City Sights & Beach Delights In New Caledonia

16 October 2015

Just two hours’ direct flight from Brisbane, but a world away from the everyday, get to know our neighbouring island nation of New Caledonia.

With an enchanting mix of sophisticated French style and laidback South Pacific island culture, New Caledonia has beach appeal in spades. While the island archipelago has the stunning good looks of a sun-drenched island paradise, it’s surprising just how much more there is to experience in New Caledonia.

 Sailing in Noumea's lagoon.

With its French heritage and tropical bounty, New Caledonia offers a smorgasbord for visiting foodies. Visit Port Moselle Market in the capital, Nouméa, to see the eye-opening array of giant yams and taros and sample crusty French baguettes, gooey cheeses and local cured meats – the makings of an indulgent picnic. For a taste that’s quintessentially New Caledonia, try venison saussison and wild boar pâté as well as prawns and lobster, fresh from the market.

 Don't miss sampling the French pastries from a boulangerie in Noumea.

If you favour fromage, don’t miss the annual French Cheese Festival, held every June at Le Méridien Nouméa and the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort and Spa in Bourail. A selection of over 130 artisan cheeses selected by famous cheese master Gerard Poulard, complemented by wines, is available for tasting. Craft beer has also made its way to New Caledonia, and you’ll find a selection of artisan ales alongside the local Number One lager in the numerous bars, cafes and clubs.


A South Pacific paradise close to home. An Endless Summer in New Caledonia

More about our nearest Pacific neighour. Paradise Unknown: Discover New Caledonia


Of course, tropical landscapes and picture-perfect beaches are what really lure holidaymakers to this South Pacific locale. With an UNESCO World Heritage protected reef encircling the islands, a mesmerising underwater world awaits divers and snorkellers. The best diving locations lie in the waters off Hienghene, La Foa, Bourail, Koumac, Isle of Pines and Nouméa where you can spy hidden caves, submerged coral gardens and countless colourful marine life.

 Choose to stay in an overwater bungalow, on the beach or your choice of island in New Caledonia.

There’s numerous ways to explore New Caledonia, whether you choose to cruise, drive or join a Segway tour. The Iles Loyauté (Loyalty Islands) is rich in Kanak culture, relaxation and adventure with hilltop churches, adventurous treks amid flora and fauna you won’t find anywhere else, an array of watersports options and a welcoming village community. The beaches here are absolutely stunning with clear, azure waters lapping pristine sands fringed by swaying palm trees.

 Kanak culture, lagoons and a verdant interior make Isle of Pines a popular island getaway.

Many holidaymakers also stay on the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ile des Pins (Isle of Pines), which is just a 20-minute flight or 2.5-hour ferry ride from Nouméa. Here, you can spend your days swimming in a stunning freshwater pool at Oro Bay, drifting on an outrigger in the lagoon, sampling a seafood bounty and witnessing the glorious sunsets.

 Lifou is dotted with hidden cave pools and excellent diving locations.

From the cosmopolitan capital to the stunning natural beauty and surrounds of the idyllic island locales, New Caledonia is imbued with innate warmth that will embrace you long after you leave.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on travelling to New Caledonia.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.