New Caledonia Tours
A small French paradise in the Pacific
With a flight time of just three hours from Sydney, New Caledonia is a unique place. The French territory is considered and registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list as the largest lagoon in the world.
The main island, called Grande Terre, has spectacular natural landscapes, a true adventure playground.
The smaller islands around the Grande Terre are jaw-dropping. They revealed a perfect combination of incredible scenery and the hospitality of its people.
New Caledonia is also a land of welcome and authenticity, where people and cultural influences mix, making the trip unforgettable
When to go?
New Caledonia has a beautiful semi-tropical climate and is consistent throughout the year. The average temperature is 24 ° C, dropping to 20-22 ° C in the coldest months (June / July / August) and rising to 28 ° in the hottest months (December / January / February / March).
Peak travel times to New Caledonia tend to be in the middle of both seasons (between September and December) – when temperatures are mild, rain is low and there is less humidity!
The best time to visit New Caledonia, however, depends on how you want to spend your time there. If you are planning an active vacation, the cooler months are ideal. Those who enjoy treeking tend to avoid summer rains, as well as whale watchers, scuba divers and divers (visibility is best between April and November).
See more information here .
You can check the weather forecast on this website .
How to get?
Unless you are in one of the “neighboring” countries – Australia or New Zealand – the nearest is still 1,500 km away, New Caledonia is one of those exotic and distant travel destinations that are scattered here and there in the middle of the great oceans of the world.
The local airline Aircalin and also Qantas, Air New Zealand and Air Vanuatu operate frequent flights from Australia (Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney) and New Zealand (Auckland).
Aircalin also operates daily daily flights from Japan (Tokyo and Osaka).
Visitors traveling from Europe can fly to New Caledonia, either through Australia or Japan; flight times are generally shorter if you travel via Japan.
To give an example: you must calculate around 25 hours to fly from Paris to Nouméa via Japan, with a time difference of 9 or 10 hours, depending on the season. ( source )
How to get around?
The ideal is to rent a car on the main island, “Grande Terre” (Nouméa) and explore this island for a few days. To get to know it takes a few days because the distances are great. On average 6/8 hours to reach places of interest from end to end.
The fastest way to travel to the islands is by air. The national airline of New Caledonia, Air Calédonie , operates from the airport of Magenta, in Nouméa, with regular flights to the Island of Pines and to the main Islands (Maré, Lifou and Ouvéa). To travel around the Islands, the airline Air Loyauté proposes inter-island connections (the last flight between 25 and 35 minutes from Lifou).
If you prefer to travel by sea, you can also reach the Isle of Pine, Maré or Lifou aboard the Betico 2 high-speed passenger catamaran .
After a brief explanation of the location, we go on to our complete 11-day itinerary.
#1 Dia – Sydney para Nouméa
In our new adventure, we set out towards the Pacific islands and chose New Caledonia, French territory.
We left Sydney on an AirCalin flight at 1:30 pm and in approximately 3 hours we were already landing on French soil.
We arrived at the airport, headed for the procedures for entering the country and then proceeded to our transfer purchased directly with the hotel.
The transfer fee between the Airport and the hotel was CFP 3,100 per person, which is equivalent, more or less, to U $ 30/35 (American dollars) per person.
As the international airport was approximately 50 km from Nouméa, we decided to use private transportation, purchased directly from the hotel. We made this decision because we read about the place and in all the posts we found information that the local transport system was very bad.
After a 1 hour trip between the airport and the beach area, where our hotel was, we arrived and checked in.
Review de Hotel: Nouvata
We bought the budget room at this hotel. They have a very good structure in the region of the beaches of Nouméa (Anse Vata), and on the premises the guest can find a swimming pool, restaurants and many options for entertainment.
But as I said we bought the budget room, in an annex next to the main complex. We took this because we would only stay one night at this stage of the trip.
The room was reasonable and had a simple structure. From the negative points we can highlight that we did not have a very good service at the entrance and we were unable to have hot water in the shower.
