The Cliffs of Jokin in Lifou, Loyalty Islands of New Caledonia.Cliffs of Jokin, Lifou
©Cliffs of Jokin, Lifou|EyeFly

Jokin Cliffs


Perched above glistening turquoise waters, the Cliffs of Jokin offer a breathtaking spectacle of the coastal beauty. Towering at a majestic 40 metres, these cliffs unveil the geological tale of Lifou, the largest among New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands, with layers of fossilised coral shaping its history. Beyond the panoramic allure drawing people to the cliff’s summit, there’s a world below to explore – mysterious grottoes and azure waters beckon for a refreshing swim. Ascend the steps to a captivating promontory, tailor-made for slipping into your mask, fins, and snorkel. Immerse yourself in a vibrant underwater world, where a kaleidoscope of colourful fish awaits your snorkelling adventure. And here’s the real kicker – From July to September, you might just catch a glimpse of majestic humpback whales gracefully passing by the island, adding a touch of wonder to your coastal escapade!

Located to the north of Lifou, the Falaises de Jokin are accessible by car. To reach the island from Nouméa, the quickest option is to take a flight from Nouméa-Magenta airport. In 40 minutes, you’ll arrive at Lifou-Wanaham airport. By boat, the Betico company makes the connection in around 5 hours. Once you’re there, renting a car is essential for exploring the sites of interest. From the airport, drive towards the north of the island. You’ll reach the small parking lot near the cliffs’ viewpoint in five minutes.

  • The site is freely accessible with or without a guide, no entrance fee.
  • Protect yourself against the sun if you plan to sunbathe after swimming.
  • The area of grass and trees in front of the viewpoint is partly shaded, perfect for a picnic or nap before getting back on the road.
  • Don’t forget your camera!
Top 5 things to do on site

1. Admiring the ocean from the vantage point

Start your visit to the Cliffs of Jokin at their summit. These vertiginous cliffs, nearly 40 metres high, offer a marvellous panorama of rock and ocean. You can even see grottoes carved into the cliffs, which were once used as burials reserved for the chiefs of the Kanak tribe.

2. Swim with the fish

Immerse yourself in a vibrant canvas painted with hues of intense blue and green – all you need are a mask, fins, and snorkel to dive into a world of wonder! Snorkel your way through the crystal-clear waters and witness a mesmerising parade of multicoloured fish swirling around you. From the lofty cliff tops, keep your eyes peeled for playful dolphins or catch a glimpse of majestic whales gracing the seas during the austral winter from mid-July to mid-September.

3. Follow the path to the small creek

Once you’ve soaked in the breathtaking landscapes from their peak, descend a 200-step staircase, artfully shaded in parts, guiding you to a specially crafted platform for a refreshing swim. This spot is a local hotspot for spirited jumping contests among the young local crowd. Why not join in the fun and take a playful plunge into the water? Afterward, bask in the sun at the water’s edge, savouring the warmth as you dry off.

Daniela Caledonian DreamDaniela Caledonian Dream
©Daniela Caledonian Dream

After all those dreamy beaches, it was time to discover what’s hidden in the lagoon. Once again, Lifou didn’t disappoint! I didn’t expect to see so much life and wonder so close up.

Daniela Brunner, Caledonian Dream season 2

4. Enjoy a meal overlooking the cliffs

For a lunchtime treat, nestle into the warmth of the dwellings perched just above the dizzying cliffs. Meet Faré Falaise, a charming guesthouse embraced by the Jokin tribe. Indulge in their table d’hôtes as you’re treated to a feast not just for your taste buds, but for your eyes too. The backdrop, a mesmerising view that unveils sheer cliffs, coral reefs, and a lagoon so crystal-clear it sparkles in emerald green. During whale season, it also becomes a prime whale-watching spot.

5. Take a photo of a traditional hut

Found at the entrance to the cliffs, discover the enchanting Jokin Little Chief’s hut, just a stone’s throw from the parking lot. Feel the warmth of the local hospitality – strike up a conversation with the tribe members, perhaps even share a chat with the little chief himself. Unlock the secrets of the cliffs as you dive into the tales spun by the locals. Make sure to carry a little something to partake in the customs in case you’re invited to spend some time inside the tribe!