Scuba diving on the Isle of PinesScuba diving on the Isle of Pines
©Scuba diving on the Isle of Pines|Darren Jew

Diving Itinerary

15 days in New Caledonia
Two weeks diving in New Caledonia

Are you ready for a 15-day diving odyssey in the enchanting waters of New Caledonia? From thrilling underwater explorations to serene snorkelling, this itinerary is tailored for diving enthusiasts seeking an unforgettable aquatic adventure.

Nouméa

Arrive at the airport and transfer to Nouméa

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Nouméa

La Tontouta International Airport - Nouméa: 45 min.

As soon as you arrive at La Tontouta airport, a shuttle will take you to the capital, Nouméa.

Nouméa

Discover Noumea and its bays

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Nouméa

Relax at Anse-Vata or Baie des Citrons

Refuel and get fired up on your first day after your flight. Take advantage of your day to discover Nouméa and its magnificent bays and beaches. Head to Baie des Citrons (Lemon Bay) and Anse-Vata Bay, two perfect beaches lined with a promenade ideal for strolling and walking.

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Getting to the Tourist Office

Then stop off at the Tourist Office near the Ferry Terminal or the Information Point at the Aquarium des Lagons for all the information you need on diving sites and clubs in New Caledonia.

Nouméa

Diving at the Amédée lighthouse

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Nouméa

Navigation jusqu’au Phare Amédée : 45 min
1/ Discover the Islet Amédée marine reserve

The best introduction to a diving holiday in New Caledonia is certainly to start with a dive at Phare Amédée with Blue Caledonia Diving! Amédée island is a marine reserve populated by tropical fish and coral. The Boulari pass, a large tree-lined reef near Îlot Amédée, is a great place to spot manta rays year round. The diving club offers a full day with two scuba dives (for beginners or experienced divers) around these wonderful sites. It is also possible to take part in this day by opting for snorkelling rather than diving. With just a mask, fins and snorkel, you’ll see plenty of colourful fish and coral.

2/ Relaxing on îlot Canard

For those wishing to relax a little longer, the Ilot Canard (Duck Island) is an excellent alternative. On the programme: snorkelling around the islet’s underwater trail and lounging under a beach umbrella, just 5 minutes from Nouméa!

Lifou

Tribal welcome in Lifou

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Lifou

Flight Nouméa - Lifou: 40 min
Snorkelling in a natural aquarium

Today, you’ll fly to Lifou, the largest of the Loyalty Islands, where authentic encounters with Kanak tribes, hidden treasures and incredible diving await you. For your first day on the island, set off to meet the locals and enjoy the island’s most beautiful landscapes. As you wander around, don’t miss a few must-dos, such as a snorkelling session in Jinek Bay, reputed to be one of the best open water dives in the South Pacific.

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Swimming in the translucent waters of Kiki Beach

A 10-minute drive further south takes you along a private road (fee payable at the entrance) to Kiki Beach, a secret beach accessible by a 30-minute walk through fields and colonial pines. The view of the coast from the top of the cliff is one of the best in New Caledonia.

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Share a meal with a Kanak tribe

In Lifou, many tribes organise hospitality events where you can share a table d’hôte meal and take part in traditional workshops (fishing, weaving, visiting the fields, etc.). This is your chance to experience something really special, off the beaten track!

Lifou

Diving north of Santal Bay

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Lifou

Flight Lifou - Nouméa : 40 min
Discover the gorgonians in Santal Bay

Once you’ve booked your diving trip with Lagoon Safari, head to the pontoon on Easo beach to embark on your boat! A 30-minute trip away, your dives will take place just outside the Bay of Santal, sheltered from the wind. The first dive site, Gorgonian Reef, is a huge pinnacle that rises above the surface and plunges to a depth of 30 metres. The density of giant, colourful gorgonians has made this spot famous. You can also spot leopard sharks, manta rays, grey sharks and dogtooth tuna. The ‘Arch’ is another spot renowned for its schools of multicoloured fish, perch and jacks. A very wide passage at a depth of 15 metres gives access to the drop-off where you can observe grey reef sharks, gorgonians, bright yellow sponges, nudibranchs and more…

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Purchase vanilla at the Maison de la Vanille

Back on dry land, take a tour of one of the island’s Maison de la vanille to learn more about this delicious spice, which is very important to Lifou’s economy.

