A mangrove heart became icon of a land to preserve. And a unique lagoon in the middle of the Pacific Ocean - the largest in the world - festooned with sparkling beaches. Surrounded by forests, savannas and deserts of red soil, New Caledonia has the wild beauty of virgin spaces. And the brilliance of the regions mixed by the mixing of cultures ...
The must-sees of your trip to New Caledonia
A trip to New Caledonia necessarily begins with the islands, the big land is one, and the largest since it represents nearly 90% of the territory! But we can also start with the Loyalty Islands to the east.
Among the five islands of this archipelago, Lifou is the largest and most varied, between sandy beaches, gray coral cliffs and tropical forests where vanilla flourishes. At Ouvea, atoll resting on the turquoise water, the fringed beach of coconut trees unrolls its white sand for nearly 25 kilometers. It is to say if the seaside pleasures are guaranteed there ...
South of Grande Terre, stretches the Isle of Pines and its bays rivaling beauty. The most spectacular is that of Upi, to discover over a ride in outrigger canoe watching for turtles and dolphins. And north of the island, we make a wish in the cave of Oumagne, also called Queen Hortense's cave in honor of the mother of Napoleon III!
In Grande Terre, we first stop at Nouméa. With an essential visit of the Tjibaou Cultural Center. At the same time an art center, museum, entertainment area and eight-hectare park, it offers an insight into Kanak art, heritage and culture. Then there is the Lagoon Aquarium, which shows organisms in their natural habitat, including a collection of phosphorescent corals unique in the world. And for diving, we sail to the island Amédée, 40 minutes by boat. At 26 meters at the bottom of the water, the wreck of the Dieppoise forms a formidable artificial reef where evolve groupers, jacks and juvenile fish.
In the South, red earth is calling for green tourism! It is a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers or kayakers who can roam the beautiful landscapes of the Blue River Provincial Park: 9,000 hectares of nature! To the west, one can also climb on the Kapetai massif, to admire below the famous heart of Voh, vast clearing cut in the mangrove.
In Prony Bay, we reconnect with the blue of the lagoon and diving. The Prony Needle is a unique site in the world with its huge underwater fireplace that distributes hot water from underground springs. It is also a good spot to observe humpback whales that breed each year in the bay.
Sport and nature in New Caledonia
Swim among clownfish and damselflies in the natural pool of the Oro Bay on the Isle of Pines, cross the lagoon in kitesurf, paddle or windsurf or walk to Nimek on Ouvea to watch births sharks lemons in the nursery ... Between sport and nature, the marine sanctuary of New Caledonia lends itself to all experiences. On land, we travel the great South mountain bike. And in the air we fly in microlight to discover the heart of Voh as in the famous photo!
Originality of the cuisine of New Caledonia
A touch of French gastronomy and a lot of interbreeding, here is the recipe of New Caledonian cuisine! The tubers are the basis, especially yam (in donuts in particular), but also the taro (with crisps among others), cassava (french fries) or sweet potato. Sprinkled with coconut milk, they embellish the bougna, the traditional Kanak dish, a stew of meat, poultry or fish cooked in banana leaves.
In this hunting ground, the deer is eaten as a roast. And as in Asian cuisine, the pork is sweet and the chicken is coated with soyo (soy). The coconut crab accommodates coconut milk and green papaya au gratin. Side sweets, we enjoy the honey naouli, po'e, cake of cassava mashed banana or pumpkin, and aromas of vanilla.