Scattered across a dozen kilometres or so, Ouvéa's southern islands are home to some incredible marine life, and an excursion is the perfect way to explore them. Tours depart from a small bay and listed nature reserve at the foot of the Lekiny Cliffs. The first stop is a “cleaning station” – a block of coral only a few metres below the surface. Turtles, sharks and Manta rays come here to rest, and provide the stage for an astonishing show. As the rays sit atop the reef, a myriad of cleaner fish descend and remove all the parasites from their mouths, gills, and skin. It's the perfect opportunity to observe these typically solitary creatures. Next, you'll head to the “garden”, a maze of reef which is home to all sorts of brightly-coloured species.
The Styx Pass, near Metouaïné island, is also the most famous dive site in the Ouvéa archipelago.
Southern Pleiades of Ouvéa,