Bourail

En route to Bourail

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Bourail

Nouméa - Poé/Déva: 2h30
Discover the UNESCO-listed lagoon reef

From Nouméa, it will take you 2h30 to reach Poé on the West coast of Grande Terre. As you approach your destination, there are several magnificent bays to stop at! The Roche Percée and its famous “Bonhomme”, the Baie des Tortues (Turtle Bay) and its leaning columnar pines, the very long beach of Poé… Once there, there are plenty of activities on land, at sea or in the air! Among them, a snorkelling trip on the Bourail lenticulated reef with Passion Lagon Poé (book in advance) is a must.

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Bathe in the sea with your horse

The half-day horse rides organised by Far West Ranch take you along paths between land and sea, where swimming with your horse is a pure moment of joy!

Hienghène

Heading for the East Coast

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Hienghène

Bourail-Hienghène: 3h30
Take a stroll through the peaceful village

When you arrive in Hienghène, take a tour of the peaceful village, birthplace of Jean-Marie Tjibaou. Take a stroll around the small marina, take photos by the river mouth and stop off at the Tourist Office.

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Admire the Hen and Sphinx rocks formations

Then drive to the “Belvédère” and its magnificent view of the Brooding Hen and the Sphinx, two huge, strangely-shaped rocks that are among the best known in New Caledonia.

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Kayaking around the rocks

Before or after that, hire a kayak from Babou Côté Océan for the privilege of admiring the impressive Lindéralique Rocks from a completely different point of view!

Hienghène

Diving at Hienghène Cathedral

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Hienghène

Dive between faults and tunnels

In Hienghène, dive day and night with the Babou Côté Océan diving club. Start your exploration at the Cathedral of Hienghène, a spectacular and renowned dive site where divers swim between faults and tunnels before arriving at a drop-off carpeted with brightly coloured gorgonians. The spot is renowned for its topography and fauna, and it’s not uncommon to spot pelagic fish (tuna, king mackerel, grey sharks, etc.) in the blue. As night falls, enjoy the mysterious atmosphere of a night dive, again with Babou.

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Admire the magnificent waterfalls

In between your two scuba dives, come ashore to enjoy the wonders of the east coast, such as the Tao and Colnett waterfalls!

Hienghène

Crossing the chain via the Koné-Tiwaka road

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Hienghène

Hienghène - Koné: 2h15
Meet the members of a Kanak tribe

In Hienghène, the Kanak tribes open their doors to visitors to present them with a glimpse into their daily lives. Take part in a morning activity (coffee roasting, weaving, etc.) as part of your visit to the tribe. These workshops are a great opportunity to talk to the men and women of the tribes about their roles, customs and local produce.

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Discover the picturesque marina

Lunch at Ka Waboana in the centre of the village to enjoy the view and the atmosphere of the Hienghène marina. Take the opportunity to tour the village if you haven’t already visited it.

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Take a ride one of the most beautiful roads on Grande Terre

Then take the transverse Koné-Tiwaka road towards Koné. This winding stretch crosses New Caledonia’s Central Mountain Range, with some great stops to admire the views from Tuho, Pombei and Tango.

Koné

West Coast heritage

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Koné

Koné - Nouméa: 3h
Flying over the Heart of Voh

Between Koné and Nouméa, a number of New Caledonia’s must-sees are well worth a stop! In Voh, you can fly over the famous heart of Voh, a mangrove swamp whose shape has become world-famous since it was photographed by Yann-Arthus Bertrand for his ‘Earth from Above’ book.

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Visiting the remains of the penal colony

A little further south, in Moindou, Fort Teremba is an iconic monument to New Caledonia’s colonial history. This former penitentiary complex has been patiently restored, providing a fascinating insight into life in the penal colony.

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Dining out overlooking the lagoon in Nouméa

Once in Nouméa, treat yourself to a relaxing evening on the bays of Nouméa, facing the lagoon.

Isle of Pines

The shores of the Isle of Pines

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Isle of Pines

Flight Nouméa - Île des Pins: 30 min
1/ Enjoy lobster on Moro islet

Start your day on the Isle of Pines with a boat trip from Kuto beach to the wonderful Brosse and Moro Islets. After a trip out to sea in search of turtles, manta rays and dolphins, you’ll have the chance to do some snorkelling to observe the fish, before disembarking on Brosse islet. Lunch will be taken on the sand of Moro islet, in the shade of a faré tree.

Chill on a white sandy beach

he return trip in the middle of the afternoon will give you time to relax on the beaches of Kuto and Kanuméra.

