Author Archives: Caroline Brunel



Known as ‘the Jewel of the Pacific’, the Isle of Pines is one of the most spectacular islands in the Pacific. Fringed with white sands, turquoise lagoons and its signature Araucaria soaring pine trees, it is an evocative and exotic landscape of ancient botany and raw beauty.

To truly escape, book a few nights on the Isle of Pines, which is a short twenty-minute flight or a two and a half hour ferry ride from Nouméa. Such is its beauty that photos won’t do it justice.

When here, you’ll find a very relaxed way of life, typified by the smile on the local’s faces and their talent to never rush the time. “A quoi bon le compter, il ne s’arrêtera jamais” – simply translates to “Why measure the time, it will never end” – as good an attitude to life here as anything!

 Whilst you are visiting the Island, be sure to:


Take the most beautiful and heavenly postcard you will ever find, jump into it, and you will find yourself in the middle Of Oro’s natural swimming pool.

No words will ever be able to describe how beautiful this place is. Surrounded by tall pine trees, separated from the ocean thanks to a coral reef, this place is magical. The Natural Swimming Pool of the Isle of Pines is an enclosed lagoon where time stops.

Located in Oro Bay, on the northeast side of the Isles of Pines, this piece of paradise marvels each person lucky enough to discover it.


No visit to the Isle of Pines would be complete without a trip to the Queen Hortense’s Cave. A short walk through a thriving rainforest will bring you to the wide entrance and stunning gardens of these caves. The site’s caretaker will delight in sharing the tale of this natural wonder, named after a local Queen, who according to legend hid in the caves for several months during an intertribal conflict. 


What better way to discover the stunning lagoon and bays that surround the Isle of Pines, by cruising in a traditional outrigger sailing boat.

Board your boat at St. Josephs Bay and drift amid the peaceful bays, guided by a local boatman and learn about the island’s culture while you enjoy the stunning sea views.

Upon disembarking at Oro Bay you can take a stroll through the tropical forest to the famous natural swimming pool.


Climb the highest peak (262 metres) on this low-lying island to take in the spectacular 360 views of the surrounding landscape and lagoon. It’s an easy hour’s walking time and possible for most fitness levels, just don’t forget your camera!

The hike starts in Kuto. Remember to wear sturdy walking shoes, and take lots of water and sunscreen.


Spend an amazing and unforgettable day in the heart of the exceptional lagoon. Feel like Robinson Crusoe for a few hours on Nokanhui islet where you can explore the surroundings with your snorkelling gear and laze on the white powdery sand. Then you will be taken to Brosse islet for lunch where you will be served a delicious grilled rock lobster picnic. On your way back, discover the bays of Kuto, Rouleaux, Koh Lanta, Moro, Wadaou, Saint Maurice and others. A must-do!


In the 1870s the Kuto Peninsula was home to a French Penal Colony (‘bagne’) which housed Communards deported from the Paris Commnune. The tender jetty in use today is in exactly the same place as the penal colony’s pier was, making it easy to imagine arriving at the island as a déporté. The colony was finally closed in 1880, when the Communards were granted total amnesty, and the survivors sailed back to France. If you wander 20 minutes inland from Kuto to Ouru, you can still see some ruins of the penal colony, and the cemetery for the prisoners who died on the island.


Immerse yourself in the history of the Isle of Pines by taking a guided tour to various traditional sites on the island. You will visit the small town of Vao, with the pretty Mission Church at its centre and the Statue de St Maurice commemorating the arrival of the first missionaries.


A narrow peninsula separates Kanumera Bay and Kuto Bay. Both of which feature stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The coral reef just off the shore of Kanumera Bay is home to a range of intriguing marine life.

Kanumera and Kuto Bay are one of the locals best kept secrets!


The Isle of Pines is recognised as on of the best diving location in New Caledonia for beginners and experienced divers alike.

Diving is particularly interesting at Isle of Pines because of its diversity. There are numerous diving locations along the reef offering a constantly changing panorama of drop-offs, corridors, passages and sea grottos. There are over 15 dive sites, all around the breathtaking Bay of Gadji. The more experienced divers can venture down to the mysterious freshwater underground caves known as “Grotte de la Troisième”, reachable only by a narrow underwater corridor. Night dives in Isle of Pines are renowned for its mysterious atmosphere, with the sea snakes and loggerhead turtles.

All diving is arranged through Kunie Scuba Centre.


Yes, snails. The “bulimes” or “Escargots de l’Ile des Pins” are endemic to the Isle of Pines and live in the forest. They are farmed by the locals and are a delicatessen you can find in most of the restaurants on the island.

If you are not a fan of snails try the freshly caught grilled lobster at KouGny Restaurant in Oro Bay, or indulge yourself at Le Meridien.



Somewhere in the middle of the South Pacific, off the coast of New Caledonia and far from congested mass tourism routes, lie three hidden pearls of pristine beauty, three islands of legend and tradition… The islands of Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa (indigenous names: Drehu, Nengone and Laii) make up the Loyalties, the trio of islands which lie roughly 190km to the east of the main New Caledonian island of Grand Terre.
Discover the top 3 things to do on each island to help you plan your next trip.


