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Ouvea Map 
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Ouvea map

Ouvea Map

Ouvea Atoll in the Loyalty Islands, 100 kilometers east of Grande Terre, New Caledonia, is your stereotypical South Seas paradise. A 25-kilometer beach of unbroken white sand runs right down the west side of Ouvea and Mouli islands. Eons ago, the atoll titled sharply counterclockwise leaving limestone cliffs along the east side of the crescent and a lovely sunset lagoon to the west.

The 4,500 inhabitants are mostly Melanesian, although Polynesians from Wallis Island colonized Ouvea hundreds of years ago and their descendents live in Mouli, Lekine, and St Joseph villages. The traditional circular thatched house with pointed roof still predominates on Ouvea, and the chiefly compounds are surrounded by high driftwood pallisades.

The 4,500 inhabitants are mostly Melanesian, although Polynesians from Wallis Island colonized Ouvea hundreds of years ago and their descendents live in Mouli, Lekine, and St Joseph villages. The traditional circular thatched house with pointed roof still predominates on Ouvea, and the chiefly compounds are surrounded by high driftwood pallisades.

This idyllic isle played a tragic role in New Caledonia's struggle for independence from France in the 1980s. On May 4, 1988, French troops executed seven Ouvean prisoners they had just captured during a hostage taking incident at Gossanah. The remaining villagers were deported to France even though they had no role in the hostage taking. Memories of the Ouvea Massacre are still fresh and there's a monument to 19 local martyrs at Wadrilla.

The Gossanah Cave where the massacre took place cannot be visited, but Ouvea has many other caves, sinkholes, and cliffs. The island's administrative offices and bank are just inland from Wadrilla, while the heavily-fortified gendarmerie is at Fayaoue. Ouvea and Mouli islands are connected by a bridge offering an excellent view of the cliffs of Lekine. Ouvea's scuba diving operator is at Mouli.

A cluster of small pensions is at Banout and a couple more are at Mouli. Ouvea’s airport receives several flights a day from Magenta Airport in Noumea, New Caledonia's capital. There's also a weekly highspeed ferry from Noumea and Lifou.

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