2/ Take beautiful photos of the island's colourful churches

Another option for the day: take a tour of the Isle of Pines, either guided or by renting a car. Caves, villages and stunning churches await you along the way!

Isle of Pines

In the depths of the Isle of Pines

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Isle of Pines

Admire intact coral reefs

Today, you’ll be diving with the Kunié Scuba Center, the island’s only diving club, located on Ouameo Bay. Supervised by experienced and qualified instructors, you can explore three incredible sites. The Gorgonians Valley is an exceptional spot with forests of gorgonians, numerous faults and an abundance of underwater fauna. A beautiful drop-off lined with intact coral. The site is renowned for its leopard sharks and pygmy seahorses. Fans of cave diving will love the Grotte de Gadji. Along its contrasting bright spots and topography, you can observe a wide variety of species up close, including leopard sharks, seahorses and wild boar fish. An extension of the Gorgonians Valley, the Garden of Eden is home to pygmy seahorses and wild boar fish.

Isle of Pines

Outrigger in Upi Bay

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Isle of Pines

Flight Île des Pins - Nouméa : 30 min
1/ Sail among the rocks of Upi Bay

Depart from your accommodation and set off on an excursion in a traditional outrigger towards Upi Bay. The beauty of this trip among the coral rocks set against the translucent water will leave you with wonderful memories! From your boat, observe the scenery and look out for turtles, rays and dolphins

Admire the beauty of the natural swimming pool in Oro Bay

After 2 hours on the water, the excursion continues on foot through a tropical forest to the island’s natural swimming pool. Here you can observe the many multicoloured fish swimming in a natural pool surrounded by columnar pine trees. Don’t forget to bring your snorkelling equipment (fins, mask, snorkel).

2/ Climb to the top of N'Ga peak

If you prefer to stay on land today, lace up your hiking boots and climb to the top of N’Ga Peak. From up there, admire the view over the bays of the Isle of Pines, the columnar pines, Brosse islet…

Listen to the legend of Queen Hortense

On your return from the excursion, stop at Grotte de la Reine Hortense (Queen Hortense’s cave), a mysterious and legendary place for the Kuniés, the island’s inhabitants. Take the road to the Isle of Pines airport to return to Nouméa.

Nouméa

Diving in Nouméa

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Nouméa

Sailing to Dumbéa pass: 35 min.
Admire the seabed

From Noumea, organise a diving day with one of the capital’s diving clubs. Among the dive spots off Noumea, the Boulari and Dumbéa passes offer great drift dives. Depending on the tides, its populating fauna comes and goes. You may even get to see sharks and pelagics (loaches, napoleons, kingfish, barracudas, manta rays, eagles, grey sharks, white tips and hammerheads). The Dumbéa site (near the Îlot Signal, very steep with canyons and faults) is renowned to be home to a shoal of grey sharks. Between the Boulari pass and the Amédée islet, the wreck of the Dieppoise is the best known in New Caledonia. Intentionally sunk in 1988, it lies at a depth of 26 metres and is home to groupers, jacks, perch and nudibranchs. Its rich ecosystem is a delight for divers.

Nouméa

In the heart of the city

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Nouméa

Discover the Maritime Museum

On your last day in Nouméa, allow yourself some time to relax, between museums, shopping and relaxing. Visit the Maritime Museum to discover an exceptional collection of underwater archaeological objects from La Pérouse’s expeditions. Then head to the city centre for a shopping spree in search of souvenirs to bring back from your stay.

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Stroll around Place des Cocotiers

Linger at the Place des Cocotiers (Coconuts Square), with its music kiosk, flamboyant trees and historic statues. Admire the lights at the end of the day on the Quai Ferry before trying your luck at bingo. While many Caledonians spend entire evenings there, 1 hour is enough to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of a bingo hall, a popular gambling spot for the locals.

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Enjoy the nightlife

Continue your evening at Q20, a wine bar on Quai Ferry, perfect for sampling a wide selection of French wines overlooking the sea. If you prefer to be closer to the bays of the southern districts, you can also enjoy cocktails and tapas at Anse-Vata. Why not also go to the Casino de Nouméa, just a few metres away to play a few rounds of Black Jack and Poker?

Nouméa

Last day and return to the airport

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Nouméa

Nouméa - Tontouta: 45 min
Buy your last souvenirs

If you still have a little time before your return flight, take a trip to the Nouméa market or one of the craft shops in the bays of Nouméa to buy your last souvenirs. Take one last look at the lagoon from Anse-Vata and catch your shuttle to La Tontouta international airport…

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