A unique destination full of biodiversity, New Caledonia is bathed by clear waters in the South Pacific. Its marvellous beaches and preserved ecosystem are frequently sought out by nature lovers. The coral reef uniting the archipelago and surrounding an extraordinary lagoon is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Nouméa, the capital of New Caledonia, is located on the southern tip of the island. Forming the largest lagoon in the world, it is surrounded by translucent, blue tropical waters, mountain ranges, long golden stretches of beach, and a red coral reef.
The city, often referred to as “a little piece of France,” combines the laid-back atmosphere of the South Pacific with the urban elegance of France—from the profusion of old French colonial houses and French-inspired cafés to designer-label shopping—Parisian style. In contrast, a ten-minute walk reveals the contemporary architecture of the Baie des Citrons, Anse Vata, and Port Moselle, Nouméa’s modern face.
Visitors will find an abundance of cultural experiences and diversions, from museums and local culture to snorkeling and windsurfing year-round. Discovery begins just beyond our doors, where gaming afficionados can enjoy the adjacent Grand Casino and runners can explore the Pierre Vernier track—the famous Caledonian jogger’s highway.
Embark on a sunset trek to Ouen Toro, which features cannons placed by Australian troops during World War II and panoramic views of the city’s bays, islets, and mountains. Nearby, Lemon Bay offers pristine beaches, tantalising dining options, and nightlife. Or visit Duck Island via taxi boat, and spend hours snorkeling, sunbathing or enjoying refreshments in the shade of a thatched-roof faré.
The Lagoon Aquarium is home to incredible marine life including the nautilus, phosphorescent corals, wrasses, and sharks. More of New Caledonia’s biodiversity can be seen at Forest Park, where the legendary cagou and roussette, among many other endemic species, make their home.
Those who wish to deepen their knowledge of the island’s indigenous Kanak people can explore the Tjibaou Cultural Centre—a cluster of towering “huts” that showcases Kanak building traditions through a modern lens.
Every Tuesday through Sunday the island’s farmers, fishermen and artisans gather at the Baie de la Moselle Market to sell anything from freshly caught fish to handmade jewelry. Here, guests can find unique souvenirs to bring back home.