9 experiences to discover in New Caledonia

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New CaledoniaNature and Outdoor ActivitiesCoastal

Parque provincial des Grandes Fougères, en Nueva Caledonia
© Adobe Stock / Neneyv - Parque provincial des Grandes Fougères, en Nueva Caledonia

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 12 July 2023, updated on 15 April 2024

Beaches, the seabed, large spaces--in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia offers its visitors an incredible diversity of landscapes and activities on land, under water and in the air. France.fr unveils the experiences you cannot miss under any circumstances!

Fly over the Heart of Voh on an ULM

The beating heart of New Caledonia is a symbol of the destination immortalized by famous photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. On the west coast, the Heart of Voh is a natural heart-shaped formation of mangroves. The best way to admire it is to fly over it on an ULM (Ultra Light Model). It can also be contemplated while hiking. It's a can't-miss!

Dive in the coral reef

Did you know? The archipelago is home to the second largest coral reef in the world and its lagoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is in Poindimié, on the east coast, where diving spots are considered the most beautiful. Once under water, a wonderful garden of corals and multicolored fish appears before you.

Paddle through the Drowned Forest

You won't believe this amazing show! At the heart of the Blue River Provincial Park, south of Grande Terre, are the Drowned Forest and its famous bleached gum oak trunks emerging from the lake since the creation of a huge dam. The scenery is even ghostly when you cross it by kayak in the moonlight. You'll feel a spiritual connection unlike anything else!

Visit the Tjibaou Cultural Center

The majestic Tjibaou Cultural Center rises just outside Nouméa. A jewel of the Kanak culture created by the famous architect Renzo Piano, this imposing building is a must-see place to understand and immerse yourself in the Melanesian world. The center combines the country's history, traditional sites and artists' exhibitions. Tjibaou Cultural Center

Swim in turquoise water

A postcard landscape in sight. Ouvéa, nicknamed the closest island to paradise, is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the country: Mouli. With its white sand and clear water, it embodies relaxation and leisure. A little further up, the Mouli bridge, the only walkway between the south and north of the island, is also worth a visit. You can see rays, turtles and sometimes even sharks.

Eat bougna

Impossible to really get to know New Caledonia without tasting its famous bougna: a dish combining root vegetables and coconut milk. Our advice: enjoy it with the locals. It is a friendly opportunity to discover the thousand-year-old Kanak culture.

Take a walk in the Parc des Grandes Fougères

The Parc des Grandes Fougères is the perfect spot to discover the incredible biodiversity specific to New Caledonia. In the southern province, in the heart of the mountain range, more than 4,000 hectares (9,884 acres) of tropical rainforest can be crossed by bike, footbike, on horseback or simply by walking along its marked trails.

Enjoy the natural pool of Oro Bay

A real natural aquarium of translucent water and multicolored fish awaits visitors. On the Isle of Pines, this coral basin sheltered from the currents is hidden in a setting of columnar pines and white sand beach. It is easily accessible from a path that runs along an arm of the sea, or by riding a dugout canoe in the bay of Upi.

Follow the hen of Hienghène

It is impossible to miss this imposing 47-meter-(154-feet)-high black limestone rock emerging from the waters of Hienghène. Its giant laying hen-like shape has made an impact on New Caledonia to the point of that it's inspired legends of the tribes, who have turned it into the ancestral guardian of the region and one of the symbols of the country. To see it up close, there is nothing better than a kayak ride.

By Redazione France.fr

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