Budawang, you've asked a complicated question with no correct answer! Here's a few thoughts:
Belep: We had a good time there on our single
visit. Folks in Noumea advised against going due to "native unrest". We were made welcome, especially after going to some effort to track down the local chief and make a ritual gift (always a good idea in Kanak villages). NOt many yachts go there...
We've enjoyed our trips to the Loyalties, but haven't made it to Ouvea yet. Word is that there are some folks there who don't like yotties and have caused problems. Dunno how true... need current
data. LIfou and Mare are friendly and have some good anchorages
, all wx dependent.
Il de Pins is truly pretty, but kinda touristy. Some areas off limits to yotties at times. Frequent cruise ship
and daily ferries from Noumea bring HORDES of pink tourists... ok if you like that sort of stuff.
On the way to I de P a stop in Baie Prony with a walk to the top of Cap Undua is good. The view from the lighthouse area is spectacular and gives one an idea about the layout of that part of the southern lagoon. From there a stop at Il Mato and then on to I d P is an easy pair of daysails, or you can do it in one shot if desired. May be hard on the wind
Up the east coast
, there are lots of anchorages
with decent protection. The abandonded mines at B Ouinne are fascinating if interested in old machinery. I think there is still a Kiwi family
resident there. It is the aircraft maintenance
spot for a big mining firm, and the Kiwi is a second generation live in a & e repair guy, most interesting to me!
We did a continuous circumnavigation
some years back. Took 7 weeks, going up the east and down the west coast
. Saw two other yachts after exiting Havana pass! So, there is a lot to do and see, and what would be best for you I can't guess.
If you are surfers a whole different plan would be required, and I'm not competent to advise there... but I gather that there are some good breaks around. And of course,it is a kite surfing paradise, with LOTS of local whizzes flying about.
Wonderful place... you will likely love it and not wanna leave!
PS In august the water
will still be fairly cold (at least to us) so thin wet suits are a good idea IMO