New Caledonia: what to do, what to see…


New Caledonia

Le rivage spectaculaire de Hienghène en Nouvelle-Calédonie
© benedek / Istockphoto - Le rivage spectaculaire de Hienghène en Nouvelle-Calédonie

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 16 February 2023, updated on 21 April 2024

Bounded by the Loyalty Islands to the east and the Île des Pins to the South, New Caledonia lies at the heart of the world’s biggest lagoon: 24,000 km² of UNESCO World Heritage Site. With white sandy beaches and red soil deserts, rainforests and savannas of niaouli trees, many of nature’s treasures are zealously guarded here. The islands are also unusual for their joyous mix of cultures. On your visit, you’ll meet bushmen, stockmen and kanaks. 

Visits you cannot miss in New Caledonia

L'atoll d'Ouvéa en Nouvelle-Calédonie, offre des paysages magnifiques.
© gravity720 - AdobeStock - L'atoll d'Ouvéa en Nouvelle-Calédonie, offre des paysages magnifiques.

• Lifou Island With its long white sandy beaches, caves, cliffs and crystal clear waters, Lifou offers spectacular diving and hiking spots. Beyond the beauty of nature, it is the benevolent and friendly welcome of the inhabitants of the island which leaves a mark on its visitors ...

• Blue River Provincial Park This park is ideal for nature lovers and the discovery of Caledonian fauna and flora. The hiking trails are accessible for the whole family. We can meet cagus (endemic bird) in their natural environment. It is possible to camp on the spot.

• Amedee lighthouse islet Located about 40 minutes by boat from Nouméa, Amédée islet (the Amédée lighthouse for Caledonians) is a must. The lighthouse on the white sand is synonymous with many activities, including diving for beginners and experienced divers.

• The Heart of Voh This natural plant formation is nestled in the heart of a mangrove in northwestern New Caledonia, Voh. A photograph of Yann Arthus-Bertrand published in 1990 made it world famous. The Voh Ecomuseum tells the story of this commune dedicated to coffee.

• Ouvéa Like a jewel placed in the middle of crystal clear waters, the Ouvéa atoll offers landscapes worthy of the most beautiful postcards. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there is a special sweetness of life. Ouvéa well deserves its nickname of the island closest to paradise!

• The cave of Oumagne The cave of Oumagne, better known as the cave of Queen Hortense, is located in the north of Kunié (Isle of Pines), not far from the aerodrome. An important site to visit.

• Upi Bay The Isle of Pines is not short of beautiful bays (Kuto, Oro, Kanumera) but that of Upi is undoubtedly the most spectacular. It is along the water, in traditional pirogue, that this jewel of the south of New Caledonia, nicknamed the "Pearl of the Pacific", is revealed...

• The Tjibaou Cultural Center Designed by the famous architect Renzo Piano, the Tjibaou Cultural Center welcomes you on 8 hectares of park for a complete immersion in the heart of Melanesian traditions and customs. It offers exhibitions throughout the year ...

• The lagoons aquarium Located in Nouméa, at Anse Vata, the Aquarium des Lagons is home to an exceptional variety of corals, fish, crustaceans and marine mammals, some of which show the endemic nature of New Caledonia's marine life. It is a tourist Mecca of Nouméa.

• The Prony Bay In the south of New Caledonia, between the Havannah Canal and the Woodin Canal, which separates it from Ouen Island, Prony Bay is a true little inland sea. It houses, near the Bay of the Somme, a curiosity almost unique in the world: the needle of Prony.

Essential activities in New Caledonia

Plonger dans les eaux fascinantes du Phare Amédée : une expérience inoubliable à ne pas manquer lors de votre séjour en Nouvelle-Calédonie.
© Daniel Maviet - AdobeStock - Plonger dans les eaux fascinantes du Phare Amédée : une expérience inoubliable à ne pas manquer lors de votre séjour en Nouvelle-Calédonie.

• Diving on the site of the wreck of the Dieppoise in the fascinating waters of the Amédée lighthouse From the barrier and the fall to the natural pits and caves, we never tire of diving in New Caledonia. Boat wrecks are home to an extremely rich flora and fauna. La Dieppoise, near the Lighthouse Amédée, is the most famous.

• Admire the heart Voh, symbol of New Caledonia, aboard an ultralight It would be a shame not to enjoy the perfect sky of New Caledonia, by offering a ride in the air, paragliding, helicopter, microlight or parachute! Barrier Reef, dense forests, southern lunar landscape, mangrove Voh and its mythical heart are waiting for you ....

• Ride with the bush and share a lifestyle geared towards farming and farming In New Caledonia, there is one horse for twenty inhabitants. From north to south, wild or domestic, for competition or hiking, horses are part of the landscape of the archipelago. This is one of the best ways to discover the true nature of the Caledonian bush.

• Conquer the Great South on mountain biking: guaranteed physical effort in an exceptional environment! A whole range of activities allows you to enjoy nature in the South of New Caledonia, at the Provincial Park of the Blue River. Mountain biking, kayaking ... specialists prepare itineraries according to the level of each one. A good way to discover the biodiversity of New Caledonia.

• Hiking and especially taking breaks in the many waterfalls On the east coast of Grande Terre, Canala is nestled at the bottom of a huge bay. The town has many charms, from the Peak of the Dead to the cascades of Ciu and Kwewa through the islets Nanny. The unspoiled nature offers breathtaking scenery.

• Working on a pitch during a fishing trip near Tiambouen At the extreme north of Grande Terre in the region of Poum, the lagoon is very little frequented. It is an ideal area for all fishing enthusiasts in the reef, but also in the open sea. You can exit with a catch- that’s a 100% guarantee!

• Play with the elements in kitesurfing, windsurfing or paddle on the lagoon In Nouméa or off the bush towns, snow sports enthusiasts will have fun on the New Caledonian lagoon. In windsurfing, kitesurfing, surfing or boogie boarding, we enjoy it all year long!

• Walk to Nimek to discover the shark nursery The shark nursery, all or north of the island, and the walk that leads to it, are part of the essential activities during a stay on the atoll.

• Share unforgettable moments with the Melanesians of Hienghene around a bougna, traditional kanak dish It is in Hienghène that the "bougna", national dish, would be the best.... The recipe: fruits and vegetables of the country (bananas, yams, taro, cassava) and meat or fish, washed down with coconut milk and wrapped in banana leaves before cooking in a hole ... A delight!

• Swim among the colorful fish in the natural pool of the Golden Bay The town of Mont-Dore has several islands, including the island of Ouen. The Prony Needle is an underwater geological curiosity that is almost unique in the world and fascinates divers around the world, such as the beautiful Casy Islet Nature Reserve.


• Bougna  • Roasted venison • Sweet pork • Yam donuts • Taro chips • Coconut crab in coconut milk • Manioc fries • Papaya gratin • Po'e • Soyo chicken


• A wood sculpture (tiki) • A Melanesian mask • Baskets of woven coconut palms or pandanus leaves • Flavoured salt from Poingam • New Caledonian arabica coffee • A Kanak traditional robe mission or robe popinée dress • Mother-of-pearl or coral jewellery • Niaouli honey • Aloe Vera • Vanilla

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