. Still can't believe we actually swam with turtles in their home.