Value for 1 night: AUD 126.75 (for couples)
It was after 7pm when we managed to settle in and then go out to recognize the region a little.
We put our things in the room and left to try to find a place for dinner. The experience was not the most interesting, as this region is very touristy and very expensive. But when I say really well, we’re not exaggerating. The average price of the most varied dishes is CFP 3,000 to 5,000 (equivalent to $ 30 to 50). We still find some far more expensive than that, around CFP 5,000 to 6,000 (which equates to $ 60). And we are not talking about fine places, we are talking about ordinary street side restaurants.
However we needed to eat, so we decided at that moment for a simpler and faster place. The choice was a Hamburger and the average value was CFP 1,000 to 1,500 (equivalent to $ 15).
After being fed and getting to know the region a little bit, we went back to the hotel and ended the day. The next day we would have to take a transfer at 7:30 am to the national airport.
# 2 Day – Nouméa to Ouvéa
Before our itinerary in Ouvéa, we will briefly explain the small island that belongs to New Caledonia.
Ouvéa is one of the most beautiful atolls in the Pacific. It has white sand beaches that extend for 25 km, and that are carefully surrounded by crystal clear water and with different shades of blue.
With 35 km long, 40 meters wide, in some places, and a total area of 132 km2, the islet has a single road that runs from north to south.
Ouvéa has 4,300 inhabitants whose origin comes from the migration of Polynesians and ‘Melanesians’.
Check out what you can’t miss in Ouvéa according to the Official Guide to New Caledonia:
- Fayaouéa Beach
- Wadrilla oil refinery and soap factory
- Hanawa blue hole
- Saint Paul vanilla plantations
- Mouli bridge
- Lekiny cliffs
- St Joseph church
- Shark nursery
- Pléiades isets to the north and south
Having done the presentation ceremonies, we go to our day in this islet with a unique nature.
We woke up at 7 am, went to our check out and right after we took the transfer to Nouméa national airport. The transportation cost CFP 2,500 (U $ 25) for 2 people.
The flight between Nouméa and Ouvéa left at 10 am (a little late) and cost CFP 32,500 ($ 310) for 2 people roundtrip.
At 11 am we were already picking up our bags at the Ouveá micro airport. There we find our transfer already waiting at the door of the place.
At 11:30 am we are already inside the hotel being welcomed with a beautiful cocktail and making our arrangements for check in.
As we could only enter the room at 2:00 pm, we decided to change the clothes in the hotel’s premises and we headed to the beach in front to wait for the entrance and also to start enjoying the place.
The first day in Ouvéa was a lot of leisure and beach! So we enjoy our late morning and all afternoon.
Review de Hotel: Paradis d’Ouvea
We had difficulties with some menus, as the hotel has some (lunch, snacks and dinner) and in some cases they didn’t even have an English menu. Everything was consulted all the time on Google.
Value for 2 nights: AUD 537.44 (for couples)
After a long walk between the beach, the hotel that is by the sea and the pool, we headed to the room for that bath and to get some rest.
Around 7pm we went to the hotel’s restaurant and enjoyed a nice dinner.
As I said earlier, everything is very expensive in New Caledonia, and on an island like Ouveá, where there are not many options for restaurants and bars, the value tends to be a little more “salty”. The hotel values are a little higher but not so different from the restaurants in the tourist area of Nouméa.
We closed our evening with this dinner.
# 3 Day – Ouvéa
The third day was not much different from the first, as we came to this island to rest.
We woke up early, the weather was still cloudy and we went to the hotel’s cafe. We took advantage of what was available and soon after we prepared to sit on the sand and enjoy another day of beach and leisure.
We stayed on the hotel’s beach all day and after 3 pm we went for our lunch.
A little more beach, sand and salt and we ended the day at 18h.
Our Christmas Eve supper was suspended for the exorbitant price at the hotel we were staying at. So after the beach we closed our schedule for the day.
# 4 Day – Listen and transfer to Nouméa
For this day, we reserve an extra activity in addition to the traditional beach.
