TOP 10 SPECIAL FEATURES
#1 Anse Vata & Baie des Citrons are Noumea’s two most popular beaches are perfect spots for lunchtime picnics, swimming and snorkeling. While Anse Vate is the paradise for watersports lovers, Baie des Citrons is the ‘in’ spot with live music and popular nightclubs.
#2 Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a space dedicated to the country’s indigenous population, the Kanak people, spread over 8 acres. A tribute to a pro-independence Kanak leader assassinated in 1989, the centre features an art centre, a museum, performance places and a library.
#3 Place des Cocotiers is an attractive gardened square at the heart of the city of Noumea is the perfect spot to watch the world go by. Shaded by magnificent flame trees, you can enjoy popular pétanque or play on a giant chessboard. Also experience local arts, crafts, music, dances, food and drinks at the night market on Thursday night.
The Great South
#4 Blue River Provincial Park is a spacious protected area reserve for numerous bird species including the cagou. Covering over 9,000 hectares that can be explored on foot or by bike, discover fauna and flora of remarkable diversity and richness.
The East and West Coast
#5 Heart of Voh is an incredibly pretty love-heart, formed naturally over time by mangroves. You can either hike through the track up to a viewing point or fly over the top of Mount Katépei, enjoying spectacular views of the Heart of Voh, lagoon, reef and surrounding mountain range.
#6 Hienghène Bay region features stunning mountains, forests, rivers, waterfalls, lagoons and extraordinary rock formation. This is an amazing region for trekkers.
#7 Amédée Island & Lighthouse (day trip from Nouméa) is surrounded by crystal clear waters, colourful coral and abundant tropical fish. Relax on white sand beach under swaying palm trees or stroll around the island.
#8 Duck Island (day trip from Nouméa) is a five minute water taxi trip from Anse Vata beach where you’re able to walk on an underwater path along the ocean floor to get an amazing look of the marine world. Pedal boats, canoes or snorkelling equipment are also available to take the most of this island paradise.
#9 Ile des Pins (20 minutes flight south of Nouméa) known as “The Jewel of the Pacific”, the Isle of Pines is one of the most spectacular islands in the Pacific. Fringed with white sands, turquoise lagoons and its signature Araucaria soaring pine trees, it is an evocative and exotic landscape of ancient botanic and raw beauty.
#10 Loyalty Islands (40 minutes flight south of Nouméa) consist of four raised coral islands, Mare, Tiga, Lifou and Ouvea with some of the best beaches in the entire South Seas. Soaring cliffs and fine sand beaches, basalt rocks and dark forests or small coves with caves are some of the wonders you’ll be able to discover there.
New Caledonia offers the chance to totally disconnect and just “get away from it all”. With a warm island welcome, and its beautiful beaches and reefs, New Caledonia is a true South Pacific hotspot to rest and recharge. Book exhausted parents for a lovely stay on the Isle of Pines and they will come back revitalised and ready to do it all again!
Whether it’s fine dining, eating with the locals or enjoying wine or cheese tastings, there is something for everyone in New Caledonia. Expect to see baguettes and gooey French cheeses sold alongside coconuts and yams at the local market – the blend of tropical and Gallic influences makes the island such a delicious and mouth-watering destination for foodies.
Much like the variety of cuisine on the island, New Caledonia’s mixed heritage creates a unique and interesting architectural landscape. Traditional native buildings sit next to avant-garde structures and neighbourhoods featuring both European and Chinese colonial buildings. Some highlights include the cottages in the Vallée des Colons and the mansions of Faubourg Blanchot, as well as the amazing Tjibaou Cultural Centre in Nouméa.
Located in the world’s largest lagoon and possessing the second-largest barrier reef and one of the biggest marine reserves, New Caledonia is a diver’s paradise. The crystalline lagoon also lends itself to windsurfing, kitesurfing, snorkeling, canoeing and scuba-diving, or simply a relaxing dip if preferred.
For a truly authentic New Caledonian experience, there are options for travellers to immerse themselves in the island’s Kanak, or traditional Melanesian, culture. Guests can experience the traditional Kanak way of life through a tribal homestay, or can try traditional cuisine, such as the Kanak Bougna casserole.