Main characteristics

Coordinates: 21.4638 S 167.9336 E
No:254        (list of all attractions)
Category:Sinkholes, Lakes, bays and streams
Values:Geology, Visual
Address:Australia and Oceania, New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands, central – northern part of Maré Island
Depth:40 m

The small island of Maré in fact is an uprised corall atoll. The movement of tectonical plates has rised it above the sea level, exposing the Miocene limestone layers to the tropical climate and the incredible force of hurricanes.

Rain and groundwater has created countless sinkholes and caves on the surface of island. In satellite images are seen some 50 sinkholes, but the dense bush and forest hides a lot more.

In earlier times sea level was lower than now – 15,000 years ago it was by 100 m lower. Now the lower part of these sinkholes is submerged.

There is fresh rainwater in these sinkholes – although the deepest parts in some of these unusual lakes is slightly saline. Small (and not so small) creatures live in these lakes and most likely many of these small animals – crustaceans and others – are endemic, found only in these caves – although they still are waiting for their discovery.

Many of these sinkholes (just like the similar cenotes in Mexico) are considered to be sacred and permission from local people should be asked before visiting them.

Trou de Bone is one of the best known sinkholes in Maré Island. The entrance part is some 30 m wide. Sinkhole is approximately 40 m deep, with a lake in it. The roots of large banyan trees reach the water, creating a feel of lush tropical garden. Sinkhole has a fine echo effect.


See Trou de Bone on the map of New Caledonia!

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