We wake up early, have our coffee and proceed to our check out.
In the program we would stay 2 nights and 3 full days, and in the last one we would enjoy the day in the hotel, but without the room reservation. And that’s what we did.
After check out, we head to the hotel’s activity shop, and rent our bikes.
Values are: CFP 500 (1 hour), CFP 1,000 (2 hours) and CFP 500 (additional hours).
We left the hotel at around 10:30 am and went to the “tip” of the island. We rode about 8km by bike and took about 1 hour, as we were stopping for pictures.
Arriving at the location, we put the bikes on the ground and enjoy a little of the sea at this location.
The return was faster because as we had already taken the photos and videos on the way, we only had to return and cycle.
We arrived at the hotel at 12:30 pm and went straight to the beach to enjoy another day of good weather, calm sea and very quiet.
We stayed there until 4:30 pm, when we decided to organize things, change clothes and wait for our transfer.
At 6 pm we were already at the Ouveá micro airport ready for departure, which would be at 6:30 pm.
We arrived in Nouméa at approximately 7:20 pm, and proceeded to our hotel with the contracted transfer. The amount paid was CFP 2,500 (private car) with the same driver who took us for the trip to Ouveá.
We arrived, accommodated the luggage and went out to dinner.
We ended our activities for the day around 9pm.
Review de Hotel: Nouvata
They have a very good structure in the region of the beaches of Nouméa (Anse Vata), and on the premises the guest can find a swimming pool, restaurants and many options for entertainment.
Upon returning to the same hotel the first night, we got a better room. And this time we got more comfort and better service.
Value for 5 nights: AUD 538.57 (for couples)
# 5 Day – Nouméa City Tour
For our return to Nouméa, we booked the first day for a city tour. It is a good thing that we chose that day, as the weather was very closed and with light rain almost all day.
We left around 10am from our hotel, and went on for the day’s walk. Before we passed the information center that was right outside the hotel, in the Anse Vata region, we took some important tips and went on foot.
The walk between Anse Vata and the center is a little long, but very peaceful. From the starting point to Coconut Square (central square and Nouméa shopping area) it takes about 1 hour. If you choose a conventional bus (numbers 10 or 11, with a value of CFP 210 per person), the visitor will take about 20 minutes.
We opted for the walk and went on calmly and taking pictures along the way. As I said, the path is super smooth and it borders almost 100% of the time.
When we arrived at Lemon Bay, a very nice place for lodging and bars, we sat in a restaurant and enjoyed a breakfast.
We stayed there for almost an hour, and then we continued the walk. We then proceeded without stops to the center. Arriving in this region, we traveled a little to get to know and we were satisfied.
The points of interest we covered on the route were:
- Anse Vata Bay
- Lemon bay
- Baie de l’Orphelinat
There are not many interesting options, and like any city center, they have many “ugly” and more popular areas.
The points of interest we visited in the center were:
- City Market and the port where some important boat trips from the region leave;
- Museum of NC / Mwa Ka which was closed;
- Coconut Square;
- Cathedral (the architecture looks a lot like Notre Dame de Paris)
After walking for a while, we headed for our return, but first we stopped at a market to buy food and save some money on meals, since everything is very expensive in this country / island.
We bought some items at Carrefour (French chain and famous in Brazil and in the world) and went for our return, only at this moment by bus, because we were carrying a backpack and a bag in our hands.
We arrived at the hotel at 4:30 pm, had lunch and ended our tourist activities for the day.
Check out 10 must-see experiences in Nouméa according to the Official Guide to New Caledonia:
- An afternoon at Anse Vata or Lemon Bay beaches
- Shopping in Downtown or Latin Quarter
- Visit the Tijibaou Cutural Center
- Visit the Aquarium of the Lagoons
- Visit the Mornig Market
- Forest Park and Quen Toro Viewpoint
- Visit the New Caledonia Museum
- Explore the Islets of South Lagoon: Ile aux Canards, Ilot Maitre, Amedee Lighthouse…
- Have an experience with water activities, segway, laser games or casinos
- Enjoy a delicious meal at a restaurant or cafe facing the sea
# 6 Day – Great South Road Trip
On this day in Nouméa we decided to rent a car and get to know other parts of the island.
