top of page
New Caledonia Travel Guide


welcome to New Caledonia

Start your adventure here

In 1774, Captain Cook discovered this beautiful tropical paradise – now it’s your turn! Noumea is only 2 hours flying time from Brisbane, under 3 hours from Sydney and less than 4 hours from Melbourne flying on direct services with Aircalin. Experience true nature surrounded by idyllic beaches that border the largest lagoon in the world. Noumea is also the gateway to the beautiful Isle of Pines and the Loyalty Islands that represent the best of any trip to the South Pacific, with immaculate white sandy shores, crystal clear waters and Kanak traditions. With a range of affordable New Caledonia holiday packages, this is your chance to discover French paradise at your doorstep.



























Nouméa is a bustling cosmopolitan city with a distinctly French ambience. From chic boutiques to beautiful sheltered bays, fine French dining and lively bars, Nouméa offers something for everyone. Many of Nouméa's hotels are clustered around the Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons areas, well known for their beaches, restaurants, bars and nightclubs. However, for those who want to see the rest of the city, the ‘Nouméa Explorer' hop on, hop off bus, is the perfect way to see all the sights.


Ile des Pins

When Captain Cook discovered Isle of Pines in 1774 he was so struck by the beautiful vegetation that he named the island accordingly. This gives you a good idea what to expect – sumptuous pines and tropical plants which are only found in New Caledonia – a truly unique place. 


The Loyalty Islands

Located northeast of the main island of New Caledonia and only a 40 minute flight from Magenta Airport, Noumea. There may be no better places that the Loyalty Islands for combining quintessential tropical island activities (or no activity at all!) with encounters with the friendly Kanak locals and their unique culture. The three islands that cater for visitors, Ouvéa, Lifou and Maré, are all distinctly different and each offers special experiences including village stays, fishing trips, the chance to see sculptors and weavers at work. 



It has been called the ‘island closest to paradise’ by those lucky enough to have stayed there and it’s easy to see why – dazzling blue skies, a beautiful climate, friendly locals and a lagoon which has been registered by UNESCO as part of the world heritage of humanity.



The magical and mysterious island of Maré (Nengone in the local language) is the southern most and highest of the Loyalty Islands. It is the setting for many local myths and legends and just one look at it shows why. This is an island marked by its wild, untamed beauty – carved cliffs, dark forests and wonderful creeks nestling between the rocks. The central plain is made up of the old lagoon and is dotted with caves and natural pools which glow with iridescent shades of blue and green. Try taking some time out to explore the island’s many coves courtesy of a local guide. 



Immaculate beaches, precipitous cliffs, deep forests, immense caves… the variety of scenery in Lifou (Drehu in the local language) is echoed by the open and enterprising nature of its inhabitants. They are happy to welcome visitors and share with them the wealth of their traditions and history. Lifou is the place to truly discover the spirit of the Loyalty Islands.


Grande Terre

Grande Terre is the perfect driving destination with being just 400 kms from end to end, having excellent roads which are all sealed and well sign posted plus good facilities and accommodation along the way and most importantly, offering an unbelievable diversity of scenery and experiences: Central Grande Terre offers enriching cultural experiences, coastal scenery and mountain treks. On the West Coast you will discover the « Caledonian Far West », with its large livestock farming domains and its hills covered of niaoulis. On the northern tip of Grande Terre, you will enjoy shimmering hills, small sandy coves and a spread of islets, set in the backdrop of the lagoon. The East Coast presents landscapes of luxuriant forests along a narrow coastal strip inserted between the mountains and the ocean; this is an opportunity to take an extraordinary stroll to meet the Kanak people. Whatever drive itinerary you decide on there will be a wealth of fabulous places to visit. We have listed a number of places of interest below:


  • Voh with its great heart drawn by nature in the mangrove forest. You can enjoy the spectacular view of the lagoon and Heart of Voh by flying over the coast in ULM.


  • Poum in the extreme north has beautiful beaches on the surrounding islets.


  • Hienghene is a lush setting scattered with waterfalls and tribal villages. Cultural showplace of the East Coast and the historic fief of Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the Hienghène region offers many possibilities for exploring, both through its rich natural environment and the omnipresence of Kanak culture.


  • Poindimie is nestled between the sea and the mountains which gives you a great location for diving, walking and horse riding.


  • Pouebo was where James Cook discovered New Caledonia in 1772 and where in 1853 France proclaimed that it had taken possession.


  • Bourail is a lively colonial-area settlement. This is where is held each year the agricultural and craft fair of Bourail (around August 15)

Great South

The Great South, comprising the Mont-Dore and Yaté municipalities, is the most symbolic region for New Caledonia’s three main colours: blue, green and red. From the rainforest to the mining lands there are a thousand shades of green, while the ocean offers a dazzling palette of blues. But if one colour dominates the Great South, it is the specific red of its ground. 


The Great South is also home to the biggest park in New Caledonia, the Blue River Provincial Park. In addition to its natural wealth (giant kaori, the drowned forest...), the park is perfectly suited to VTT, hiking or kayaking, and offers an ideal setting for bathing in the clear waters of the Blue River.


Explore the World's Largest Lagoon

Hailed as the largest lagoon in the entire world, New Caledonia’s lagoon boasts a stunning array of blue hues, beaches and marine life so diverse and exceptional that UNESCO named it a World Heritage site in 2008.


From beautiful wildlife to amazing diving hotspots, the lagoon has so much to offer. The constant breeze and warm water makes the lagoon perfect for different board sports like surfing, wakeboarding, kitesurfing and windsurfing. Kayaking, sailing and fishing are also great options to spend your days and enjoy this spectacular surrounding.

2018 marks the ten-year anniversary of this naming, and we want to celebrate by telling you how to get the most from a visit to this important landmark, whether simply going for a swim off the shores of Nouméa’s Anse Vata, or taking a helicopter flight over the Loyalty Islands.


Come experience New Caledonia’s diverse, fun and beautiful lagoon!

Contact our friendly New Caledonia travel specialists today so that we can help you to create your next dream holiday in New Caledonia!


Phone us: 1300 660 442

Email us:

Visit us in person: Level 1, 299 Elizabeth St, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia

North East from Sydney (Around 2.5 hours by plane)
Surface area of the country
18,575 km2
Surface area of the lagoon
24,000 km2
268,767 (2014)
Capital City
Nouméa (approx. 100,000 inhabitants)
French, 28 Kanak languages and 11 dialects. English is widely spoken in the touristic areas.
Time difference
Australia +1h (winter time) / same time (summer time)
CFP Franc (French Pacific Franc) 1AUD = 78.5 XPF
(valid rates on 15/06/16)
Best time to visit New-Caledonia
From April to November
Average annual temperature
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required
No vaccinations required 
220 V, 50 Hz
Drinking water
Tap water is safe to drink
+ 687

bottom of page