Your New Caledonia Must Do List!

Regular contributor Roxana Oliver is back with a blisteringly inspiring list of unmissable things to do in the Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia! Disillusioned with the over visited and touristy destinations she’d been visiting, Roxana decided to get off the beaten track, and New Caledonia provided the tropical medicine for her travel woes.

New Caledonia was never even on the bottom of my bucket list. In fact, I barely even knew it existed. However, after years of exploring all the famous tourist hotspots, I came to realise that I was missing a true and authentic experience of any of these destination. Then New Caledonia popped up, and after seeing the pictures, I wasn’t complaining. The dazzling nature, premium beaches, and the all-around love-making between French and Melanesian cultures, captivated me for life. The greatest perk of this destination is that it’s not yet burdened with thousands of tourists. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t plenty of stuff to do there, though!

Here are some activities and sights that brighten the already bright days in this tropical paradise!

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

(Truly) Exploring Noumea…

As I heard from many fellow tourists, most of them use Noumea- the largest city in New Caledonia- only as an overnight option until they set sail to the exotic locations. All they get to see is the beautiful central square, and perhaps some museums. I decided not to repeat that mistake. One of the best discoveries, by far, was the city’s market, sprinkled with handmade shell and coral jewellery and enriched with scents of local spices and street food. Other sites of interest are Lemon Bay, Cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Nouméa and the graffiti in South Pacific Street. Make sure you visit the Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre.

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

Photo Credit: Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre

Visiting the Isle of Pines…

The Isle of Pines is virtually heaven on earth. Take at least one day to spend there and explore the lush vegetation, sparkly and soft stretches of sand and fabulous turquoise water. If you are lucky and friendly enough to meet some of the older locals, they will tell you the amazing legend of Queen Hortense.

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

Going to Lifou Island…

The fact that I found really cheap New Caledonia deals, enabled me to visit as many islands and sites as I could. I was lucky enough for one of them to be Lifou, with the sublime Easo beach and traditional accommodation (no luxury resorts). The people living there truly made me feel welcome, like a part of a big family!

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

Casting off to a Fishing Expedition…

Would you be surprised if I tell you that this was my husband’s favourite part of the trip? Not the Isle of Pines, not the amazing beaches, but fishing. To be honest, I had a pretty great time too, so great that I recommend it. Whether you love fishing or not, you will certainly enjoy relaxing and observing the serene nature surrounding you.

Kayaking the Lagoon…

Kayaking the world’s largest lagoon is an awe-worthy “waste of time”. Be patient and opt for the four-day tour, so you can go to the Forgotten Coast (Côte Oubliée) and reach the land otherwise unreachable.

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

Wreck Diving…

I just love diving and I’m thrilled when I get to see colourful fish and all the other richness of the underwater world, but sometimes I need something to get me more interested, and what is more attention-grabbing than submerged ships full of mystery and history? If you want to add even more fun into it, just combine wreck diving with shark feeding at the Amédée Lighthouse Reserve.

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

Tour the Beaches…

Don’t get me wrong, there is not a single bad beach in New Caledonia, but it is interesting to explore them and to see the differences and similarities. My favourite ones are Oro Bay (Isle of Pines), Ouvea Island (Loyalty Islands), Upi Bay (Isle of Pines) and Poé Beach (Grande Terre).

Your New Caledonia Must Do List

It’s hard to put into words what New Caledonia felt like for me. To understand, you must go there yourself. Luckily, whenever you go, wherever you decide to stay and no matter what your interests are, you will find something great to do – be that staring at the beautiful out-of-this world scenery or swimming with the sharks!

Roxana Oliver

Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing by following her on twitter.