New Caledonia's lagoonNew Caledonia's lagoon
©New Caledonia's lagoon|M. Dosdane

Heavenly lagoon

Explore the wonders of the largest lagoon in the world, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! This treasure of marine biodiversity, one of the best preserved on the planet, is also the perfect playground for all kinds of supervised water sports.

The largest lagoon in the world

With over 1,600 km of coral reef, an average of 30 km from its coasts, New Caledonia is undoubtedly one of the unmissable jewels of the Pacific Ocean.

Spanning from the north of the Belep Islands to the southern tip of the Isle of Pines, completely encircling its Grande Terre, the archipelago boasts more than 24,000 km2 of lagoon: the 2nd largest and by far the most beautiful in the world! And this is not taking into account the magnificent lagoons of the other surrounding atolls such as Ouvéa and Entrecasteaux.

Apart from the few passes connecting the lagoon with the open sea, this natural protection ensures ideal maritime conditions with water temperatures between 22 and 30 C° all year round, generally calm seas, and average accessible depths of 25m.

Abundant marine biodiversity

The New Caledonian lagoon is not only immense but above all, it is also overflowing with life and colours, both near the beaches and on the reef.

There are more than 20,000 marine species within it, and new ones are recorded every year. Gorgonians and corals of all kinds, more than 1600 different breeds of fish, majestic turtles, schools of manta rays, humpback whales, prehistoric nautiluses…

It is a true marine sanctuary that is easily accessible to amateur and experienced divers. Unrivalled biodiversity … simply magical!

Marine protected areas

To preserve this treasure of biodiversity, while guaranteeing its discovery in appropriate settings/circumstances, New Caledonia is increasing environmental protection initiatives and marine protected areas such as:

  • In 2008, 15,743 km2 of the New Caledonian lagoon was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, spread over 6 sites: the areas of the Entrecasteaux reefs, the Grand Lagon Nord, the north and east coast, Ouvéa and Beautemps-Beaupré Island, west coast and Grand Lagon Sud.
  • The effective management of dozens of provincial protected areas, close to the coasts, with specific controls and regulations, to preserve ecosystems by minimising human activity.
  • The creation of the ‘Coral Sea Natural Park’ in 2014 extended over nearly 1.3 million km² (from the outer limit of provincial waters to the outer limit of the exclusive economic zone). The largest French marine protected area and one of the largest in the world!