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Pure shores: postcards from New Caledonia

“You couldn’t dream up a better paradise …” Sometimes a positive change requires a fresh perspective. Something to bring you back down to earth, to remind you of what’s important. Women’s creative platform CURVY had this in mind when they hosted a trip to the pure shores of New Caledonia – home to the world’s largest marine park. Among the artists and environmental advocates in attendance: conservationist, surfer and Dogtown And Z-Boys skater Peggy Oki, and CURVY co-curator Sasha Havlikova – also of Whale Song Co. Ahead of World Oceans Day, Havlikova shares her postcards from a trip to inspire.

“On the pristine beach of Larégnère Island. You couldn't dream up a better paradise …”

“If ever in New Caledonia this farm is a must see: 'La Ferme des Petites Fougères'. [The founder] Jack made us delicious smoothies using all produce from his land and of course even the cups were home made from the bamboo tree.”

“The marine life here in Larégnère marine reserve is out of this world. We went free diving with the cheekiest turtles, fish [in] every colour you could think of, and even a few sharks … Peggy Oki popped her head out of the water and said super casually, ‘Wow guys, you should check out this purple coral over here, and there's a huge tiger shark too’. I think a couple swiftly began to paddle to shore.”

“[Tour guide] Emeric drove us to the top of the highest hill, land that has been in his family for generations. He told us about the land, traditions, changes, bee keeping … The view, along with the peace and quiet, was pure bliss.”

“We stayed in these divine luxury huts at the Sheraton Deva. From the outside they are beautifully crafted traditional huts, but on the inside, they are all cloud bed and big bath styling.”

“Our tour guide gave the signal for us to hold on, as his open sided four wheeling buggy absolutely hammered up these insane hills … From the top we could see the sunken river, which was now part of the ocean.”

“Something special about a New Cal sunset. This night we were truly honoured to be invited into the Goro tribe’s home and feasted on a traditional bougna dinner they had prepared in the ground in hot coals, so incredibly good!”

“Jess Lambert not only makes surfing look good, her incredible art adorns collectable surfboards worldwide. It also features on our Whale Song Co. eco yoga mat, which was the eco initiative for the trip to help raise awareness and funds for the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS).”

“We had the privilege of meeting Jack; he shunned the corporate life, moved to New Cal, and within just three years created the most impressive, self-sufficient, sustainable, off-grid permaculture farm. He has a plant for literally everything. This one is a shampoo plant …”

“I think this photo perfectly captures the essence of the trip and the purpose behind CURVY. Beyond being a successful creative women's platform, it aims to support, empower and inspire women.”

PHOTOGRAPHY Sophie Ansel, Sarah Royall & Sasha Havlikova