Catamaran sailing on the lagoon of New CaledoniaCatamaran sailing on the lagoon of New Caledonia
©Catamaran sailing on the lagoon of New Caledonia|La Poze

12 unforgettable things to do

in New Caledonia

When you think of New Caledonia, paradise beaches may come to mind, but there’s so much more to discover! Explore these 12 unique experiences on your next adventure in this stunning archipelago.

Enjoy refined French cuisine

New Caledonia’s location in the heart of the South Pacific doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy exquisite French cuisine. As a French territory, it blends French culinary traditions with Asian and Oceanic influences, using fresh local ingredients. The restaurants in Nouméa offer a delightful gastronomic journey for your taste buds.

Stay with local communities

For an authentic family-friendly vacation, immerse yourself in local culture by staying with a Kanak tribe or in a traditional gîte. Sleep in a traditional hut, savour regional dishes, learn generational customs, and partake in daily activities like fishing, birdwatching, or weaving. It’s a personal way to connect with the local culture.

Dive in crystal-clear waters

New Caledonia boasts natural aquariums with clear waters, white sandy beaches, and vibrant coral reefs. Grab your snorkel, mask, and fins to witness colourful marine life around the coral formations. Be mindful of the fragile ecosystem and avoid stepping on the coral.

Island-hopping adventures

Explore New Caledonia’s many islands, both inhabited and remote. From the Isle of Pines to the Loyalty Islands and lesser-known gems like Goéland, Larégnère, and Ilot Maître, you can reach these islands by taxi boats or embark on a catamaran cruise to the secluded wild islands in the south of Grande Terre.

Fall in love

with the Heart of Voh

A striking feature of the Caledonian landscape known and appreciated across the world, the Heart of Voh is a natural phenomenon that continues to amaze visitors to the archipelago. Made famous by photographer Yann-Arthus Bertrand in the 1990s, the near-perfectly shaped heart is formed by a natural clearing in a mangrove swamp near the commune of Voh. During your stay, plan a ULM flight, pack your camera and see for yourself what makes this iconic sight so noteworthy!

Swim in the world's largest lagoon

No visit to New Caledonia is complete without exploring the world’s largest lagoon. The coral reef surrounding the archipelago houses diverse marine life. Snorkel with manta rays, turtles, and colourful fish using just a mask, flippers, and snorkel. The calm, turquoise waters are perfect for underwater adventures year-round!

Play golf with ocean views

While New Caledonia is renowned for its deserted beaches, it also offers picturesque golf courses. Enjoy the stunning ocean views while playing at courses like Golf de Déva and Tina. Challenge yourself with 18 holes or opt for a leisurely 9-hole round.

Discover horseback riding

Experience the unique “horse culture” of New Caledonia by embarking on a horseback ride. Explore the Central Mountain Range‘s diverse landscapes, from seashores to plains, on horseback. Interact with local flora and fauna while learning about the endemic species from knowledgeable guides. You can stroll along the seashore to cool off in the water alongside your horse, or set off for several days on a roving equestrian trek for an outdoor adventure like no other.

Tackle the Grande Randonnée trails

New Caledonia’s GR® trails offer outdoor adventures with diverse vegetation, including dry and humid forests, mining scrub, and niaouli tree savannah. Enjoy breathtaking views over the lagoon as you hike through medium-sized mountains. Some summits offer panoramic vistas of both the western lagoon and the eastern ocean.

Living in the Caledonian bush

While the archipelago’s pretty beaches richly deserve their reputation, the Brousse calédonienne (Caledonian bush) offers unique and authentic experiences you won’t soon forget! Set off on a ranch tour and discover a working farm in action, trace the tumultuous history of the West Coast, discover the lifestyle of cowboys and stockmen… From vast golden plains to craggy peaks and hidden valleys, here’s a facet of New Caledonia worth exploring!

Whale watching

From July to September, hundreds of humpback whales migrate to New Caledonia’s warm waters to rest, breed, and give birth. Join whale-watching cruises to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat while respecting their well-being.

Explore nature reserves

New Caledonia’s nature reserves offer lush rainforests, cascading waterfalls, rugged gorges, and drowned forests. Head to The Blue River Park, The Great Ferns Park, Dumbéa river, Yaté lake, or the East Coast of Grande Terre for an immersive nature experience beyond the dreamy beaches and turquoise waters.