Scuba diving in NoumeaScuba diving in Noumea
©Scuba diving in Noumea|Ayaka Ogata


in New Caledonia

Are you yearning to explore the depths of the Caledonian lagoon? From beginner’s dives to advanced expeditions, New Caledonia harbours some of the world’s most enchanting diving sites.


in New Caledonia

Novices and seasoned divers alike will revel in the vibrant marine life thriving amidst magnificent coral formations, hidden within the coral reefs, passages, and drop-offs. Internationally acclaimed as a biodiversity sanctuary, New Caledonia offers the perfect setting for advancing your diving skills. Join us in discovering the must-visit diving sites in New Caledonia.

Boulari and Dumbéa passes

These sites offer captivating drift dives. Depending on the tides, you can witness a concentration of marine life. Sightings may include sharks, manta rays, dolphins, and dugongs, among others. The Dumbéa site (near Signal islet) is renowned for its school of grey sharks, while the Boulari site (near Amédée islet) offers year-round encounters with manta rays.

The wreck of the Dieppoise

in Nouméa

Located between Boulari Pass and Amédée Islet, this sunken ship is one of New Caledonia’s most famous wrecks. Intentionally sunk in 1988, it rests at a depth of -26 metres and teems with marine life, including merozoans, carangues, perch, and nudibranchs. This rich ecosystem is a diver’s paradise.

Complete your dive with a tour of the Maritime Museum of New Caledonia where the ship’s history is recounted and illustrated!

Hienghène’s Cathedral

A spectacular and renowned dive site, the Cathedral of Hienghène captivates divers as they navigate through faults and tunnels before emerging onto a drop-off adorned with brightly coloured gorgonia. While known for its relief and small resident fauna, pelagic species such as tuna, king mackerel, and grey sharks are often spotted offshore.


in Poindimié

This site boasts one of the largest concentrations of gorgonians in New Caledonia. The diverse underwater terrain, composed of faults, arches, and canyons, showcases small fish, gorgonians, nudibranchs, anemones, and multicoloured soft corals in an enchanting light.

Deverd pass

in Koumac

To the north of Grande Terre, Koumac holds delightful underwater surprises. Divers will need a flashlight to explore the Deverd pass—a true maze of caves and cavities. Keep a keen eye out for pelagic fish.

Gorgone Reef

in Lifou

Located north of the baie de Santal, several coral formations are linked by arches covered in giant gorgonians. This backdrop is ideal for spotting dogtooth tuna, scorpion fish, or even leopard sharks, delighting photographers.

Gorgonian Valley

on the Isle of Pines

Divers flock to the Isle of Pines for its diverse dive sites. Gorgonian Valley stands out as an exceptional site with gorgonian forests, numerous faults, and abundant marine life. It features a stunning drop-off adorned with pristine corals. The site is renowned for its leopard sharks and pygmy seahorses.

Gadji cave

on the Isle of Pines

Cave diving enthusiasts cherish this incredible spot on the Isle of Pines. Amidst plays of light and relief, you can observe a wide variety of species up close, including leopard sharks, seahorses, and wild boar fish.

Green Island pass

in Bourail

A 20-minute boat ride from Bourail, this dive site outside the lagoon is well-protected from trade winds by the coral reef. The pass offers a fish-rich area in shallow, turquoise waters. Depending on the season, you may encounter white tip sharks, leopard sharks, stingrays, leopard stingrays, schools of jacks, napoleons, turtles, and dugongs. The outer pass features winding canyons and illuminated coral-covered caves. Nearby, you’ll also appreciate the grand coude de Kélé coral reef’s beauty and the pelagic diversity of the ‘faille aux requins’ (Shark Pass) site.

Aiguille de Prony

(Prony's needle)

In the Great South, the colossal chimney-like structure is unlike any coral formation. It results from a freshwater resurgence, beginning at a depth of 38 metres and rising to within 2 metres of the water’s surface. This unique structure attracts numerous fish species, including bivalves and loaches.

During the mid-July to mid-September season, it’s not uncommon to encounter dolphins or whales on your boat trips.

Frequently asked questions about diving in New Caledonia
  • When is the best time to dive?

    Diving is suitable year-round. While local divers are accustomed to tropical waters at 27-28°C and may find the water slightly cooler during the cool season (April to September, 22-23°C), this time offers excellent visibility (30 to 40 meters). Moreover, from mid-July to mid-September, you may have the chance to spot whales during your boat crossings. It’s advisable to wear a 5 mm wetsuit during this period.

  • What can you see underwater?

    Thanks to the healthy state of the barrier reef, there are numerous outstanding sites featuring gigantic gorgonian fans, steep drop-offs adorned with colorful corals, and diverse marine life. The passes are also a draw for sharks and manta rays.

  • What Are the Diving Facilities Like in New Caledonia?

    Diving centres are distributed across the region, affiliated with various certifying bodies or international federations (PADI, SSI, CMAS, etc.). These centres are well-organised, staffed with qualified instructors, and offer services suitable for all levels. Quality equipment and safety protocols are in place throughout Grande Terre and Île des Pins. The Nouméa hospital, meeting Western standards, is equipped with modern facilities, including a hyperbaric chamber, ensuring the safety of divers in cases of decompression sickness.

  • Should I bring my own equipment?

    Diving centres provide equipment rental services. If you prefer to bring your own gear, be sure to check your airline’s baggage regulations before departure. Don’t forget to bring your logbook and diving certification.

  • Can I fly before or after diving?

    While the temptation to dive is strong, it’s essential to take it easy and rest after your flight for a full-fledged diving experience. The duration you should wait before flying depends on the depth of your dive and the accumulated dive time:

    • Allow 12 hours for dives lasting less than 2 hours without decompression stops.
    • Allow 24 hours for deep dives (>15 m) or multiple dives in a day.

    Rest and hydration are key before taking a flight. Seek advice from dive centres, particularly for flights departing from Île des Pins (aim to return as late as possible if you dive in the morning).