New Caledonia is so much more than just a Pacific island. Discover idyllic beaches surrounded by the largest lagoon in the world, dense forests that are home to more than 3000 native species, and a rich fusion of French and Melanesian cultures.
With so much diversity, we decided to bring our beautiful paradise to life for you at home. Immerse yourself in our reality through our exciting 360° videos and new Virtual Reality app.
We invite you to come on a journey with us and see New Caledonia from a whole new perspective. From sailing around the Isle of Pines aboard a traditional outrigger, exploring the Loyalty Islands with the lands’ chief and touring Noumea, the “Paris of the South”, we’ll transport you to New Caledonia all without needing your passport.
Note: You’ll need a VR headset or Google Cardboard to use the New Caledonia in Virtual Reality app. Purchase yours here or request your own New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard for your agency.
New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard
Learn more about New Caledonia and use our New Caledonia in Virtual Reality app to help you sell the destination to your clients. To request your FREE New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard, simply email your full name, agency name and agency address to email@example.com
New Caledonia’s latest visitor arrival figures confirm Australia’s closest Pacific island destination, with its European sophistication and island relaxation, is attracting more Australian travellers to its shores.
New statistics show a 15.8 percent increase of Aussies visiting New Caledonia in 2015, compared to 2014 adding to the overall 14.9 per cent year-on-year for 2014 compared to 2013. and securing Australia in second position behind France for inbound visitation.
With the capital, Nouméa only two hours from Brisbane, under three hours from Sydney and less than four hours from Melbourne, New Caledonia is fast becoming a destination where travellers can ‘have it all’. From soft adventure, exceptional cuisine, unique culture, luxury accommodation and natural wonders, including the largest lagoon in the world, New Caledonia is an all-encompassing experience.
This growth is set to continue in 2016 with the launch of the second phase of the ‘Hello Neighbour’ campaign.
Flight Centre announced the top 10 destinations for 2016 and New Caledonia is on the list!
Why New Caledonia for 2016? Because according to Flight Centre the country is one of the most overlooked beach destinations in the world.
Pressing on the fact that last year’s booking were up 178 per center, Flight Center describes New Caledonia as an emerging destination, becoming more and more renowned among Aussies and New Zealanders.
“New Caledonia is a unique destination not to be missed. Boasting the glamour of France with the hospitality of the South Pacific, New Caledonia is steeped in French colonial history yet has the beach vibe and culture of an exotic paradise”
Phase two of our “Hello Neighbour” campaign is set to break even more ground following on from the success of the first phase, which saw the creation of fresh video content with ambassador Justine Schofield, a bespoke website, outdoor advertising and an exciting competition element.
The focus for the new campaign will continue to be around New Caledonia’s proximity as one of Australia’s closest Pacific neighbours, but will feature an interactive social media treasure hunt. A first for a destination marketing organisation, the interactive activity will entice consumers to explore New Caledonia’s spectacular neighbourhoods through a series of captivating images.
Hosted by the social media platform, Instagram, Aussies will be able to explore regions such as the white sand beaches of the Isle of Pines; diverse landscapes of the North; secluded coves of the Loyalty Islands; the French sophistication of Noumea through to the local cowboys in Bourail.
Ultimately, participants will be led to an image of New Caledonia’s Heart of Voh, a naturally formed love heart marked in the landscape, where they can enter the draw to make their mapped out adventure a reality. To get started head to @newcaladventure on Instagram.
To find out more about our current campaign visit:
Somewhere in the middle of the South Pacific, off the coast of New Caledonia and far from congested mass tourism routes, lie three hidden pearls of pristine beauty, three islands of legend and tradition… The islands of Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa (indigenous names: Drehu, Nengone and Laii) make up the Loyalties, the trio of islands which lie roughly 190km to the east of the main New Caledonian island of Grand Terre. Discover the top 3 things to do on each island to help you plan your next trip.
Lifou (Drehu in the local language), which also counts the tiny satellite island of Tiga (Toka) as part of its territory, is the largest of these islands and at 1146 square kilometres is officially the world’s largest atoll.
