10 Top THINGS TO DO in New Caledonia
BEST THINGS TO DO IN NEW CALEDONIA
New Caledonia is a French Collectivity located in the South Pacific. It is one of the most beautiful Islands that is surrounded by Turquoise blue waters and white sand. The island is absolutely the perfect place for water activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming, paragliding, hiking, trekking, camping, and a lot more.
Here is a detailed guide about various places of Islands that are perfect for these activities and their details. Check out the best things to do in New Caledonia
Scuba Diving New Caledonia
Scuba Diving New Caledonia
The Island is richly populated by corals. The reefs surround the water giving it a turquoise blue colour. It supports rich biodiversity making it the ideal spot for scuba diving.
The best part of New Caledonia is that the waters can be accessed to enjoy the marine life even without am oxygen cylinder as that of deep sea diving. One needs to spend a day to enjoy the complete beauty of scuba diving.
How Scuba Diving Works ? Scuba diving is an activity underwater where the diver dives deep into the sea. He carries oxygen cylinders and stays underwater for hours together. Scuba diving is an activity to watch marine organisms and corals.
The diving accessories are provided by the diving clubs organizing the diving activity
Best Diving Spots
Top 5 best diving spots in New Caledonia
Amedee Island – It holds a lighthouse on its shore. The Island is very rich in marine life. And hence the best spot for scuba diving. The Amedee diving club is the only place offering scuba diving services here in the Island. The Divers of the club speak French and English. Money has to be compulsorily paid in cash before entering the waters. It includes lunch as the activity would continue for one whole day. The Non – divers can also accompany. They can enjoy sitting in the boat. The diving clubs here charge 75 NZD which is cheaper than the rest.
Lagoon of Poe. The diving clubs here charge 85 – 95 NZD
Hienghene. The diving clubs here charge approximately 110 NZD. However, they offer hourly charges also.
Grand Terre Grand Terre is the largest Island in the Archipelago of New Caledonia. It is surrounded by the New Caledonia Barrier Reef. It is the second largest double barrier reef in the world. Prony Needle and Shark Pit are the two best scuba diving spots here. These spots are ideal for spotting variety of marine creatures like sharks, dugongs (endangered), turtles, etc Grand Terre is also home to many birds. This is mainly because of the microclimate influenced by the mountain in the region. The diving charges here are 125 NZD. Pick the best. Plan accordingly to the availability of time. It might seem unfortunate to miss a spot as every spot of New Caledonia is blissful.
Snorkeling in New Caledonia
Snorkeling in New Caledonia
Must do Activity in New Caledonia
What is the best thing to do in New Caledonia ?
Out of all the activities Snorkeling is the must to do and quite popular activity. Every beach in New Caledonia has a renting shop of snorkeling equipment. Snorkelling takes a person better than heaven. The worlds of corals can be very well discovered by snorkelling. The water in New Caledonia is crystal clear and makes it the best place for snorkeling. One will be amazed to see the sea floor even at 30 – 40 meters depth.
What is needed for Snorkeling ?
One has to get a fin for swimming in the water. This will ease moving and makes a person less tiresome and helps in prolonged snorkeling. Snorkellers should also bring along the snorkel masks. The mask covers the nostril well. It also has swimming glasses attached. A tube extends from the mouth that is long. It is to be held by holding it with a bite with the help of jaws and teeth. The tube’s other end peeps out from water through which the person breathes while he is swimming underwater. The arrangement of the snorkel helps the person to stay underwater for a longer time.
TOP 5 SNORKELING SPOTS IN NEW CALEDONIA
Duck Island is one of the best snorkelling spots. Snorkelling is ideal along the beachside and lagoons. This is because one cannot go deep inside water with the snorkelling equipment. They have to stay on the surface for the tube to help in breathing.
The Tamounou reef in St Marie Bay is another perfect snorkel site. The beach here is shallow and leads to an underwater tunnel. The place has a floating restaurant especially in the middle of the snorkelling area that is ideal for a break after snorkelling for a certain amount of time.
