Awesome Things to do in New Caledonia
We definitely needed this post when we were planning our trip as we had no idea what to do in New Caledonia. Thankfully we had a family member who could show us around and give us some tips about the best things to do in New Caledonia and where to visit.
We knew we wanted to visit a pacific island as travel from New Zealand isn’t cheap or easy. Finding out that New Caledonia was only 2.5 hours away with affordable, direct flights was a real deal clincher and we quickly started planning.
After a few weeks of research, tips from locals and 2 weeks exploring this beautiful island we’ve come up with a list of awesome things to do in New Caledonia on your trip.
If you’re looking for more of the nitty gritty about accommodation, transport, food and budget check out our detailed guide to New Caledonia.
New Caledonia sits in the world’s largest lagoon and you can literally walk straight into the water from the middle of Noumea and see an incredible range of sea life.
For an amazing day of snorkelling or diving head out to one of the islands from Noumea and you have a really good chance of seeing turtles, sharks, sea snakes and fish of all shapes and colours. Water temperatures are pleasant year-round so there’s no excuse not to experience the incredible underwater world of the lagoon.
Camp in a Tent
Most people think of luxury resorts when they picture a trip to a pacific island but New Caledonia caters perfectly for independent campers. There are plenty of campgrounds located everywhere from idyllic beaches to national parks and camping on many of the smaller islands is free.
Facilities at the campground vary but most will have flushing toilets, showers (often hot) and barbequing facilities. Camping is such a unique experience in New Caledonia and an amazing way to enjoy the great outdoors and save a considerable amount on accommodation costs.
See the Heart of Voh
This is a well-known attraction and is often shown on guide books and posts about New Caledonia. There are two ways to see the heart of Voh, the first is from the air. You can book a flight over the mangrove forests and get some incredible views of the coastline, surrounding islands and of course the picture-perfect heart.
If your more budget travel inclined you can do what we did and hike to the viewpoint on Mt Kathepaik. The hike up takes about an hour and a half and while the heart is a little distorted because of the lower angle the views are still amazing and it’s a great chance for some exercise between lounging on beaches!
Visit Blue River Park
This National Park was a highlight on our trip to New Caledonia. The rich red soil of the tracks contrasts intensely with the bright green bush and crystal clear rivers. You’ll need a car to get there and once your in you can choose to get around on foot, on bikes or with the shuttle service. There are also kayak tours available.
Walk in the Fern Park
This is a well maintained and easy to navigate park which is home to some of the country’s unique forest life. The walking tracks are made to suit different time frames and fitness levels and each one takes you through dense bush and some to viewpoints and across rivers.
To be honest, we found it a little underwhelming as much of the bush was similar to New Zealand where we are overly lucky to have it all on our doorsteps for free. But if you’re coming from further afield it makes a lovely day out in nature.
If you want to stay nearby Refuge de Farino comes highly recommended.