Lifou (Drehu in the local language), which also counts the tiny satellite island of Tiga (Toka) as part of its territory, is the largest of these islands and at 1146 square kilometres is officially the world’s largest atoll.

#newcaledonia #lifou #travel #worldtraveler #自由人 #綺麗 #海好き

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Top 3 things to do on Lifou

1. Dive in the crystal-clear, fish-rich waters of Lifou: with a sea life very diverse and colourful (rays, starfishes, reef sharks…), Lifou is definitely a paradise for divers and snorkelers. From beginners to experiences divers, everyone can explore the best diving spots on Lifou with local guides and professional instructors (more info)

2. Discover architecture: Did you know that Lifou was visited by French missionaries from the 1840s? Some relics of their passage still remain such as several 19th century Catholic church buildings. If you’re hooked on architecture and History, you should definitely stop off at The Chapelle Notre Dame de Lourdes which is one of them

3. Feast your eyes on Lifou’s gold, Vanilla: Vanilla cultivation was introduced to Lifou in 1860 from Madagascar. Today, over 120 producers and many planters supply 100% natural vanilla, which has become Lifou’s brown gold. There’s even a festival dedicated to this gift of nature: the Vanilla Festival, which celebrates each year this gift of nature. The tribe of Mou celebrates the harvest of the vanilla with traditional songs and dances and organises the visit of the vanilla plantation with tastings and food stalls. The tribes also welcome visitors to their villages, open their homes and explain their customs.


Maré (Nengone) is the easternmost island and its wild beauty is evident. Besides, the island’s exceptionally rich history, gives it a very specific identity. Discovering Maré is above all an inner experience, made up of meeting its people and natural wonders

Photo of the Natural aquarium in maré New Caledonia from my trip there #clearasdaywater #newcaladonia #maré

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Top 3 things to do on Maré

1. Experience Le Bone de la Léproserie: Maré has resplendent limestone caves to explore which are filled with crystaline waters. The most famous one is Le Bone de la Léproserie. It is a deep (160m!) limestone pool that has to be seen to be believed. This enormous hole in the limestone rock, hidden by thick vegetation, drops vertically to a pool of still water. It’s one of the largest drowned cavities in the world

2. Learn more about Kanak culture and art: Kanak culture is on show at the Centre Culturel Yeiwene Yeiwene notably through exhibitions of Kanak artefacts. Here, visitors will also discover stone ruins of peculiar origin that date back to 250AD… A return to the past!

3. Savour local produce during the Avocado Festival: Avocado Festival is an essential event in New Caledonia which showcases the fruit of the farmers’ work through a friendly event in order to establish the reputation of the Maré avocado, the green gold of the island, beyond the borders of this Loyalty island. As well as avocados, many organic fruits and vegetables such as Pawpaws, bananas, passionfruit, taros, yams, are offered on the exhibitors’ stalls. Yummy!


O U V É A 🌴☀️🌊 #ouvéa #paradise #sand #beach #islandlife #couple

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Top 3 things to do on Ouvea

1. Be part of the Lagoon Festival: The inhabitants of Ouvea the Loyalties enjoy to celebrate and the beauty of their island during local festivals such as the Lagoon festival. The idea of this festival is to promote all sea produce, while raising awareness among the public about environmental conservation, particularly of the lagoon.  Musical groups, dance troops, fishing competition, water sport activities and many other entertainments take place during this Festival

2. Stop off at the coconut oil production plant: With a coconut grove estimated at over 3,000 ha, Ouvéa’s coconut oil production is extremely important to the islanders. After grinding and pressing, the coconuts are transformed into oil, used both as biofuel by the island’s electric power plant and as raw material for the production of soap. Discover all this amazing process during free visits

3. Hike along the Lekiny Cliffs: go for a stroll along the majestic Lekiny Cliffs. These very accessible cliffs are studded with beautiful caves. You can even enjoy some snorkelling at the end of the walk, right next to the cliffs

Last but not least, the Loyalty Islands offer the visitors the ultimate luxury: kilometres of beaches with spotless sand and perfect curves, as flawless as on the first day. The Loyalty Islands are indeed surrounded by crystal clear water beaches such as Luengoni Beach & Easo Beach (Lifou), Yejele Beach (Maré) and Mouli Beach (Ouvea). And that is only possible thanks to people (travellers included!) who treat nature with care and respect.

Now, the big question is: how to get to the Loyalty Islands?
It is actually pretty easy. Air Calédonie flies from Nouméa to Lifou, Maré, Ouvéa and Tiga everyday.
If you’d prefer to get there by boat, the Betico 2 fast ferry operates a triangular route between Nouméa, Lifou and Maré.  No more excuse to skip this destination!




