Looking over Jinek Bay from the cliffs that surround it, you’ll quickly understand why this must-see site in Lifou is nicknamed “The Natural Aquarium”. Through the surface of its beautifully translucent water, you can already see the magnificent corals that make up the reputation of this spot. Here, it’s an invitation to discover some of the most beautiful reefs of Lifou, where hundreds of species of tropical fish flourish and swim about.
Jinek Bay is located in Easo, on the northwest coast of Lifou island. To get there, it is better to have a rental car. Otherwise, hitchhiking works pretty well on the island. From Wé, the main village of Lifou, it takes about 35 minutes by car. It is recommended to use a geo-tracking application to find the site, though it is poorly indicated.
There are stairs installed on the small cliff that allow yourself to be equipped and ready to launch into the water safely.
The area to be explored covers the coral reef that has developed in the calm waters of the bay. You can easily spot the coral bommies from the stairs and the different lookouts. In this sheltered area and after the absence of a beach, the corals developed only a few meters from the shore, just below the surface of the water.
At this spot, the underwater landscape is rather constant. It alternates between more or less extensive coral plateaus just below the surface of the water (↕0.5m) and then deeper intermediate zones (↕3-8m), with sandy bottoms.
Jinek Bay greatly deserves its nickname of “Natural Aquarium”. Before completely immersed in the water, everything is already an incredible wonder: multicolored corals swept by sun rays, giant clams unfolding their fluorescent mantle in crystal clear water, sea lilies swaying by the movements of the water. Here, the decor is divine. Although some areas are slightly damaged, especially near the stairs, the corals are in overall superb condition on this spot.
Clown surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrots and sixbar wrasse come and go on the reef. In the deepest areas, groups of hundreds of black and white damsels stand above the drop-offs. During your exploration, you may be surprised by a Maori wrasse (quite regularly seen in the bay), a yellowed-lipped sea krait sneaking between the corals, or a bench of convict surgeonfish storming a rock covered with small algae. The reef is also home to very localized concentrations of sea anemones (↕1.5-2m), around where dozens of fire clownfish gravitate. Sharks and turtles are not as common in Jinek Bay, but are sometimes sighted by the luckiest in the blue.
This site is natural and you will not find any restaurants in the immediate vicinity. A water source is available outside the sanitary block on the site, which is often closed.
These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Bay with coral bommies and reef fish
Reef drop off with coral, fish and turtles
Marine reserve with shallow and healthy coral reef
Small reef and shallow seagrass meadows with sea turtles
Shallow natural pool with coral, clams and reef fish
Narrow fringing reef with coral and reef fish
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