Lemon Bay is ideal for family snorkelling. This is because there are many small lagoons that are rented for a certain period of time for a group to enjoy their private time. Usually, the charges are 10 AUD per person. However, the lagoons have comparatively lesser marine life as compared to the sea
One has to be very cautious not to cross the safety line while snorkelling. Tough the beaches are shallow, they begin to deepen after a certain stretch
The other best snorkelling spots of New Caledonia are Largnere islets in Noumea, Jokin Cliffs in Lifou. Jokin Cliffs are the best site as the cliff stands in water. There is no shore here and the water is 5 – 10 metres deep but is crystal clear making it ideal for snorkelling. One can spot turtles, colourful fishes and if luck favours even dolphins! The Southern Pleiades and Amedee Lighthouse are also good for snorkelling
The Isle of Pines that has natural swimming pools should definitely not be missed. Snorkelling is one of the most inexpensive activities in New Caledonia. The purpose of the tourist visit to New Caledonia is snorkelling.
There are also snorkelling guides to take the tourists to the best snorkelling sites which are rich in marine life. Though they are not needed as every place in New Caledonia is rich in marine life, they help to spot underwater corals that are beautiful and unique. The larger reefs are a few distances away from the shore and support more marine life.
Paragliding in New Caledonia
Paragliding in New Caledonia
Paragliding is a sport resembling parachute. The canopy is attached to the person that lets him fly in the air. The person jumps with his glider from a certain height. It can be the top of the mountain or from a plane.
What you need for paragliding ?
Paragliding can be done by any person weighing under 100 kg. The recommended clothing to perform the activity is a sweatshirt and sneakers. One can even offer the activity as a gift to their friends and family. The activity is highly dependent on weather conditions. The best time are many paragliding operators are open is in the months of April, May, September and October. This is when there is no rain in the region
Half a day of paragliding costs around $450 NZD. The service is offered at Ouen Toro in Noumea.
Surfing in New Caledonia
What is Surfing ?
Surfing is a water sport where a rider rides through the waves through his water board. The wave carries them to the shore. The South West Coast of New Caledonia is the best for Surfing
Surfing in New Caledonia
Surfing is not very common in Caledonia as the sea is silent without many waves. However, there are some beaches in New Caledonia where the sport can be enjoyed.
The best months for surfing is from March to May and also in September and October
Surfing Agents in New Caledonia
There are many agents in the Bourail region guiding to the surfing spot. They charge around 6000 CFP or 150 NZD. The charge is for half a day. The agents also offer shuttle services to the spots. One can contact Bourali La Roche Percee to book the activity. There are one – two agents operating on the service. One needs to take their swimming goggles as the splashing water might hinder the vision.
Some also offer reef surf which is a one-day activity where they take the tourists to the mangrove forests, where many marine species can be spotted. The tourists are then guided to the surfing reef in the evening. Charges are the same with lesser surfing time
The travel agents even provide small training with extra charges if the person is new to paragliding.
Kite Surfing and Wind Surfing Agents in New Caledonia
Both windsurfing and kite surfing can be enjoyed here. Kite surfing is the sport activity where the surfer surfs on water holding a kite that pulls him in the direction of the wind. Kite surfing is less expensive as compared to other water sports like paragliding or sailing in New Caledonia.
Kite surfing is best in New Caledonia as the water is clear and winds are at maximum speed as the land is narrow.
Kayaking in New Caledonia
What is Kayaking ?
Kayaking is moving across the water in long boats. The paddler in the kayak sit with his legs stretched in the front. The paddles are double bladed on either side. The paddles are used to move front and back and rotation on the other side. The kayaks are inflatable.
Where is the best place to get Kayak in New Caledonia ?
There are many agents offering kayaking service. One can rent the paddle and the kayak from these agents. Tourists need not be a trained professional to enjoy the sport. Good physical strength is more than sufficient to enjoy the activity. One needs to wear loose comfortable clothing.
The agents, however, provide safety jackets. One can get their snorkel equipment and swimming glasses to jump into waters where the marine life is rich. However, check on the kayaks to stay close to them.
Where is the best place to Kayak in New Caledonia ?
Dumbea river is the best place for kayaking. One can also enjoy kayaking at the Blue River National Park where the charges are $250 NZD. The guides accompany the kayakers. The charge is for half a day.
TAXI BOAT Cruises in New Caledonia
Taxi Boat Cruise in New Caledonia
With many spectacular sightseeing spots in New Caledonia, one can hire a taxi boat. The boats are like mobile hotels with all facilities for cooking, bathing and comfortable luxury rooms with a bed.
