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Lifou dive shop?

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by CJS, Apr 25, 2019.

  1. CJS

    CJS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    113
    37
    28
    I going on a cruise later in the year and I'm trying to find out if there is a functioning (and safe) dive shop on Lifou. Searching the web isn't turning up much except for this. Has anyone got recent experience diving with them, or someone else in Lifou? They seem to have had a change of ownership in the past few years.
     
  2. Ouvea

    Ouvea Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: San Jose, CA, USA
    659
    111
    43
    It's the only dive shop on Lifou. I drove around the entire island and didn't see another dive shop. Yes, you do need a car to travel on the island, as it is very large. The dive shop is inside the Easo tribu, specifically but a few steps inside the Gite Benoit Bonua and on the right of the main gravel entrance. You can think of a Gite as a hostel, where you bring your bedding, although there is a restaurant on site. Be aware that in New Caledonia, you have limited service, so don't expect 24/7 shops. To my knowledge, Anabella was still the owner and she did reply to my inquiries last year. Shop provided steel tanks, 5mm Mares wetsuits, Mares BCDs and Mares regulators. My MR12 was paired with a Scubapro G250. Was pleasantly shocked!

    The diving is fantastic by the way. I saw Tunas but a few hundred meters from shore and I was in 30 meters of water just a few hundred meters from shore. The following clip (a bit long, sorry) should give you an idea of the diving on Lifou, which is far far far far better than the diving around Noumea.

     
  3. CJS

    CJS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    113
    37
    28
    Thank you! I actually got in touch with them via Facebook. Initial contact was positive, but I have not received any reply to a subsequent communication. Do you have an email address?
     
  4. Ouvea

    Ouvea Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: San Jose, CA, USA
    659
    111
    43
    I emailed them at lagoon.safaris@gmail.com. Your experience mirrors mine. The email communication is rather slow. The staff does speak English and the owner, I believe, is either from Australia or New Zealand. I have noticed that email communication in New Caledonia is not every effective and people still prefere to operate via phone calls. In my opinion, it may just be and old school preference that has been slow to evolve. I found that very unusual, as everyone is on a mobile phone, texting (yup saw the Gendarmes popping those on phones while driving) and surfing the web.
     
  5. CJS

    CJS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    113
    37
    28
    Thank you!
     
  6. CJS

    CJS Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Sydney
    113
    37
    28
    Just to close the loop on this; after some difficulty booking a couple of dives, they just didn't turn up on the day. For the longer version of the story, here is a copy and paste of the review I left on tripadvisor.

    I was keen to dive Lifou when on a cruise. Emails received very slow responses, often after follow ups, but eventually they said they could fit in with the ship schedule but we needed four divers. Through Facebook I found another guy keen to dive and we agreed that we'd pay for four spots to guarantee a double dive, if no one else booked. I communicated this via email and got a reply that they already had enough divers. We had clearly communicated that the ship would arrive at 8am and were told to get the first tender and we would be met on the Jetty at 8.30am.

    I got up really early to get a ticket for the first tender and we were on the dock, at 8.30am on the dot. Only to find nobody to meet us. We wanderer around (lugging dive gear in the heat I might add) and found some guys who confirmed that the dive boat moored in the bay belonged to Lagoon Safaris. We trudged up the hill and were eventually directed to the ‘dive shop’ (which was a shipping container and a small shed) where we found a Japanese couple who were staying on the island and had booked a snorkelling trip and been told to meet there at 8.30am. We found our names written on a white board, with details of certification requirements and the other guys rental equipment needs. The place was deserted though and nobody in the village seemed able to tell us where the owners were. Eventually (about an hour later) the Japanese guy got a phone number for the dive shop and called. A woman on the other end said (in broken English) we should have been there at 7.30am, seeming to suggest that the boat had gone without us, even though it was still sitting in the bay (it is the one in the pictures on tripadvisor) and we had clearly communicated that the ship would arrive at Lifou at 8am. She said we would not be diving but someone would be there at “13 o’clock” for the snorkelers. Needless to say, when I saw them later that afternoon, nobody had turned up.

    The day before I had experienced exceptional service at a dive shop in Port Vila who arranged a boat and dive guide, just for me. A functioning dive shop on Lifou could do very well out of cruise ship passengers, but not Lagoon Safaris, as it currently operates.
     

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