Between taking in the luxurious blue hues of the South Pacific sitting perfectly alongside New Caledonia’s swaying palm trees and tropical breezes to experiencing the delicious French and Melanesian gastronomy, pristine beaches and world-class hotels, New Caledonia will sweep you off your feet.

If you’re about to say “I Do” and looking for the perfect place to celebrate, here are a few reasons why New Caledonia should be top of your list…


Enjoy the romantic flavours of New Caledonia:

Wine: A French passion

In New Caledonia, the taste of wine is synonymous with pleasure and socialising. There are wine shops offering both prestigious French wines, but also more reasonably priced vintages

Fall for the chocolate

If you’re a chocolate connoisseur, you won’t be able to resist the urge to sample some made-in-New-Caledonia chocolate.  Shops to visit include the workshop of Morand, the master chocolatier and creator of marvels in the Latin Quarter in Nouméa, Uncle Jules and the Golden Caboose.

Wine and dine

While Paris is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, Nouméa is definitely the haute-cuisine hub of the South Pacific, with over 150 restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets. Noumea’s innovative chefs fuse contemporary tastes to perfection, marrying the richness of French cuisine with the freshness of the local Melanesian fare in a seamless blend of flavours.

Restaurants to try include:

  • Au P’tit Café: According to locals this restaurant is “one of the best in town”. The menu changes regularly but serves traditional French cuisine utilising fresh Pacific produce.
  • Restaurant Le 1881: A beach-side restaurant that enjoys a rich history – it is located in the grounds of the former penal settlement dating back to the late 19th century. It is one of Nouméa’s most exciting restaurants with an Australian-trained mixologist behind the bar and a former Michelin-starred chef in the kitchen. The restaurant serves modern French-Pacific cuisine and has an extensive wine list.

Visit the stunning Heart of Voh:

Made famous by an iconic aerial shot from photographer Yann Arthus Bertrand, this breathtaking love-heart in the Northern Province of Grande Terre has been formed naturally over time by mangroves. Take a day trip to explore some of the North and the Heart of Voh, with a guided hike or self-drive. Alternatively, take a helicopter flight over the top of Mount Katépei, enjoying spectacular views of the Heart of Voh, lagoon, reef and surrounding mountain range.

Discover La Roche Percée, Turtle Bay and Lovers’ Bay:

Lace up your walking shoes, and enjoy the Three-Bay Trail, one of the most attractive pathways on the Bourailcoastline and on the West Coast. As to Lovers’ Bay in particular, its name comes both from a legend about two young lovers from rival tribes and the intimate ambience of the beach. Perfectly secluded from public view, and surrounded by pandan trees, it certainly offers a romantic setting for a rendezvous between lovers!

Spend a moment together, just the two of you…over a picnic:

Nouméa has a great mix of coastal and inland picnic spots to make the most of your holiday. Gather your basket of gourmet food and wine, add a fresh baguette and shake out the picnic blanket. With plenty of beautiful places to enjoy your picnic, you’ll get to take in beautiful sights, culinary treats and each other’s’ company, all in one.

Idyllic islands

Hire a boat, enjoy a boat tour or take a water taxi out to Duck Island (L’île aux Canards). Only a very short distance from Anse Vata, the island is a favourite location for picnics and water sports, such as windsurfing. You can hire deck chairs and snorkelling gear to explore and swim off lunch.

Tropical beaches

The many beaches around Nouméa make great spots to soak in the tropical atmosphere. To venture beyond the popular Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons, take the local bus or a taxi to Kuendu Beach, in Nouville. A favourite with the locals, it’s a popular spot for picnics and a game of pétanque (boules) on the sand.

Take in a sunset or two together on New Caledonia’s Loyalty Islands:

In the middle of the South Pacific, off the coast of New Caledonia and far from congested mass tourism routes, lie three hidden pearls of pristine beauty, three islands of legend and tradition…The islands of Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa (indigenous names: Drehu, Nengone and Laii) make up the Loyalty Islands, a trio of islands that lie roughly 190km to the east of the main New Caledonian island of Grand Terre. The Loyalty Islands offer visitors the ultimate luxury: kilometres of beaches with spotless sand and perfect curves, as flawless as ever. The Loyalty Islands are also surrounded by crystal clear water beaches such as Luengoni Beach, Easo Beach (Lifou), Yejele Beach (Maré) and Mouli Beach (Ouvea).

Each island has its own character:

On Ouvéa, the combined beauty of the sky, the lagoon and the flora have earned it the title of the ‘closest island to paradise’. This is a well-deserved title for the island, which offers a fabulous white sand beach stretching for almost 25km, majestic coconut plantations and extraordinary diving sites, especially around the Pléïades Reef. At the Mouli Bridge, connecting Lékiny to the main island, you can see the spectacle of turtles and eagle rays that move through the channel daily, to the great delight of tourists.

