New Caledonia (French:Nouvelle-Caledonie) is a dependent overseas territory of France lying in the western Pacific Ocean, in the Coral Sea, to the east of Australia and west of Vanuatu. The territory consists of the main island of Grand Terre, the archipelago of the Loyalty Islands (Iles Loyauté), and numerous small, sparsely populated islands and atolls.
New Caledonia offers beaches, mountaintop fondue in chalets, camping, amazing snorkelling and diving, and fabulous French food.
Snorkelling, diving, windsurfing
- Îlot Canard just outside the Anse Vata is a good place for beginners
- Aguille de Prony is an amazing underwater structure in the Prony bay south of Noumea
Relaxing, tanning, and generally doing nothing
- Baie des Citrons and the Anse Vata are common beaches at the Noumea peninsula
- Îlot Maitre has a resort. This can be reached by taxi boat from the Anse Vata, and by boat from the Baie de Mouselle
- Numerous other tourist resorts can be found throughout the Grande Terre and Île des Pins
Hiking, camping and see
- Parc de la Rivière Bleue in the Yaté region south of Noumea. Get there early because the best walks take a while to reach and you must be out of the park by 5pm. Plan on taking the shuttle (need to be booked ahead of time at the ticket office) if you want to skip a boring 2km walk on the road both ways.
- The Monts Koghis offer two nice walks just outside of Noumea. Park at the auberge des Monts Koghis, sign a release and leave your mobile number in case of emergency.
- Prony offers a nice 1.5h walk through the historical village. Park at the Baie de la Somme since the road is better and there’s a lot more parking space, then follow the signs and get on the walk to Prony.
- Joining a hiking group is generally a good idea, since you then can really enjoy the great scenery without fear of getting lost, or having to stick with conventional tourist spots
- Tjibaou Cultural Centre, a gift from the French Government. The architect was Renzo Piano, an Italian architect.
- Botanical garden
- Wandering along the waterfront in Noumea – Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata.
- The New Caledonia Barrier Reef — listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it encircles both the Grande Terre and Île des Pins. It’s also known as the New Caledonia Lagoon. New Caledonia information from wikivoyage.
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