This iconic vista is a four-hectare spread of mangrove forests and salt flats forming an ‘imperfectly perfect’ human heart!
For all humans in love wishing to do something surprising and memorable, visiting the Heart of Voh in New Caledonia would be one of the top 10 ways – in the world. It is also called La Cœur de Voh, as the Voh commune is set in New Caledonia (erstwhile French colony, so…).
This jaw-dropping feature of Nature came to be because of the country’s unique confluence of flora and geography. The region is set on a bed of porous limestone, underground river channels and riverine silt. The forests of Voh are tropical and consist of dense olive-green mangrove trees. The centre of the heart has underground channels which overflow with seawater, leaching the soil away. Over many decades of salting, the ‘heart’ came into focus, surrounded by the dense mangroves.
Or as we think, Nature went to a party where she overheard someone talking about Valentine’s Day and went, “Hold my beer, will you?”
Around 1990, photographer and journalist Yann Arthus-Bertrand was commissioned by UNESCO to produce a photo-book titled ‘Earth From Above’, recording breathtaking aerial visuals of the world.
During one of his many flights over New Caledonia, the pilot suggested a detour over ‘something special’. Bertrand was suitably awed/ impressed and clicked the pictures. It took over nine years for the heart of Voh to be featured as the cover for the book, but the wait was worth it. The world swooned over it and New Caledonia found instant fame – went viral, if you will.
This South Pacific nation is situated east of Australia, just a little over two hours’ flight away. The main landmass is called Grand Terre, in addition to Iles Loyaute (Loyalty Islands), the eternally beautiful Iles des Pins (Isle of Pines) and numerous small islands and coves dotting the Pacific Ocean.
The New Caledonia Lagoon is practically the biggest natural aquarium in the world. This World Heritage site hosts placid sea turtles, majestic eagle and manta rays, reef sharks and shoals of colourful fishes for divers.
But we’re talking about the Heart of Voh here. After landing at Noumea International Airport, chill out at one of the many resorts. The Voh commune is around 300 kilometres from Noumea, so you can either take a flight or drive up the scenic countryside. There are several microlight tours of the region, as well as helicopter rides. Whether to go in a group or book it for a private flight depends on you. However you reach there, flying over the Heart of Voh is an incredible experience. Jetting over swathes of forests, rivers and mountains, the Heart takes your breath away every single time. Over time, the region has ‘greened’ a bit more than what Bertrand’s picture captured, but the size and Nature’s handiwork is unmistakable.
Another option is trekking and taking a 4×4 safari. After a nice overnighter in Voh, you can trek up Mount Katepai. There’s an observation platform at 400 mt elevation, but if you can push it, the view from the 700-metre summit is serenely supreme.
Any which way you organise the surprise, be assured that you’ll have scored a win for the ages!
This destination enjoys semi-temperate weather all year around. The touristy high season falls around September to December, characterised by low humidity and sunny weather all-around.
When it comes to accommodations, New Caledonia has something for every holiday-maker. From cottages lining the hills of Grand Terre to the expansive beachside resorts, just take your pick. Whether it’s a well-known brand like the Hilton, Le Méridien or Ramada, or something with more local flavour, we’ve got the perfect hotel for you. Experience romantic getaways with French flair, world-class hospitality and staggeringly beautiful locations in this lovely Melanesian island country.
At Hideaway Holidays, we specialise in all-inclusive New Caledonia holiday packages. Talk to our South Pacific Specialist to firm up the best package and itinerary to suit your romantic getaway to Voh – just call at 1300 991 751!
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