Lifou is characterised by its variety of scenery, combining immaculate beaches, steep cliffs, deep forests and impressive caves. The largest of the Loyalty Islands, it offers a variety of experiences for tourists who come to visit. In particular, Lifou is definitely a paradise for divers and snorkellers. The crystal-clear, fish-rich waters feature a diverse and colourful sea life, including rays and starfish. From beginners to experiences divers, everyone can explore the best diving spots on Lifou with local guides and professional instructors.

As for Maré, the intense, wild beauty of its scenery, and the deep connection that its locals have with it, has given this island a very personal identity. The island will leave a lasting impression on those who take the time to discover it.

The other ‘closest island to paradise’:
Further south, the Isle of Pines is, without question, Ouvéa’s greatest rival for the title of the closest island to paradise! The Oro, Kuto and Kanumera Bays offer an astonishing spectacle of beauty and harmony. And the ruins of a penal colony capture the history and emotion of a bygone age.


Treat yourself and your loved one to world-class accommodation, amenities and more:

Le Méridien Isle of Pines:

Le Méridien Isle of Pines has undergone a soft refurbishment, with AUD$2.8million being invested in the transformation of their deluxe rooms, bungalow-suites, restaurant, bar and public areas, plus the addition of a new cardio fitness centre. The hotel’s amenities include the Deep Nature Spa, with various wellness packages for honeymooners and special occasions available. The Concierge Service can also help organise tours and excursions including private dives and horse-riding.

Le Château Royal:

The Château Royal is a 4-star Resort, which opened in February, 2011. Sitting in the heart of an extraordinary three-hectare tropical park, the seven-floor and 108-Suite complex is located on the most beautiful beach in Nouméa and faces the horizon for stunning sunsets. The contemporary design of the resort and its variety of services will ensure a unique and unforgettable stay.

L’Escapade Island Resort Nouméa:

Featuring the only overwater bungalows in New Caledonia, the L’Escapade Island Resort Nouméa is true paradise. Surrounded by a natural marine reserve, this hotel has been created in perfect harmony with the environment and follows the natural curve of its long white sand beach. The island and overwater bungalows, the swim up bar, restaurant, and water activities centre provide a unique setting that combines luxury and tranquillity with a tropical backdrop.




New Caledonia is a country that appeals to the senses; full of rich colours, extraordinary flavours and sounds as interesting and diverse as its landscape and people.  It is home to the world’s largest tropical lagoon, a beautiful blend of French and Kanak culture, with fantastic scenery and wildlife.

To help celebrate the sounds of New Caledonia Tourism sent musicians “Crooked Colours” to the heart of the Pacific and followed their young, adventurous spirits as they searched for, discovered and captured the everyday sounds of the islands.

Regarded as one of Australia’s rising musical acts in the electronic scene, Crooked Colours were tasked with combining their musical talent and passion for travel to create two bespoke audio tracks that emulated their recent adventures in New Caledonia.

The band went on a mission to explore the country’s urban areas and countryside, capturing distinct sounds and accompanying video along their way and eventually collating this into a music piece that connects and transports the listener to the destination; introducing the Sounds of New Caledonia.

Check out the video below:

New Caledonia’s sundry landscapes deliver sounds, and voices, that will delight the senses and highlight the blend of cultures united on the islands.  The varied regions offer unique and interesting sounds, whether they be from the blue waters of the crystal clear lagoon (the world’s largest), the clip clop of hooves from rural ‘cowboy country’ in the west, the crunch of baguettes in the Gallic hub of Noumea or the echo of percussion instruments from Kanak villages in the east.

Watch a behind-the-scenes video of Crooked Colours in New Caledonia:



New Caledonia’s cuisine is one of the best in the South Pacific. Fusion of flavours, 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.

New Caledonia’s gastronomy is truly unique, one mixing spices, tropical flavours and French techniques. Vanilla, sweet potatoes, fresh seafood or local venison, New Caledonia will surprise you and deliver a true gourmet experience.

The proximity of New Caledonia to Australia is one of its major appeals, less than two hours from Brisbane, three hours from Sydney and four hours from Melbourne, Francophiles can feast on the escargot (snails) of the Isle of Pines, or indulge the senses with dishes like gratin of mangrove crab, local venison, dauphine potatoes and croquettes at a traditional French restaurant in Noumea. Those with a more adventurous palette are encouraged to explore the flavours of the local Kanak culture, where they can discover the ‘bougna’, a dish typically made from tubercles, coconut milk and fish. In local markets, French delicacies such as cheeses, wines, fresh-baked pastries and chocolates will awaken the palate – and all this just a few hours away.

With its fusion of French and authentic Malenesian culture, New Caledonia is a food lover’s heaven. Expect to see baguettes and gooey French cheeses sold alongside coconuts and yams at the local market – the tropical and Gallic blend of influences makes the island such a delicious mouth-watering destination for foodies.

Make sure you include some of these Top 10 experiences in your next New Caledonia holiday.

Dining how the French do
With its distinct French influence, the exceptional dining experience in Noumea has earned it the title of cuisine hub of the Pacific. You’ll find traditional bistros next to beachside restaurants, serving freshly caught seafood with French favourites – including Lobster Thermidor and Moules Marinières.

