Oceania

Discovering Paradise in New Caledonia


The Pacific ocean’s vast horizon hides some of the most beautiful tropical jewels in the world,

and New Caledonia is one of its crowning examples. Its urban areas combine French charm with Melanesian culture. Its sunny streets are set against the vibrant natural backdrops that are a real feast for your eyes. If you ever felt a yearning to set sails for shores unknown, here’s what discovering paradise in New Caledonia means. And Lonely Planet offers a spectacular guide to New Caledonia and Vanuatu should you decide to explore further afield!

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Noumea at Night. Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippeamiot/9584270706/

Take a Tour of Noumea, New Caledonia

The southernmost tip of New Caledonia’s main island, Grand Terre, is home to the archipelago’s capital city Noumea. Do not let its relatively small cityscape fool you – it is a city brimming with exciting activities, and it has something for everyone. If you are a newcomer to the city, you can make the most out of it by picking one of the guided Noumea tours, and get introduced to the city by the professional guides who know it like the back of their hand.

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Isle of Pines, New Caledonia. Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/u07ch/37192447546/

Go to the Isle of Pines

The half-hour flight to the nearby Isle of Pines is worth every penny. It is a dreamlike landscape that appears to have been sculpted by an overly imaginative writer. You can spend a truly magical day on powdery white sands of Kuto Beach and enjoy snorkeling adventures in the azure shallows. Make sure to take a closer inspection of Pléïades Reef and take a selfie in front of the famous coconut plantations.

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The Adorable Duck Island. Image courtesy of https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ile_aux_canards,_Noum%C3%A9a,_Nouvelle-Cal%C3%A9donie.JPG

On the Adorable Duck Island

The area around New Caledonia itself is a treasure trove of surprising secrets, and Duck Island is one of them. If you are in the mood for an exotic meal in a place that looks like an adorable tropical doodle from a cartoon, jump on the water taxi and take a brief ride to this micro-island. Duck Island is a truly iconic landmark of the region, and it is also a splendid place that offers a lot of maritime activities and some genuinely amazing restaurants.

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Thio’s wild beauty. Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippeamiot/16879318469/

Horseback Riding

Grand Terre offers a fantastic horseback ride program for all of you nature loving romantics. It is an amazing way to explore the main island and enjoy its breathtaking nature. You can take a tour through the island’s villages, starting with Noumea and ending with Thio. If you can, try to catch a ride right before sunset to gleam over the ocean horizon. It is a truly mesmerizing experience that you will never forget.

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UNDERWATER New Caledonia. Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/philippeamiot/6705307731/

In Touch With  Marine Life

The land of New Caledonia is not the only busy part of the region – the deep blue waters that surround the shores are filled with fascinating marine wildlife, and some of it is endemic to the area. You can find professional divers who can take you for a closer look of the New Caledonia’s amazing underwater biosphere. The sheer majesty and intimacy you get from swimming alongside the humpback whales is truly life-enriching.

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Barter in the Market! Image courtesy of Marie Nieves

Mingle at the Port Moselle Market

You have not visited New Caledonia if you have not taken time to mingle with its welcoming and laid-back residents. The best opportunity for such a social activity is a visit to the Port Moselle Market right outside of Noumea. It can be a truly colorful adventure and a chance to meet some incredibly interesting people. Bartering with the local traders is an attraction and an excellent opportunity to purchase memorabilia that will always remind you of this wonderful vacation.


New Caledonia is a place for people who desperately need to escape the hectic drudgery of big cities and insipid office-desk jobs. It is a hub for casual adventurers who enjoy easygoing people, appreciate exquisite sights, and value freedom of choice when it comes to activities. Once you fall in love with New Caledonia’s gleaming shores, you will never want to leave.


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