Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific. Offering one beautiful beach after the other, here you can immerse yourself in crystal clear turquoise lagoons, and vast open spaces.
New Caledonia is a nature lover’s paradise. Punching well above its weight, the island lays claim to impressive natural features, including the largest lagoon in the world and a 900 mile-long coral reef, second only in size to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, New Caledonia’s vast coral reef offers some of the most spectacular diving in the world. Not only is it an important nesting site for green turtles, but it also supports an astonishing variety of tropical fish, seabirds, sharks, whales and dugongs, also known as sea cows.
And there is more to this tropical playground…in New Caledonia you find a charming mix of French and Melanesian: warm hospitality sitting beside European elegance, gourmet food beneath palm trees, sand, resorts, and bungalows. The capital, Nouméa is a little piece of France in the Pacific, with its French Riviera atmosphere and its luxury boutiques. With an abundance of mixed cultural influences, New Caledonia blends together heritage, entertainment, and leisure activities. Long beautiful beaches are backed by cafes and bars, with horizons that display tiny islets to attract day trippers. Be lured into kayaks or microlights, rock climb, sail, dive into a world of corals, canyons, caves and shipwrecks, go whale watching or snorkeling, or relax on the warm sand of a deserted isle. Natural wonders and manmade delights are at your fingertips.
New Caledonia is a hotspot of global biodiversity. Nowhere else on the planet, will you find an area as small with as many species. Detached, about 60 million years ago, from the supercontinent of Gondwana, which included Australia and even Antarctica, New Caledonia was similar to a Noah’s ark carrying part of the vegetation and elements of fauna of that period. This explains the unique endemic flora of New Caledonia and the endemism of some of its fauna. Do not leave without exploring all these amazing gardens!
Caledonian fauna is particularly unique and above all friendly. Species are sometimes surprising, but never dangerous to humans. Some 2,535 species are currently listed in New Caledonia, of which 300 are endemic.
Visiting New Caledonia, and discovering its abundant nature, is like having the privilege of going back in time millions of years, when man did not exist and when the dinosaurs dominated the world.
New Caledonia is a land that inspires artists, and is bursting with painters, sculptors, singers, dancers, and actors. Several cultural locations and art galleries are always in reach. Most of the galleries are found in Nouméa, but you can also find exhibits in hotels in Grande Terre. Exhibits usually last about two weeks and the styles are very eclectic.
New Caledonia’s cuisine is one of the best in the South Pacific, offering a fusion of flavors, it is a true testimonial to the blend of cultures living together on the island. Often spicy, the meals are always deliciously fresh, using some of the best local ingredients. The gastronomy is truly unique, with a perfect mix of spices, tropical flavors, and French techniques. Vanilla, sweet potatoes, fresh seafood or local venison, New Caledonia will surprise you and deliver a true gourmet experience.
The climate here is mild and moderate, with two main seasons, the cooler season is June to August and warmer is mid-November to mid-April. During the cooler season, temperatures are around 59°F at night and around 73°F during the day. In the warmer season, maximum temperatures reach 86°F. New Caledonia is a place for year round water sports with pleasant water temperatures throughout the year.
AirlinePros partner, Aircalin (SB/063), is the international airline of New Caledonia. Based at La Tontouta International Airport (NOU) in Nouméa, Aircalin operates scheduled services to domestic and international destinations in Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, and Asia. In addition, Aircalin operates flights in codeshare with partners Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, Qantas, and Air New Zealand.