Traditional Kanak Bougna in the North
A buried treasure! No gourmet trip to New Caledonia would be complete without tasting the traditional Melanesian dish, ‘bougna’. Far from a quick meal, the bougna can take up to two hours to cook – but it’s definitely worth the wait.                                                                                                                   

Perfect DIY Gourmet Picnic
While for many, a true gourmet holiday may involve enjoying the local cuisine in top eateries, it’s also fun to take a DIY approach. This way you can experience local food in a different way, by preparing your own gourmet feast. Gather together a delicious picnic from the local markets, bakeries, delis or supermarkets and enjoy sprawled on a beach somewhere in the glorious sunshine.

Discover the “Tables d’hotes”
The table d’hote, a network managed by local farmers, offers visits combining the discovery of farm life, accommodations and culinary delights. Experience the Caledonian farm life, and then feast on meals prepared from local recipes and ingredients, including venison, wild pig, snails, crayfish, coconut crab, fish and tropical fruit.

Savour the sunset cocktail
New Caledonia’s urban sophistication comes to life at night. Head to Anse Vata Bay or Baie des Citrons to enjoy an aperitif and live music as the sun goes down, or choose one of the many dining options for a taste of gourmet French cuisine with fresh South Pacific produce and tropical island views. If you are in the mood, dance the night away to the rhythms of the South Pacific at La Bodega del Mar or MV Lounge.

Eat the Isle of Pines’ famous snails
Yes, snails. The “bulimes” or “Escargots de l’Ile des Pins” are endemic to the Isle of Pines and live amongst the forest. They are farmed by the locals and are a delicatessen you can find in most of the restaurants on the island. These snails can only be found and eaten in the Isle of Pines.

Devoulge on boulangeries & patisseries
The boulangeries and patisseries in Noumea are worth the trip alone. The bread is incredible – every bite tastes of France and you can also indulge mouth-watering macarons, éclairs and chocolates, such as those handmade by expert chocolatier Patrick Morand.

French cheese and wine
Take the opportunity to indulge in an incredible selection of very reasonably priced French wines – most of which are not even close to being available in Australia. Then there are the stores with pâtés, terrines, fois gras, duck cassoulets and of course an array of French cheeses.

Uncover the secret of French cuisine
Let a French chef teach you the secrets of French cuisine! Spend a couple of hours learning and assisting the chef in producing traditional French dishes, then sample the culinary delights with a glass of French wine.

Try the local produce
Be sure to keep your eye out for regional markets with delicious local country offerings such as creamy local (Niaouli) honey, jams, crystallized tropical fruits, nuts, Niaouli flower or Blackwood liqueurs, local venison sausages or the popular and brightly coloured local vegetable pickles called ‘achards’





Hitting the road is one of the best ways to really experience New Caledonia’s beautiful and diverse ‘Grande Terre’. Not only is it easy to pick up a rental car at the international airport or in Nouméa, but New Caledonia’s well-maintained roads and signage make enjoying a road trip around the island a breeze. Plus, travelling around New Caledonia by car allows you the freedom to stop off whenever you like, meet the villagers, each with their unique culture and customs, and to see those remote unspoilt areas that are rarely visited by tourists.

To get you started, here is a quick guide on some of the need-to-knows when driving in New Caledonia: New Caledonia is around 400 kilometres long and takes about eight hours to drive from end to end.

Motorists drive on the right-hand side of the road. The road system is very well maintained overall and unless you intend to drive on the minor mountain roads, you won’t need to rent a 4WD

Fuel prices are regulated, so whether you fill up at a big supermarket in Nouméa or in a remote outback service station, you’ll pay the same price per litre. Although New Caledonia now boasts a very extensive network of service stations, it’s a good idea to think ahead on Sundays and some public holidays, when you could have more difficulty in finding somewhere open in the North or along the East Coast.


Day 1: New Caledonia

Fly to New Caledonia and arrive into Tontouta International airport, where you can collect your pre-booked vehicle and make the 45 minute transfer to your hotel in Nouméa. Many of the hotels in Nouméa have parking available for guests, otherwise there is street parking and undercover parking available around the city – be sure to check in advance with your hotel if you’re unsure. Once settled in, why not get out into the city and try sampling the food? With around 140 world-class restaurants and cafes to choose from and featuring food from every region of France, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Day 2: Noumea – Port Moselle (5 km / 12 min) – Païta (26 km / 30 min)

Drive to Nouméa’s Port Moselle and wander around the local markets (do note that the markets are closed on Mondays). The different sights and fragrances of the exotic fruit, vegetables and seafood at each stall will give you a taste of the variety and intensity of the island’s pacific cuisine and the diversity of fish and shellfish that can be found in the surrounding lagoon. On Sundays, local bands play at the market, which adds to the festive atmosphere.

