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New Caledonia in Winter

Top Activities and Experiences

New Caledonia’s landscapes can be enjoyed all year round! During the austral winter, also known as the “cool season” from April to November, temperatures remain mild, averaging 22-24°C. It’s the ideal time to survey the archipelago without fear of extreme heat. Here’s our selection of the best things to do on Grande Terre and the islands during this season!

Marvel at humpback whales

Every year between July and September, humpback whales return to the warm waters of the South Pacific to rest and give birth. This is the time to observe these magnificent creatures in New Caledonia. Whether on a day-long catamaran cruise or from a land-based observation post, an unforgettable encounter awaits!

Discover the historical and cultural heritage

of Nouméa

Caledonians love to get together for a chat on the Place des Cocotiers (Coconut Square), in Nouméa. Do as they do: linger on a bench and strike up a conversation with your neighbour. Wandering around the capital is very pleasant in the cooler season, as it’s less hot and you can linger long in front of the city’s heritage sites. On the program: a stroll through the historic districts, shopping in the commercial streets, a visit to the city museums, and colonial house tour. And the highlight of the tour? A well-deserved break facing the turquoise lagoon!

Hiking trails

Mild temperatures make walking and hiking truly enjoyable during this season. Enjoy breathtaking panoramas over New Caledonia’s lagoon and the Central Mountain Range without breaking a sweat. Marvel from the peaks and discover the exceptional biodiversity of the territory on hikes ranging from a few hours to several days. Remember, even in the cooler months, the sun shines brightly, so don’t forget your hat and sunscreen!

The view makes up for all the effort

I love the trails in the Great South. They’re well laid out and signposted. What a pleasure it is to reach the ridges and see this landscape that blends red earth, mining scrub, river, and lagoon! Even when the route is demanding, the view makes up for all the effort.

Delphine Lucas

Explore the countryside

on horseback

Equestrian guides offer magnificent outings throughout the year. Explore the plateaus of the Central Mountain Range or the beaches of the West Coast. The result: breathtaking panoramas, a taste of Broussard (French Cowboys) culture, and a fantastic chance to bond with your horse!

Fly over the lagoon

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Experience the lagoon and its coral reef from a unique perspective. Whether by ULM, paramotor, seaplane, helicopter, or skydiving, take flight and behold sublime contrasts, heightened sensations, and peak luminosity. Let your spirit soar as you explore New Caledonia from the skies.

Get back in time of New Caledonia

as a penal colony

On Grande Terre and in the islands, notably the Isle of Pines, several remains of the penal Colony bear witness to New Caledonia’s tumultuous past. On the West Coast, Fort Teremba is home to patiently restored and richly documented penitentiary buildings. The emotion is palpable in front of the prison where the political opponents were once locked up. As you stroll along, stop off at these poignant sites to better understand the complexity and richness of the archipelago today.

Mountain bike

at the Blue River Provincial Park

In the Great South, Parc de la Rivière Bleue (Blue River Park) is a sanctuary for many plant and animal species. Here you’ll find wet and dry forests with majestic houps, kaori and oak trees. Native animals such as the cagou and notou roam freely. The Drowned Forest is an incomparable curiosity. Trunks of gum oaks emerge from Lake Yaté, towering skyward. By riding its mountain bike trails, you’ll fully appreciate these unique landscapes, without risking “heat stroke”.

Bathing at the Prony hot springs

If the lagoon waters feel too cool, venture to the deserted hot springs of Prony in the Great South. Hidden amidst vegetation, these springs offer a privileged swim in the heart of nature. Access them via a hiking trail or kayak on an organised outing.

Contemplate the Heart of Voh

Famous for having been photographed by Yann-Arthus Bertrand, the Heart of Voh is a must-see in North Caledonia! Appreciate it best with a microlight or helicopter flight, observing the distinctive mangrove swamp from the air.

On land, enjoy views from Mount Kathépaïk after a 2.5-hour walk or on a 4×4 excursion.

Road trip

The austral winter’s coolness makes road trips comfortable without blasting the air conditioning. Take the “Corniche calédonienne” (Coastal Road) along the east coast of Grande Terre for majestic coastal views. Stop at waterfalls like Tao and Colnett along the way, and visit Kanak tribes to participate in daily activities and experience traditional hut accommodation. In the Great South region, embark on a more adventurous 4×4 road trip, exploring uncharted roads and immersing yourself in unique landscapes.

Take part in trail running

New Caledonia, a haven for sports enthusiasts, offers exceptional natural environments and a network of sports associations. Take part in trail running, especially during the cooler months when it’s more enjoyable. Join one of the races featured in our calendar of events for an unforgettable experience!

Observe native birds

in nature parks

New Caledonia boasts an endemism rate of over 75%, making its natural parks home to unique plant and animal species. Spot cagous, notous, and other typical New Caledonian birds at Blue River Park or Great Ferns Park. Enhance your experience with a guided tour alongside a passionate ornithology expert. A must for nature lovers!

Admire the starry sky

The cool season offers the best opportunity to observe the southern hemisphere sky. With drier climate and less light pollution, it’s easy to find observation spots even in Nouméa. Identify constellations like the Southern Cross, Orion, and Scorpio among the 46 in the southern hemisphere.

Enjoying a good meal

During cooler evenings, warm up with a delicious meal. Visit Nouméa’s restaurants or join a table d’hôte to share stories with locals and fellow travellers. Experience the cosiness of an evening by the fire, just like home, but with added relaxation!