As the weather was still not helping (two days ago the weather was closed and with light rain), this was a solution to not lose the day inside the hotel room.
We went to the rental company, which was about 15 minutes walk from the hotel ( Europcar ) and collected the car.
The idea was to visit one of the three important regions of the “Grande Terre”: West Coast, East Coast or Great South (the others are Nouméa, where we were staying and The Islands, the separate islands of the “continent” – Ouvéa , Lifou and Maré). We researched the three in local guides, but the first two mentioned have attractions very far from Nouméa, practically 5 to 6 hours by car to reach points of interest.
Due to this distance, we decided to visit the Great South region, which is home to some nature reserves and waterfalls.
We then drove in that direction.
The Great South region is totally atypical of the rest of the Pacific. There, the visitor finds lands with red colors (that look like clay) and the ecosystem is some millions of years old.
We left Nouméa at 10:30 am and drove to the mentioned region. The points of interest we visited were (all indicated by the official New Caledonia guide):
- Blue River Park
- Yate Lake
- Wadiana Waterfall
- The whole journey that started in La Couleé to Port Boisé
Other places we did not visit were:
- The Great Lakes of “The Dam”
- Drowned Forest (kayaking)
- Historic Village of Prony
- Hot Water Source in Prony
- Cap N’Dua Reserve
- Madeleine Waterfalls
The access to Yaté, which was in the middle of our route, was well paved, quiet and it took us approximately 1h to 1h15 to arrive.
After passing through Yaté, we headed towards Goro and at that time we had the sea beside us.
SOUL Viajero review
If you have sunny days and can enjoy the beach, we do not recommend taking this tour by car or wasting your time in that part of the island. We didn’t find it interesting, the main river was dry (we visited in December) and the roads are bad in some sections. We advise you to look for the small islands near Nouméa or take flight trips to the Loyalty Islands (Ouvéa, Lifou r Maré) which are much more interesting tours.
Around 6 pm we ended our day’s activities and had dinner at the hotel.
# 7 Day – Amendee Island Day Trip
On the seventh day of New Caledonia we bought a day tour to Amendee Island, or Lighthouse Island as it is known.
We bought the ticket at the company’s official store, Mary D , which is in Nouméa, right next to our hotel (Nouvata) the day before. The full day tour cost CFP 16,200 (U $ 155 approximately) per person and included:
- Hotel transfer in and out
- Climbing the Lighthouse (which costs CFP 300 if you take this Taxi Boat trip on your own)
- Tour on a Glasd Boat through the coral reef
- All day entertainment with dances and music
- Lunch with wines
- Afternoon coffee
We left the hotel with the transfer at 7:40 am on a bus that was already full.
We arrived at the port where the tour starts and we were greeted with typical music and a very new and organized boat.
We left Port Moselle at 9:30 am and in 45 minutes we were able to see the lighthouse and its island.
The entire schedule of the day with locations was passed on to us by the crew and through a map with timetables.
When we land, we proceed to recognize the small island, which in less than 15 minutes can be easily explored.
In it we could find the lighthouse, of course, a bar, beach amenities for use (chairs and tables), some recreation spaces and the place where lunch was served.
After touring the island, we settled on one of the chairs and stayed until the first activity of the day, the Glass Boat tour (glass bottom boat to see the corals).
At 11 am we left for the first tour of the day. We spent 30 minutes running around the main island and watching the corals and the fish.
After the New Caledonia coral barrier was properly presented, we returned to the island and it was time for the welcome drink and lunch.
Moment very enjoyed by all, because the lunch was very well served and with a lot of variety.
After eating we still had a typical Polynesian dance show and the activities in the kitchen were closed.
After the moment of eating, it was time to enjoy some leisure and then go up to the lighthouse, which we left for the afternoon.