Top 3 things to do on Lifou
1. Dive in the crystal-clear, fish-rich waters of Lifou: with a sea life very diverse and colourful (rays, starfishes, reef sharks…), Lifou is definitely a paradise for divers and snorkelers. From beginners to experiences divers, everyone can explore the best diving spots on Lifou with local guides and professional instructors (more info)
2. Discover architecture: Did you know that Lifou was visited by French missionaries from the 1840s? Some relics of their passage still remain such as several 19th century Catholic church buildings. If you’re hooked on architecture and History, you should definitely stop off at The Chapelle Notre Dame de Lourdes which is one of them
3. Feast your eyes on Lifou’s gold, Vanilla: Vanilla cultivation was introduced to Lifou in 1860 from Madagascar. Today, over 120 producers and many planters supply 100% natural vanilla, which has become Lifou’s brown gold. There’s even a festival dedicated to this gift of nature: the Vanilla Festival, which celebrates each year this gift of nature. The tribe of Mou celebrates the harvest of the vanilla with traditional songs and dances and organises the visit of the vanilla plantation with tastings and food stalls. The tribes also welcome visitors to their villages, open their homes and explain their customs.
Maré (Nengone) is the easternmost island and its wild beauty is evident. Besides, the island’s exceptionally rich history, gives it a very specific identity. Discovering Maré is above all an inner experience, made up of meeting its people and natural wonders
Top 3 things to do on Maré 1. Experience Le Bone de la Léproserie: Maré has resplendent limestone caves to explore which are filled with crystaline waters. The most famous one is Le Bone de la Léproserie. It is a deep (160m!) limestone pool that has to be seen to be believed. This enormous hole in the limestone rock, hidden by thick vegetation, drops vertically to a pool of still water. It’s one of the largest drowned cavities in the world
2. Learn more about Kanak culture and art: Kanak culture is on show at the Centre Culturel Yeiwene Yeiwene notably through exhibitions of Kanak artefacts. Here, visitors will also discover stone ruins of peculiar origin that date back to 250AD… A return to the past!
3. Savour local produce during the Avocado Festival: Avocado Festival is an essential event in New Caledonia which showcases the fruit of the farmers’ work through a friendly event in order to establish the reputation of the Maré avocado, the green gold of the island, beyond the borders of this Loyalty island. As well as avocados, many organic fruits and vegetables such as Pawpaws, bananas, passionfruit, taros, yams, are offered on the exhibitors’ stalls. Yummy!
Top 3 things to do on Ouvea
1. Be part of the Lagoon Festival: The inhabitants of Ouvea the Loyalties enjoy to celebrate and the beauty of their island during local festivals such as the Lagoon festival. The idea of this festival is to promote all sea produce, while raising awareness among the public about environmental conservation, particularly of the lagoon. Musical groups, dance troops, fishing competition, water sport activities and many other entertainments take place during this Festival
2. Stop off at the coconut oil production plant: With a coconut grove estimated at over 3,000 ha, Ouvéa’s coconut oil production is extremely important to the islanders. After grinding and pressing, the coconuts are transformed into oil, used both as biofuel by the island’s electric power plant and as raw material for the production of soap. Discover all this amazing process during free visits
3.Hike along the Lekiny Cliffs: go for a stroll along the majestic Lekiny Cliffs. These very accessible cliffs are studded with beautiful caves. You can even enjoy some snorkelling at the end of the walk, right next to the cliffs
Last but not least, the Loyalty Islands offer the visitors the ultimate luxury: kilometres of beaches with spotless sand and perfect curves, as flawless as on the first day. The Loyalty Islands are indeed surrounded by crystal clear water beaches such as Luengoni Beach & Easo Beach (Lifou), Yejele Beach (Maré) and Mouli Beach (Ouvea). And that is only possible thanks to people (travellers included!) who treat nature with care and respect.
Now, the big question is: how to get to the Loyalty Islands? It is actually pretty easy. Air Calédonie flies from Nouméa to Lifou, Maré, Ouvéa and Tiga everyday. If you’d prefer to get there by boat, the Betico 2 fast ferry operates a triangular route between Nouméa, Lifou and Maré. No more excuse to skip this destination!
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 botany and raw beauty.
To truly escape, book a few nights on the Isle of Pines, which is a short twenty-minute flight or a two and a half hour ferry ride from Nouméa. Such is its beauty that photos won’t do it justice.
When here, you’ll find a very relaxed way of life, typified by the smile on the local’s faces and their talent to never rush the time. “A quoi bon le compter, il ne s’arrêtera jamais” – simply translates to “Why measure the time, it will never end” – as good an attitude to life here as anything!