At lunchtime, try the L‘Assiette du Cagou’ restaurant that is nearby to the Port Moselle markets, where you can experience some of the authentic local New Caledonian cuisine. After lunch, wander into the city (about a 10-minute walk from the Port Moselle markets) to admire the picturesque central city square known as the ‘Place des Cocotiers’ (Coconut Square). In the afternoon, jump in the car to head north to Païta

Upon arrival in Païta, Lézard Home homestay is a beautiful accommodation option and place to relax and recharge your batteries overnight. Sitting within the heart of a large private property that spans over one hectare at the foot of Mont Mou, the homestay is surrounded by flourishing gardens, streams and forests. Guests can take in the beautiful bird songs and the murmuring of the water of the neighbouring streams all while experiencing New Caledonia’s ‘outback’.

Your hosts will be pleased to share their inside knowledge and tips for New Caledonia, so feel free to ask for their advice.

Day 3: Païta – La Foa (86 km / 1h) / A boat trip through mangroves / La Foa – Bourail (60 km / 50 min)

After a delicious breakfast at Lézard Home, head north to discover the west coast, the New Caledonian far west, with its large livestock farming areas and hills covered with Niaouli trees. Hint: visit a local boulangerie and supermarket the day before and pick up a baguette, French cheese and other fillings for a picnic along the way.

Where to stop on your way:

Visit the Niaouli distillery at Boulouparis and try the natural balms, essences and liquors. Take a boat ride up the Nera River and glide through the mangroves – there is an amazing view of the lagoon and Fort Teremba at the mouth of the river. Stretch your legs over lunch at the table d’hôte, La petite ferme (the small farm) at La Foa – the farm’s owners have been welcoming guests for around 20 years.

After lunch, take a  drive up to Moindou (20km / 15-minute drive north of La Foa) to visit Fort Teremba. A former penitentiary and military base that has been well restored, Fort Teremba is surrounded by Niaouli savannahs and has beautiful views over the lagoon.

In the afternoon, drive to Bourail, which is a diverse colonial town situated on New Caledonia’s west coast.

Where to stay:

The B&B “Poé Côté Lagon” will charm you with its calm location and personalised hospitality. The Hotel de Poé and the Betikure Parc Lodge offer guests a range of amenities. The five-star Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa will treat guests to prime beach access

Day 4: Bourail – Koné (108 km / 1h20)

Take the morning to explore Bourail. Visit the area’s famous natural rock formations, including the ‘Roche Percée’ (the Pierced Rock) and the ‘Bonhomme de Bourail’ (the Bourail ‘Man’), which is a monolith shaped by the wind and the sea that represents the guardian of the ‘gates of the dead’ for the local Kanaks. Take in the impressive sights of the ‘Baie des Tortues’ (Turtle Bay). Enjoy Bourail’s coastline, which offers a mix of breathtaking cliffs that drop away into the sea and stretches of long white-sand beaches surrounded by majestic pine trees, all the while overlooking the spectacular lagoon, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The area is also well known for its surf.

Bourail’s beautiful “Three Bays Path” (Sentier des Trois Baies) is  a 3.5km /1 ½ hour walk and  another opportunity for visitors to stretch their legs and experience the ‘Bonhomme’; the ‘Baie des Tortues’ – where turtles are known to come to lay their eggs each year; and the hidden ‘Baie des Amoureux’ (Lover’s Bay).

Another enjoyable activity in Bourail is a walk on the Botanical Path through the Cyca Forest (2km / 40 minutes). Make your way up to the ‘Roche Percée’ belvedere, which features breathtaking views of the Bourail Pass, Turtle Bay and Île Verte. From this viewpoint you can also see the Notre-Dame-des-Flots statue in the distance, which is believed to protect passing ships. In the afternoon, begin your drive to Koné.

Where to stay:

Hotel Hibiscus is a boutique three-star hotel in Koné that offers free Wi-Fi, a Turkish bath, a swimming pool and undoubtedly the best buffet breakfast in town – fresh French pastries and croissants are baked on-site daily. The hotel also offers stay/fly packages for competitive pricesKoné include the Hotel La Nea and the Hotel Koniambo, while the tranquil Refuge du Cerf is another option for guests in nearby Ouaco.

Day 5: Koné – Poingam (115km – 1hr 15mins)

As a site of natural beauty, treat yourself to a morning ultra-light aircraft flight around Koné, and over the lagoon and the famous Heart of Voh– where the different heights of the mangroves have formed a heart shape. Take in the views and be sure to pack your camera!

Throughout the day, continue your driving journey up to Poingam. There are many beautiful views along the way, including the wild plains of western New Caledonia and pristine beaches such as Nehoue Bay. The village of Poum makes for a great stop-off point during this drive.

Where to stay:

Relais de Poingam is a small, secluded property located at the northernmost point of the main island near to the magnificent Nennon Beach. With only eight bungalows, you’re guaranteed a homely, intimate experience. Take the opportunity to enjoy an evening meal with your fellow guests.