For diving lovers, we have been advised to use the service of two companies, and here are the tips:
- Plongée Passion (located on the Hilton Promenade in Ande Vata): email@example.com
- Iatok Diving Paradise : firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out 12 must-see dive sites according to the official New Caledonia guide:
- Duck Island Marine Reserve (Nouméa)
- Améndée Lighthouse Island (Nouméa)
- Tibarama Islet (Poindimié)
- Moulu Channel (Ouveá)
- Tenia Islet (Boulouparis)
- Oro Natural Swimming Pool (Isle of Pines)
- The Cathedral (Hienghène)
- The Wreck of the Dieppoise (Nouméa)
- The Prony Needle (Mont-Dore)
- Green Island Reef Break (Bourail)
- Gorgone Reef (Lifou)
- The Deverd Faults (Koumac)
# 8 Day – Isle of Pines Day Trip
Our eighth day started very early and was very intense.
We leave the hotel at 5:50 am by taxi (average value between Anse Vata and Betico port is CFP 1,000 to 1500), we head to the port where the ferries leave for Isle of Pines, and we continue our journey to one of the most famous islands from New Caledonia.
It takes approximately 3 hours to reach the port of Pines (we take a little longer due to the weather and the rough sea – it usually takes 2 and a half hours).
We disembarked and went to get the car we rented at a local rental company. The person was already waiting when leaving the port and then we went on the island tour.
We rented the car with Edmond Location and the value for the day was CFP 7,350 (equivalent to $ 70). We made our reservation through the company email ( email@example.com ) that we found on the website.
After being properly motorized, we followed our route. The places of interest we visited were (in this sequence)
- Baie de Ouaméo
- Gadji Baie
- Baie d’Oro
- Baie d’Upi
- Baie de St Joseph
- Kanuméra Baum
- Baie de Kuto
We left the port at 10:30 am and by 1:30 pm we had already covered all the points mentioned above.
After driving and getting to know practically the whole island, we stopped our car in the Baie de Kuto region and there we enjoyed our afternoon until 5pm, when we had to check in on the ferry.
At 18h we proceed to the return to Nouméa. This time it took us two and a half hours to get to the Betico terminal at 8:30 pm.
A tip is to book a taxi or private transfer for the return, if you are staying in the region of Anse Vata or Lemon Bay. The solution was to share a private car with another couple, which we got at the time by luck with a local.
We finished our day tour at 9:00 pm / 9:15 pm when we arrived at the hotel.
Check below the TOP EXPERIENCES in the Isle of Pines according to the official guide to New Caledonia:
- Swim in the crystal clear waters of Oro Bay;
- Walk through the beautiful Upi Bay;
- Discover the Kanak refuge in Quern Hortense Cave;
- Check out the intriguing mix of Christian sculptures and kanaks at St Maurice Bay;
- Rest on a terrace on the beaches of Kuto or Kanumera.
# 9 Day – Ilot Maitre (L’Escapade Resort)
The days of rest in the New Caledonia sun were coming to an end, but before that we would still have a beautiful time at Ilot Maitre and its Escapade Island Resort.
Escapade Island is recognized as “the largest lagoon in the world” listed by UNESCO (“The largest lagoon in the world listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site”).
We woke up early and checked out at the Nouméa hotel. We take a taxi to Port Moselle, where the Escapade Island Resort boats depart.
The check in for the transfer had to be done at 8:30 am and exactly at that time we arrived at the port.
We followed the boat to Ilot Maitre and in less than 30 minutes we could already see the islet and its houses in the water.
We had the idea of doing just a round trip of the island (which is possible by renting a taxi boat) and staying in Nouméa, but it was more expensive. We then chose to spend a night at the only resort on the island and the last night to stay in a simple hotel in the center of Nouméa.
We arrived at the Escapade at approximately 9:30 am, inquired at the reception about check in and went on to enjoy the facilities: beaches and pools.
We spent our entire day in the deep leisure between the hotel’s beach and pool.
