- Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
The Isle of Pines (French: "Île des Pins";
Kanakname: "Kunyié") is an island located in the Pacific Ocean, in the archipelagoof New Caledonia, an overseas territory of France. The island is part of the commune (municipality) of L'Île-des-Pins, in the South Province of New Caledonia. The Isle of Pines is often nicknamed "l'île la plus proche du paradis" ("the closest island to Paradise") and is famous for snorkeling and scuba diving in and around its colorful lagoon. Many species of tropical fish and corals can be seen in the transparent water.
The island is located around coord|22|37|5.16|S|167|28|40.51|E|type:isle and measures 15 km (9 miles) by 13 km (8 miles). It lies southeast of "Grande Terre", New Caledonia's main island and is approximately 100 kilometres south-east of the capital
Noumea. There is one airport (code ILP) with a 1,097-meter (3,600 ft) runway. The Isle of Pines is surrounded by the New Caledonia Barrier Reef.
The inhabitants of the island are mainly native
Melanesian Kanaksand the population is approximately 2,000 (estimated 2006) (1989 population 1,465).
The island is rich with animal life and is home to many unique creatures such as the Crested Gecko
Rhacodactylus ciliatusand the world's largest gecko Rhacodactylus leachianus.
The pic Nga is the island's highest point, at 262 meters (860 ft) elevation.
The island was first discovered by
Captain James Cookin 1774 on his second voyage to New Zealand. Captain Cookalso gave the island its name after seeing the tall native pines (" araucaria columnaris"). It is said he never actually disembarked onto the island but as he saw signs of inhabitance (smoke) assumed it was inhabited. In the 1840's both Protestantand Catholicmissionaries arrived, along with merchants seeking sandalwood.
The French took possession of the island in 1853 at which time the native
Kuniesopted for the Catholic religion. In 1872 the island became a French penal colony, home to approximately 3,000 political deportees from the Paris Commune.
* [http://www.ulivewhere.com/low/downloads/download-isleofpines.html Audio interview with Isle of Pines resident about life on the Isle of Pines]
* [http://www.janeresture.com/newcal/pines.htm Jane's Isle of Pines Page]
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Look at other dictionaries:
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