Day 6: Poingam

Give yourself a break from driving and take the day to enjoy all Poingam has to offer. Start the day with a delicious breakfast at the Relais de Poignam and then head out to explore the area.

Relais de Poingam #Weekend #poingam #nouvellecaledonie #maraissalants #lagon #naturesauvage

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Take a stroll along one of Poingam’s outdoor educational walkways and discover the area’s natural plants. Visit the newly restored salt flats or observe the area’s many birds and magnificent scenery. Or simply just relax around the seawater pool or on the beach. There is a lot to explore!

Day 7: Poingam – Hienghène (195km – 2hrs 45mins)

After breakfast, jump back into the car and begin your drive down the beautiful east coast – it is a stunning drive with plenty of opportunities to stop and admire the view. The drive will take you over the ‘Col de Creve-Coeur’ (Heartbreak Peak) and the ‘Col d’Amos’ (Amos Peak), with both offering panoramic views of the water.

The drive to Hienghène takes you on a road surrounded by both the sea and the mountains, through the historic site of Balade and past the Colnett and Tao waterfalls before crossing the picturesque Ouaième River by barge.

Where to play:

The team at Babou Côté Océan offer half-day snorkel trips and guided bush walks on the remote islands just off the Hienghène coastline. Tours include all equipment (including wetsuits) plus morning tea and coffee. Camping is also available on the mainland. For more information visit

Where to stay:

Explore the Koulnoue Hotel and the Ka Waboana Lodge for overnight accommodation

Day 8: Hienghène – Poindimié (73 km / 1h00)

Take the morning to further explore Hienghène. Head up to the Belvedere, which is a great vantage point to take in the spectacular Hienghène Bay. From here you can see the area’s well-known “Chicken Rock” and neighbouring Sphinx like formations, as well as delight in the contrasting colours of the lagoon against Mount Panié, the highest peak in New Caledonia at 1,628 metres.

Back in the car, follow the rivers and valleys along the coastal road, stopping along the way to take in the view of the lagoon as it laps the island of Poindimié in the distance.

Once arrived in Poindimié, visit a local tribe and discover the island’s traditional Kanak way of life.

Where to stay:

The gîte at Newejie is a beautiful accommodation option. Nestled in quiet surroundings, guests are sure to be taken by the gîte’s spicy colours, natural wood and Balinese influences. Another alternative is Hotel Tieti.

Day 9: Poindimié

Take a rest from driving to experience the attractions of Poindimié. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along Poindimié’s beautiful beaches or enjoy the array of activities on offer in the area. From diving and snorkelling to fishing, treks and village visits, there is something for everyone. Or perhaps just find a hammock under a palm tree and snooze the day away with a good book!

Where to play:

Visit the Îlot Tibarama (Tibarama Island). A 10-minute cruise from the shore, the island is covered in exceptional century-old trees.

#ilot #tibarama #poindimie #plage #nc

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Day 10: Poindimié – Sarraméa (208km / 2h30)

Rested and relaxed, it’s time to jump back in the car. Around mid-morning, head south in the direction of Sarraméa via the Houailou-Bourail traverse road. This very picturesque route winds along the coast, taking you through several villages, all with unique tribes and over the mouths of several majestic rivers before climbing up and over the ‘La Chaîne’, New Caledonia’s mountain range. The road then descends into the grassy plains of the west coast. There are certainly plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Where to stop:

Experience the area’s natural beauty at the ‘Parc des Grandes Fougères’ (Great Ferns Park). Enjoy a quad biking or horse riding tour in Sarraméa. Visit the ‘Les Hauts de Fonwhary’ orchard, where you’ll find different varieties of fruits and jams. For dinner, try the ‘Délices des Jumelles’ restaurant, where delicious local produce and communal dining will make all guests feel welcome. Advance booking is essential.

Where to stay:

The Domaine de Meranki is a beautiful family home that sits on a 70-hectare wooded property, which in fact was once a coffee plantation. There are also two Melanesian-style bungalows available for guests on the property.

Day 11: Sarraméa – Nouméa (121 km / 1h30)

The time has come to travel back to Nouméa, for your final night. Before you leave Sarraméa, take a trip to the Feuillet swimming hole. It’s a beautiful way to refresh before commencing the return drive to Nouméa.

🌴🍍🌏🍉. #noumea #newcaledonia #southpacific #travels

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Day 12: New Caledonia

Spend your final day in New Caledonia enjoying the beaches and bays around Nouméa, or exploring the city’s boutiques. Still feeling adventurous? Visit the information centre in Nouméa and pick up a brochure with a self-guided architecture tour to explore the city, or perhaps visit the zoo to see the Cagou bird, which is New Caledonia’s national bird.

Other ways to play:

Learn about the indigenous Kanak culture at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Explore the lagoon with a snorkelling day trip to Duck Island. Try authentic French crêpes at the ‘Le Rocher’ crêperie, while enjoying the sweeping views of Noumea’s beautiful Lemon Bay.




