The Isle of Pines is an island in the Pacific Ocean, in the archipelago of New Caledonia. The Isle is nicknamed l’île la plus proche du paradis (“the closest island to Paradise”).
Melanesian people lived on the island for over 2000 years before the island was first visited by Europeans. Captain James Cook in 1774 saw the island and renamed it on his second voyage to New Zealand. Cook gave the island its name after seeing the tall native pines. He never disembarked onto the island, but as he saw signs of inhabitance (smoke) assumed it was inhabited. In the 1840s Protestant and Catholic missionaries arrived, along with merchants seeking sandalwood.
info source: wikipedia