A faraway land of contrasts and authenticity, New Caledonia is an atypical, multi-faceted destination with remarkably diverse landscapes.
Located in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, only 1,500 km east off the coast of Australia, it is the third largest island in the Pacific after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. From coast to coast, New Caledonia stretches some 500 kilometers long and 60 km wide.
Surrounded by the crystal clear waters of the world’s largest lagoon and soothed by trade winds year-round, the “Caillou” (pebble) has even more to offer than its glorious beaches and radiant sunshine…
Sanctuary of the planet’s biodiversity, New Caledonia is a perfect destination for nature lovers. It boasts of 3,500 varieties of plants of which most are endemic, 4,300 species of terrestrial animals, 1,000 species of fish and 6,500 marine invertebrates.
Listed as World Heritage site by UNESCO, the coral reef, which unites the archipelago and surrounds an astonishing lagoon, hides a preserved ecosystem. A mountain range separates the Main Island or “grand terre” into two coasts, both with distinct characteristics. In the west coast are vast plains for livestock farming. This is where you will meet the “broussards”: "cowboys" of the Pacific, with their pioneering spirit and colourful personality. Wetter and steeper, the east coast has a fertile soil with lush vegetation, green valleys and stunning waterfalls.
- CULTURAL DISCOVERY
Inhabited for some 3,000 years by the Kanak and by the French since 1853, New Caledonia is also rich in its people. In successive waves, the archipelago became home for Europeans, Asians, Polynesians, and even people from Reunion island who together with the Melanesians, form a multi-coloured, multicultural population.
In the southwest, Nouméa, the economic hub of New Caledonia concentrating population and economic activity, is a European city in Melanesia. Pavement cafes, luxury boutiques and beaches shaded by palm trees give the city a French Riviera feel, while its relaxed atmosphere and wide blue skies add a touch of the Pacific.
Explore vibrant neighbourhoods, beautiful bays, various museums... Nouméa offers many activities to visitors wishing to enjoy themselves, to learn or to relax.
Savour the culinary experience of every meal. Foie gras, soft cheeses, real “café au lait”, fresh baked “viennoiseries” and baguettes each day – a gourmet tour de France is on your doorstep, wherever you dine.
- ILE DES PINS
At twenty-minute flight south of Nouméa, this island concentrates all the beauties of the Pacific. Untouched and breath-taking nature exposes deserted beaches lined with small trails shaded by banyan and columnar pine trees.
Dominated by the Nga peak (alt. 262m), Ile des Pins emerges from the lagoon, listed among the World Heritage Sites by Unesco, whose waters are of a blue that almost hurts the eyes. The natural pool of the Oro Bay is unquestionably the best illustration of this beauty.
Be a Robinson Crusoe for a few hours spent on the Nokanhui atoll and then indulge with a grilled lobster the feet in the sand.
- LOYALTY ISLANDS : LIFOU, MARE, OUVEA
The original geology of the Loyalty Islands gave birth to surprising terrain, particularly on the coasts where blocks of coral reefs, raised over the years, form impressive cliffs that plunge into the roaring ocean.
Elsewhere, the calm waves of the lagoon teaming with fish break on the white sand beaches. With a 28 km long beach, the atoll of Ouvéa contains landscapes of unparalleled beauty.
Emerald surrounded by blue ocean, Maré, the southernmost isle, is known for its agriculture while Lifou, an ancient atoll, is home to a broad central plateau, set in the midst of a ring of cliffs.