Discover the many worlds of New Caledonia


New Caledonia is so much more than just a Pacific island. Discover idyllic beaches surrounded by the largest lagoon in the world, dense forests that are home to more than 3000 native species, and a rich fusion of French and Melanesian cultures.

With so much diversity, we decided to bring our beautiful paradise to life for you at home. Immerse yourself in our reality through our exciting 360° videos and new Virtual Reality app.

We invite you to come on a journey with us and see New Caledonia from a whole new perspective. From sailing around the Isle of Pines aboard a traditional outrigger, exploring the Loyalty Islands with the lands’ chief and touring Noumea, the “Paris of the South”, we’ll transport you to New Caledonia all without needing your passport.


How to view New Caledonia in Virtual Reality?

For a truly immersive experience, download the free New Caledonia in Virtual Reality app from the Apple App Store or from Google Play.

Note: You’ll need a VR headset or Google Cardboard to use the New Caledonia in Virtual Reality app. Purchase yours here or request your own New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard for your agency.



 New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard

Learn more about New Caledonia and use our New Caledonia in Virtual Reality app to help you sell the destination to your clients. To request your FREE New Caledonia branded Google Cardboard, simply email your full name, agency name and agency address to





Phase two of our “Hello Neighbour” campaign is set to break even more ground following on from the success of the first phase, which saw the creation of fresh video content with ambassador Justine Schofield, a bespoke website, outdoor advertising and an exciting competition element.

The focus for the new campaign will continue to be around New Caledonia’s proximity as one of Australia’s closest Pacific neighbours, but will feature an interactive social media treasure hunt. A first for a destination marketing organisation, the interactive activity will entice consumers to explore New Caledonia’s spectacular neighbourhoods through a series of captivating images.

Hosted by the social media platform, Instagram, Aussies will be able to explore regions such as the white sand beaches of the Isle of Pines; diverse landscapes of the North; secluded coves of the Loyalty Islands; the French sophistication of Noumea through to the local cowboys in Bourail.

Ultimately, participants will be led to an image of New Caledonia’s Heart of Voh, a naturally formed love heart marked in the landscape, where they can enter the draw to make their mapped out adventure a reality. To get started head to @newcaladventure on Instagram.

To find out more about our current campaign visit:



Here’s how to experience the main island of Grand Terre when you’ve only got a few days to spare!

Morning: Fly to Noumea.
After your transfer from Nouméa’s Tontouta International Airport to Nouméa, you’ll still have time to settle into your hotel and enjoy a spa treatment.

Afternoon: Discover Noumea’s popular beach spots, such as Anse Vata and Baie de Citrons (Lemon Bay). With a number of hotels only a stone’s throw away from the shoreline, grab your snorkel and explore the crystal clear waters, enjoy leisurely strolls along the beach, sunbathe or chose among the numerous watersport activities in and around Noumea. After this activity, seek out an aperitif and find a restaurant for dinner.

Anse Vata22

 Evening: Choose a dining spot from one of the many venues for a stunning French meal.

Try some of these exquisite restaurants and savour the best of the French-Pacific experience:
Au P’tit Café
– La table des Gourmets
– L’Hippocampe
– Le Taom
L’Atelier Gourmand

Morning: To maximise your time, get up early and head to the Port Moselle Market, which opens at 5am. Here you will find locals shopping for island produce and the day’s freshest catch, while you browse for souvenirs, crafts and other items. Be sure to take some time out for breakfast, enjoy a steaming espresso and a warm buttery pain au chocolat at the café in the centre of the marketplace.

Afternoon: Home to the world’s largest lagoon and second largest reef in the world, New Caledonia is a snorkelling enthusiast’s paradise. One of the best ways to take it all in is on a day cruise to the stunning Amédée Island. A ride on a fast boat will take you to the offshore island and you can then transfer to a glass-bottom boat to cruise over the reef. From here you can jump into the turquoise waters with a snorkel and mask to explore the coral reef on your own. After an exotic buffet lunch you take an easy stroll to the lighthouse or visit the world’s smallest post office before enjoying a dance performance. More info here

Evening: If you don’t have time to visit the hinterland make sure you make the time to try a traditional Kanak meal at one of the restaurants that serve this cuisine.

Morning: For the ultimate in relaxation, enjoy a spa at one of Nouméa’s upmarket hotels.

Afternoon: Get to know Nouméa, a bustling cosmopolitan city with a distinct French fl avour. The Noumea Explorer (hop-on, hop-off bus) is an easy way to familiarise yourself with the key sights of Nouméa including Anse Vata Bay and the Baie des Citrons, The Museum of New Caledonia and the Aquarium des Lagons.

Evening: Relax at your hotel for dinner and then head out for a drink at a coastal venue as live music plays. Don’t miss the happy hours from 5pm to 6.30pm in the various cafes, piano-bars and karaoke venues. Try bars such as L’Endroit, La Bodega, L’Etrave and enjoy Noumea’s crazy nightlife!