At 6:00 pm we proceed to the room, bath and then end the day with dinner at the hotel.
Review de Hotel: L’Escapade Îlot Maître
The Resort is very good, but it is not perfect, especially with regard to services.
The location is beautiful, the houses on the water give a unique charm and refinement, and the dependencies are very good (swimming pool, rooms, place for water activities – stand up, snorkeling, etc.).
With regard to food, the buffet, being so expensive, left something to be desired (average value of CFP 6,500 to 7,500). The variety was not so great and the service in general with little knowledge of English for attendance (which was quite common to find in New Caledonia – few people who speak English and also do not strive to speak).
The amount we paid for one night and two full days was AUD 278.17 (for a couple) and included breakfast and use of the hotel pool.
# 10 Day – L’Escapade and return to Nouméa
On the last day of the beach, sun, sea, leisure, rest and many dives, we took advantage of the Escapade Island Resort, where we slept the night before.
We woke up around 8 am, had coffee and went to check out (10 am). We left our bags at the hotel and spent the day in the surroundings and on the resort grounds.
We enjoyed more of the beach and the pool all day until the time to catch the ferry back at 6pm.
At 6 pm, we return to Nouméa and continue on foot to our last accommodation on this trip.
The chosen hotel was right in the center and close to Port Moselle, where we disembarked from L’Escapade Island.
We checked in, relaxed and around 8 pm we went out for our New Year’s dinner.
In this way we closed our day and also our itinerary in New Caledonia
Review de Hotel: Hotel Le Paris
The hotel is good and has a good structure. We stayed a few hours, and what we can say is that we were well taken care of and our room was small but comfortable and clean.
The amount we paid for one night was AUD 129 (for a couple)
# 11 Day – Return Sydney
On the day of return, we woke up very early, around 5:30 am, checked out and went to the hotel entrance to wait for our transfer.
The same transfer we used to get to and from the domestic airport (when we visited Ouvéa) made our transfer to the international airport. The amount paid was CFP 3,000 per person.
We recommend them, as they have a comfortable car with internet access and are a very attentive person. Below we will put the contact details:
Easter: + 687 50 73 13
- Site Oficial do Turismo
- Taxi Boat (opções mais barata)
- Taxi Boat (opções mais barata)
- Taxi Boat
- Taxi Boat
- Taxi Boat
- Taxi Boat
- Segway Tour
- L’Escapade Ilot Maitre
- Tchou Tchou Train Guided Tour
- Toutazimut Tour Guiados
- Promenade Tours – Agência de Turismo local
- Site Oficial das Loyalty Island – As ilhas da Nova Caledônia que ficam mais afastadas da Main Island
- Site Oficial da principal empresa aérea da Nova Caledônia
- Shuttes do Aeroporto Internacional
- Betico – empresa de ferries
- Empresa para velejar
- Informações sobre ônibus públicos na Grande Terre – Ilha principal
- Informações sobre ônibus públicos em Nouméa
- Informações sobre ônibus públicos regionais
- Informações sobre o país
- Site Oficial da Ameendee Island ou Ilot Améndeé – a Ilha do Farol
- Jet Boat Noumea
- Informações, Dicas e Assistência de Reservas
- Site Oficial da Mina de Thio
- Noumea Sky Dive
- Le Ponton – Restaurante Bar Flutuante
- Tour de barco para Hienghène
- Locação de Jer Ski
- Aquanature Snorkeling Tours
- Centro de Mergulho
- Musée de la Ville
- Info sobre Zoological & Botanical Park
- Koghi Parc Aventure – Canopy
- Le Parc des Grandes Fougères
- Nouméa City Highlight Bus
- Helisud Paseios de Helicópterosi
Confira viagens pelo Brasil e pelo mundo.
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We have separated some tips and step by step for you to plan your next trip. Once you start, it won’t stop.
Be sure to travel because you have no time to plan. We at Soul Viajero have created your itinerary and you care about packing, traveling and relaxing.