Whilst you are visiting the Island, be sure to:
1. SWIM OR SNORKEL IN THE CRYSTAL CLEAR WATERS OF ORO NATURAL POOL
Take the most beautiful and heavenly postcard you will ever find, jump into it, and you will find yourself in the middle Of Oro’s natural swimming pool.
No words will ever be able to describe how beautiful this place is. Surrounded by tall pine trees, separated from the ocean thanks to a coral reef, this place is magical. The Natural Swimming Pool of the Isle of Pines is an enclosed lagoon where time stops.
Located in Oro Bay, on the northeast side of the Isles of Pines, this piece of paradise marvels each person lucky enough to discover it.
2. VISIT QUEEN HORTENSE’S CAVE
No visit to the Isle of Pines would be complete without a trip to the Queen Hortense’s Cave. A short walk through a thriving rainforest will bring you to the wide entrance and stunning gardens of these caves. The site’s caretaker will delight in sharing the tale of this natural wonder, named after a local Queen, who according to legend hid in the caves for several months during an intertribal conflict.
3. SAIL ON AN OUTRIGGER OVER THE WONDROUS UPI BAY
What better way to discover the stunning lagoon and bays that surround the Isle of Pines, by cruising in a traditional outrigger sailing boat.
Board your boat at St. Josephs Bay and drift amid the peaceful bays, guided by a local boatman and learn about the island’s culture while you enjoy the stunning sea views.
Upon disembarking at Oro Bay you can take a stroll through the tropical forest to the famous natural swimming pool.
4.CLIMB N’GA PEAK
Climb the highest peak (262 metres) on this low-lying island to take in the spectacular 360 views of the surrounding landscape and lagoon. It’s an easy hour’s walking time and possible for most fitness levels, just don’t forget your camera!
The hike starts in Kuto. Remember to wear sturdy walking shoes, and take lots of water and sunscreen.
5. TAKE A BOAT TRIP TO NOKANHUI AND ILOT BROSSE
Spend an amazing and unforgettable day in the heart of the exceptional lagoon. Feel like Robinson Crusoe for a few hours on Nokanhui islet where you can explore the surroundings with your snorkelling gear and laze on the white powdery sand. Then you will be taken to Brosse islet for lunch where you will be served a delicious grilled rock lobster picnic. On your way back, discover the bays of Kuto, Rouleaux, Koh Lanta, Moro, Wadaou, Saint Maurice and others. A must-do!
6. EXPLORE RUINS AND CEMETERY BELONGING TO THE ORIGINAL FRENCH PENAL COLONY
In the 1870s the Kuto Peninsula was home to a French Penal Colony (‘bagne’) which housed Communards deported from the Paris Commnune. The tender jetty in use today is in exactly the same place as the penal colony’s pier was, making it easy to imagine arriving at the island as a déporté. The colony was finally closed in 1880, when the Communards were granted total amnesty, and the survivors sailed back to France. If you wander 20 minutes inland from Kuto to Ouru, you can still see some ruins of the penal colony, and the cemetery for the prisoners who died on the island.
7. DISCOVER THE CULTURAL SIDE OF THE ISLAND
Immerse yourself in the history of the Isle of Pines by taking a guided tour to various traditional sites on the island. You will visit the small town of Vao, with the pretty Mission Church at its centre and the Statue de St Maurice commemorating the arrival of the first missionaries.
8. RELAX AT KANUMERA AND KUTO BAY
A narrow peninsula separates Kanumera Bay and Kuto Bay. Both of which feature stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The coral reef just off the shore of Kanumera Bay is home to a range of intriguing marine life.
Kanumera and Kuto Bay are one of the locals best kept secrets!
9. DISCOVER THE UNDERWATER WORLD OF THE ISLAND
The Isle of Pines is recognised as on of the best diving location in New Caledonia for beginners and experienced divers alike.
Diving is particularly interesting at Isle of Pines because of its diversity. There are numerous diving locations along the reef offering a constantly changing panorama of drop-offs, corridors, passages and sea grottos. There are over 15 dive sites, all around the breathtaking Bay of Gadji. The more experienced divers can venture down to the mysterious freshwater underground caves known as “Grotte de la Troisième”, reachable only by a narrow underwater corridor. Night dives in Isle of Pines are renowned for its mysterious atmosphere, with the sea snakes and loggerhead turtles.
