Written by Marco Ramerini. English text revision by Dietrich Köster.
Located south-east of Grande Terre (New Caledonia), the Isle of Pines is a small island full of natural wonders, endless white beaches and crystal clear water, caves and caverns, rich coral reef, natural wonders like the natural pool (piscine naturelle) with seawater, inhabited by a friendly population with rich traditions.
This enchanted island 14 km wide and 18 km long has a turbulent history. It was on this land of paradise that the protesters of the Paris Commune among other prisoners were exiled in the 19th century. Today the remains of the 19th-century buildings are touching witnesses to this period.
In 1872 the island became a French penal colony, home to 3,000 political deportees from the Paris Commune. The deportees were allocated to five different areas around the island, the most notable of which is that of Ouro. This is where you find the ruins of the penal colony, invaded by tropical vegetation. A little further upstream is the Cemetery of the Deportees (Cimetière des Déportés).
These places of sadness are just a few hundred metres away from the white sandy beaches of Kanumera and Kuto, two of the most fascinating places on the island.