Lifou Island (Drehu) is the biggest and most populous of Loyalty Islands (New Caledonia, overseas territory of France in the South Pacific Ocean). The island has total land area 1207 km2 (462 ml2) and population around 10,000. On the island live 6 of all 19 different tribes inhabiting Loyalty Islands. The group includes the islands Lifou, Tiga, Mare, Dudun, Ouvea, Mouli, Faiava, and Walpole, plus several smaller isles.
The island was discovered in 1793. It islands became property by France in 1864 and was established as Aboriginal Reserve as not considered suitable for colonialization. First European settlers were whalers, followed by sandalwood traders.
Tourism is Lifou's main industry, along with exporting rubber, copra (dried coconut), sugarcane and vanilla. The island is located east of Grande Terre Island (mainland New Caledonia. Like Mare Island, Lifou is a (former) uplifted coral atoll. Island's interior is a former lagoon (flat centre) surrounded by raised former reefal cliffs. Rocks are honeycombed with caves, pools, and pits with sharp edges. The coastline features narrow beaches backed by cliffs.
Lifou Island cruise terminal
Most cruise ships to Lifou Island (aka Drehu) dock (anchor) at We - port town on the eastern coast.