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New Caledonia Travel Guide
- a Perfect Escape

What you need to know if you are visiting New Caledonia

One of Oceania’s best kept secret, New Caledonia is a true realization of heaven on earth. Still unburdened with thousands of luxury hotels, this place is rich with dazzling nature and fascinating culture. This destination is a unique blend of local Malaysian and colonial French culture, which especially reflects in architecture and cuisine. This exotic variation of France will make you fall in love with the powdery white beaches, sublime islets, and coral islands. Here is everything you need to know before you start your journey.

Heart of Voh, New Caledonia
The heart-shaped mangrove area on the main island of New Caledonia
is known as the Heart of Voh

It’s All about the Timing

New Caledonia is amazing, no matter the season, but if you are picky about the temperatures, you should consider the weather changes. To truly feel the “tropical heat” you should visit this heaven on earth in February, when the temperatures are the warmest. If mild spring climate sounds better to you, then pack your bags in periods between April and May, or October and November.

Find Your Own Way of Exploring

There are many ways to experience this destination, and finding the one that suits you the best is the key for a perfect vacation. Choose one of the many New Caledonia travel packages – a dreamy cruise, a bus tour, renting a car, water taxis, backpacking, etc. Believe it or not, there are even segway tours available. And why not? It is easy for the legs, you get to breathe in the fresh air and see some outstanding sights.

Amedee island lighthouse
Located on Amedee island, the Amedee Lighthouse was France's first metal lighthouse.

Get to the Heart of the Archipelago

Visiting New Caledonia without visiting Noumea would be nonsense. The lifeblood of the archipelago is filled with interesting sights and one could spend days wandering down its beautiful, clean and lively streets. The colonial buildings in the centre of the city are a true treat for the eyes, and if you walk around a bit, you may see an open air chess board, right below a group of massive trees. If you’re looking for good accommodation in the area, don’t miss out on staying at the Hilton Noumea, one of the premiere hotels of the area. If you have always dreamed of a night in Hilton luxury, this is the perfect time to do so.

See All the Nature’s Delights

Ok, maybe not all, since New Caledonia is a delight for itself, so start with some basics.

 Lifou Island

Lifou Island is unspoiled by luxury resorts and it represents Mother Nature in its full glory. Of course, there are some accommodation options if you decide to stay overnight, but those are mostly the traditional hostels. This island is also, one of the best snorkeling destinations of the Pacific.

Lifou Island, New Caledonia
Locally known as Drehu, Lifou Island is the largest and most populous
in the Loyalty Island Province of New Caledonia archipelago.

 Deva Domain

Deva Domain is a largely undeveloped area where you can truly enjoy the untouched nature. Located about 2 hours from Noumea is a picturesque combination of rolling hills, valleys and beautiful stretches of white sand.

 Isle of Pines

The Isle of Pines is one of the most popular places to visit when in New Caledonia. That does not come as a surprise, since it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you are staying in Noumea, you will need 2.5 hour by ferry or 20 minutes by plane to get there. There is something for everyone on this island – from pristine beaches for an exotic getaway to prison ruins for history buffs.

 Blue River Provincial Park

The Blue River Provincial Park is a micro-universe of itself. In the 9000 hectares of this park you can see the endemic plants, rich wildlife, waterfalls, swimming sites, fresh water lakes and rivers. The park is also home to a rare national bird of the area – Cagou.

 La Passé de Ouano

-La Passé de Ouano is one of the best surfing spots in the area, so if you are fond of catching the waves, this is the place you should go.

Isle of Pines, New Caledonia
Named by Captain James Cook for its tall native pines, the Isle of Pines is nicknamed
"the closest island to Paradise".

Get a Taste of Heaven

There is really no way the food of New Caledonia could taste bad – after all, it is imported from France. That may have its impact on the prices, but it is worth it. The amazing French-style dishes, sometimes enhanced with the local coconut milk, are a true treasure. Complement them with great wines, and voila – taste buds heaven. Do not go to restaurants only, though. When in Noumea, go to the local market to absorb all the aromas in the air, and make sure you visit the city’s oldest bakery - La Vieille France.

In the end, we suggest to brush up on your French, since most of the locals, especially outside of Noumea, do not speak English. Bon chance and bon voyage.

Nicole Noel - Twitter

Author bio:

Nicole is an avid traveler passionate about yoga and healthy living. She always seeks new adventures and enjoys sharing her experiences with others. You can find her on Twitter and FB.

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