New Caledonia offers so much more than you can imagine. Visiting New Caledonia will relax your soul and recharge your body, its the perfect place to be.
It is the perfect island holiday – where the French Riviera meets the South Pacific and yet only less than three hours flying time from Auckland.
Surrounded by the world’s largest lagoon and the second largest coral reef, this exciting destination with its diverse range of experiences is truly a tropical paradise.
New Caledonia is called The ‘Land of Eternal Spring’, as it is blessed with a semi tropical climate all year round. Throughout the country you will find a strong Melanesian tradition in the architecture, arts, crafts and hospitality. This combines with a distinct French influence, creating a European style and elegance to create a truly unforgettable experience.
The diversity of landscapes in New Caledonia is beyond imagination. Panoramic mountains and lush forests. Picturesque lakes and spectacular waterfalls. Bushland and wide open spaces. Quaint Melanesian villages and old convict settlements. Swimming and diving in warm turquoise waters. Walking on the golden sands of long and deserted palm fringed beaches.
Map of New Caledonia
The Territory of New Caledonia consists of the Mainland (Grand Terre), the Isle of Pines to the south, the Loyalty Islands to the east (Maré, Lifou, Tiga and Ouvéa), the Belep Archipelago in the north west and numerous other smaller islands and islets.
The main island is five hundred kilometers long, fifty kilometers wide, and offers an endless variety of landscapes, from some of the best white sand beaches in the Pacific to spectacular mountain retreats.
It is encircled by a 1,600 km long coral reef, enclosing the largest lagoon in the world – awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2008. This reef can be as close as a few kilometers from the coast in some places and as far as 65 km in others – with an average depth of 40 m.
The capital city, Nouméa, is located in the Southern Province on the main island, and is a 45 minute bus ride south of the international airport. Nouméa is now a garden city, where urbanization and nature blend harmoniously, an attractive modern capital in the South Pacific:
The Northern Province
The Northern Province is a large area covering the northern half of the main island. The area is very diverse, with wide open plains on the West Coast through to superb waterfalls and tropical forests on the East Coast. As well as deserted islands, pretty beaches and exceptional diving sites. Visitors who love nature and unspoilt spots will be delighted!
The Isle of Pines (Ile des Pins)
Eighty kilometres south-east of Noumea lies the enchanting Isle of Pines (14 km wide, 18 km long) a place where time seems to stand still in an idyllic setting of white beaches under swaying palms and soaring Araucaria pines. “Kunié “, as it is still called by the inhabitants, is as beautiful under water as it is on land and a favourite spot for divers.
The Loyalty Islands – Maré, Lifou, Tiga and Ouvéa
Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa are roughly a 40 minute flight from Nouméa, with several flights each day on Air Calédonie. The Betico motorised catamaran also runs services from Nouméa to Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa several times a week.
- Lifou – is the largest of the Loyalty Islands, being 1,150 km2 (larger than Martinique or Tahiti) and the most populated.
- Ouvea – This island is a dream destination with its magnificent clear blue sea, white sand beaches and its green parrots which are unique in the world. The west coast of the island boasts the largest beach in the Loyalty Islands – 25 km of uninterrupted white sand surrounded by an emerald lagoon.
- Mare – Maré Island with its cliffs high above the waves below, seems to be the most secret of the Loyalty Islands. The island has a wild beauty with decidedly jagged basalt rocks, sombre forests and long beaches bordered with coconut palms. Its central plain is scattered with grottos and natural pools where fish and turtles swim.
- Tiga – Located north of Mare, Tiga, the ‘proud’ island is a tiny 12 square kilometre atoll rising from the middle of the ocean. Its humped shape is explained by a legend telling how a sea turtle agreed to carry a rat from Lifou across to Mare, but stopped halfway. Tiga’s only tribe lives on fishing and copra production, and there are no facilities for tours or accommodation.
New Caledonia is one of the best kept secrets, if you are looking for a quick and affordable holiday then Newcaledonia could be your answer.