Yes, snails. The “bulimes” or “Escargots de l’Ile des Pins” are endemic to the Isle of Pines and live in the forest. They are farmed by the locals and are a delicatessen you can find in most of the restaurants on the island.
If you are not a fan of snails try the freshly caught grilled lobster at KouGny Restaurant in Oro Bay, or indulge yourself at Le Meridien.
Here’s how to experience the main island of Grand Terre when you’ve only got a few days to spare!
DAY ONE: Morning: Fly to Noumea. After your transfer from Nouméa’s Tontouta International Airport to Nouméa, you’ll still have time to settle into your hotel and enjoy a spa treatment.
Afternoon: Discover Noumea’s popular beach spots, such as Anse Vata and Baie de Citrons (Lemon Bay). With a number of hotels only a stone’s throw away from the shoreline, grab your snorkel and explore the crystal clear waters, enjoy leisurely strolls along the beach, sunbathe or chose among the numerous watersport activities in and around Noumea. After this activity, seek out an aperitif and find a restaurant for dinner.
Evening: Choose a dining spot from one of the many venues for a stunning French meal.
DAY TWO Morning: To maximise your time, get up early and head to the Port Moselle Market, which opens at 5am. Here you will find locals shopping for island produce and the day’s freshest catch, while you browse for souvenirs, crafts and other items. Be sure to take some time out for breakfast, enjoy a steaming espresso and a warm buttery pain au chocolat at the café in the centre of the marketplace.
Afternoon: Home to the world’s largest lagoon and second largest reef in the world, New Caledonia is a snorkelling enthusiast’s paradise. One of the best ways to take it all in is on a day cruise to the stunning Amédée Island. A ride on a fast boat will take you to the offshore island and you can then transfer to a glass-bottom boat to cruise over the reef. From here you can jump into the turquoise waters with a snorkel and mask to explore the coral reef on your own. After an exotic buffet lunch you take an easy stroll to the lighthouse or visit the world’s smallest post office before enjoying a dance performance. More info here
Evening: If you don’t have time to visit the hinterland make sure you make the time to try a traditional Kanak meal at one of the restaurants that serve this cuisine.
DAY THREE Morning: For the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy a spa at one of Nouméa’s upmarket hotels.
Afternoon: Get to know Nouméa, a bustling cosmopolitan city with a distinct French fl avour. The Noumea Explorer (hop-on, hop-off bus) is an easy way to familiarise yourself with the key sights of Nouméa including Anse Vata Bay and the Baie des Citrons, The Museum of New Caledonia and the Aquarium des Lagons.
Evening: Relax at your hotel for dinner and then head out for a drink at a coastal venue as live music plays. Don’t miss the happy hours from 5pm to 6.30pm in the various cafes, piano-bars and karaoke venues. Try bars such as L’Endroit, La Bodega, L’Etrave and enjoy Noumea’s crazy nightlife!
The start of the 5th Round New Caledonia yacht race is on September 25, 2016. Big difference this year: the race is now open to multi-hulls. A 1500 Kms course. This event is physical and tough. Weather strategy and the crews’ physical condition will are the key to victory.
Night, day, hug the coast, keep out to sea: The wind is ever changing. When to gybe? When to tack? Which sails to set? Tack inshore? Head offshore? These are the questions our crews will be asking themselves …
The Tour of New Caledonia is thus a race against the clock. It is an ocean race worthy of a Sydney-Hobart; four days racing, choosing the right weather options, never letting up: a technical and tactical contest where victory is the prize!
The combination of the Foa film festival informs you that the 2016 prize entries will begin on March 1, 2016. The devices offered this year are: - New Caledonia 1st contest of short films - Société Générale Young Talents Contest - Concours Sacenc de clips - Race against time ! Sponsored by the Southern Province - Concours MobiliSMARTphone !
The Notice of Race for the 2016 World Sailing Youth Match Racing World Championship set to be held in Noumea, New Caledonia from 14 – 18 June 2016 has been released. Organised by the Cercle Nautique Calédonien in conjunction with World Sailing, this Grade W event will welcome 16 skippers racing in Elliott 6m boats.
In its third year following the successful 2014 and 2015 editions, the World Championship is open to competitors under 23 years old on 31 December 2016.
World Sailing Member National Authorities may apply for an invitation for a skipper of their nationality by sending a completed entry form to World Sailing no later than 15 February 2016. World Sailing will inform MNAs and skippers if they will be issued with an invitation no later than 1 March 2016.