Experience a tribal stay at Oui Poin, La FoaExperience a tribal stay at Oui Poin, La Foa
©Experience a tribal stay at Oui Poin, La Foa|Oneye Production

Kanak culture

in New Caledonia

Share the cultures, warmth and generosity of the local communities and plunge into the heart of the Kanak world to discover age-old traditions and create unforgettable memories!

Discover Kanak culture

in New Caledonia

Discover the vibrant tapestry of Kanak culture deeply woven into the fabric of New Caledonia. From thrill-seekers and culture enthusiasts to foodies and nature lovers, this unique archipelago offers a diverse range of experiences that allow you to connect with the Kanak culture. Whether you find yourself on Grande Terre or the surrounding islands, you will be welcomed by many tribes eager to share their way of life. Local guides, art galleries, and cultural festivals provide authentic encounters with the Kanak culture, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

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Being welcomed into a tribe was an incredibly profound human experience. The customary gesture, sharing of bougna, and the surprise of sleeping under the same hut made a lasting impact on me.

Iris, Caledonian Dream season 2

Enjoy a tribal welcome

for the whole family

Kanak tribes have preserved ancestral self-sufficiency techniques, such as spearfishing, subsistence farming, pandanus weaving, outrigger crafting, and carving. During a tribal welcome, hosts eagerly introduce all generations to these traditional skills. Immerse yourself in their customs by engaging in daily activities such as fishing, hunting, cooking, planting, weaving, and sculpting. Traditional huts that house travellers now offer workshops, creating cherished memories of New Caledonia.

Traditional outrigger


Embark on a must-do adventure on the Isle of Pines – sailing an outrigger pirogue on the majestic Upi Bay. This unique experience not only allows you to navigate through floating rocks but also unveils a precious heritage passed down through generations

Nature walks

with local guides

With its exceptional nature and ancient cultures, New Caledonia’s population maintains a special bond with the land. Explore nature and wildlife while accompanied by a local guide who shares their knowledge, stories, and legends. See the environment from a different perspective and reconnect with nature. Explore lush vegetation in protected nature reserves, discover the secrets of medicinal plants, or embark on multi-day hikes through the ranges.

Visit galleries and museums

New Caledonia’s galleries and museums serve as extraordinary showcases, highlighting the richness and diversity of Kanak culture. The Centre Culturel Tjibaou is a magnificent testament to Kanak and Oceanian arts and cultures, with its Kanak path unveiling the story of Téa Kanaké, the mythical figure at the heart of New Caledonia’s indigenous population.

Explore Historic and Legendary Sites

Extraordinary sites located on Kanak customary lands are revered and preserved. Listen to the captivating stories and legends shared by the locals. These sites represent the natural world, the spiritual connection to ancestors and spirits. Some notable locations include:

Indulge in traditional cuisine

A stroll in the Brousse (bush) reveals the significance of fields in local culture. During your stay, savour a Bougna, the traditional Kanak dish, and even participate in its preparation from field to plate. Bougna combines the flavours of the land and sea, serving as a culinary emblem of New Caledonia. Many restaurants and local chefs offer modern, locally-inspired cuisine, allowing you to immerse yourself in these unique flavours.

Join local festivals or fairs

Beyond the capital, tribal life revolves around harvesting and fishing seasons, giving rise to local festivals and fairs. Celebrate events like the Avocado Festival, the Lagoon Festival, or the Taro Festival. These festivities offer a deep dive into Kanak culture, complete with traditional dances and songs such as the pilou or kaneka.

Participate in Kanak artistry

Engage with local artisans and make the most of your time with the tribe by learning the art of coconut leaf braiding (for crafting dishes, baskets, hats, wreaths, wedding decorations) or wood carving. Explore the significance of Kanak symbols and the role of art in culture transmission.

Frequently asked questions about Kanak culture
  • How can I respect Kanak culture when visiting a tribe?

    Keep an open mind, engage sincerely, ask questions, do the Customary Gesture, seek permission before photographing people or sites.

  • Are tribe camps suitable for children?

    Yes, as they provide diverse experiences for families to learn, explore a new culture, and build connections. Hosts are welcoming, generous, and excellent storytellers, making it an engaging journey for children.

  • How do I book a tribal stay?

    Consider local festivals for special packages, keeping in mind that these types of accommodation have limited capacity, and online booking may not always be available. Reach out to local travel agencies or the Tourist Office for assistance in coordinating with the hosts.