Hiring the taxi one can schedule a tour for himself or stick to the itinerary offered by the taxi boat operators. The charges are 120 NZD per day. It is ideal for tourists who wish to see the entire New Caledonia islands including the Loyalty Islands and the Isle of pines that are few miles from Noumea coast. The charges are comparatively higher at the weekends
What is Cheapest Way to Cruise in New Caledonia ?
For the others who want to opt for a more economical ride at around 80 NZD, the services can be limited to a day returning to their respective hotels at night. The charges for this trip is around 70 – 100 NZD. Usually, the spots like Isle of Pine, Amedee island, Escape Island, Second Great Barrier reef and Signal islands are covered.
These are almost fixed itinerary with every operator. However, if one visits as a group and there are a sufficient number of tourists, they take the tourists to the desired spots. The guides are the locals mostly speaking Japanese, French and very little English.
The Taxi Boats are available for rent in Noumea. It cannot be found on other Islands as the starting place of the trip is Noumea which is 50 km from the international airport.
Mountain Biking in New Caledonia
Biking in New Caledonia
Places of New Caledonia can be very well explored with mountain biking. Bicycles that are suitable for mountainous trains can be hired easily here as it is pretty famous and loved by tourists coming here
The best place for mountain biking is Bourail. The path starts from Deva to Kone through Bourail. One can also climb the Grande Coucle situated in the Tango Plateau. It is nearly 40km long and is 510m in height. The biking trails are well traced in these regions.
There are 20 different biking trails here. The Les Boucles de Tina is also a pleasurable biking trail and is free. One just has to hire bicycles which have decent hiring charges. Per day hiring charge of the bicycle is 15 – 25 NZD.
Horse Riding in New Caledonia
Every 1 in 20 inhabitants domesticates a horse in New Caledonia. Horses are very common in the area. There are many spectacular places in the central New Caledonia where one cannot traverse on foot. Also, there are not proper roads to the region. Horse riding is the best way to enjoy the beautiful mountains and animal life here. The ride is enjoyable and the view from the top is simply gorgeous. The blue water of different shades is well sited from the top.
The trip is led by experienced guides. Horses are well domesticated and any new riders can easily enjoy the ride. The trail of the ride is along the edges of waters.
One of the best horse riding sites of New Caledonia is the Lebris Peninsula. The Peninsula gives a spectacular view of the beaches and the mangroves as well. During the ride, one can learn the life of the locals and the tribal population living here.
Another spectacular spot for Horse riding is the Puen island.
The charges of horse riding per day are 170 – 250 NZD. Pueno is at a one hour distance from Noumea.
Segway tours in New Caledonia
What is a Segway ? Segway is a personal vehicle that consists of a platform to stand and ride. The rider balances his position with handles and rides the vehicle. It is powered on electricity.
How much does it cost of a Segway Tour ? The fun tours on the bay are charged at 80 – 100 NZD. The segway tours to the national parks are charged at 120 – 150 NZD. The price of city tours is 150 NZD. It would take half a day to one day depending on the spot selected. All the segway tours are in Noumea. None of the other tourist spots offers the service.
Guided Segway Tour : A personal guide accompanies a group showing the places in and around Noumea. The places are mostly of cultural importance.
fishing in New Caledonia
New Caledonia Fishing
New Caledonia is ideal for fishing. Every shore supports different varieties of fish. The fish lives on the shore as the corals provide them food.
There are bonefishes, trevallies, Dogotooth tuna, Marlins and many more species. Amedee islands are the best place for fishing. The shores even offer fishing rods and hook
Golfing in New Caledonia
Apart from the water activities, there are also land activities like golf and Pentanque in New Caledonia. There are 3 golf courses in Noumea. The Golf club is one of the best-golfing places of the 3.
Petanque is a French sport. One has to throw a bowl so close from a jack. It is a summer game and is quite famous in South East France
Culture centres, Museums and Gardens for learning
Apart from sports activities, New Caledonia offers learning activities for the researchers to study marine life and their ecosystem. It is ideal especially for scholars researching on corals. Some of the research and cultural centres are as follows
Tjibaou Cultural Centre – Displays the art and traditions of the Kanak population
Zoological and Botanical Gardens, Noumea – There are about 700 species of Cagou here
Maritime History museum and New Caledonia– history of New Caledonia
Cultural and Agricultural Festivals
One can also enjoy the trip to Caledonia by including dancing and camping especially at the times of festivals. Camping can be done on the beaches to enjoy the night long festivals of New Caledonia.