The most beautiful places of New Caledonia

Far from the stress of the big cities, New Caledonia represents a haven of peace for any visitor wishing to spend a special stay rich in pleasures. Made up of a group of islands located in remote Oceania, it is distinguished by its beautiful landscapes and its great cultural wealth. This is reflected in the respective attractions of five of its territories which form part of this archipelago under French sovereignty.

The lagoon

For those who love the wonders of marine life, this area of New Caledonia is a treasure to be discovered. Indeed, it is a collection of sites where more than 350 species of coral and more than 1500 species of fish can be found. Spread over an area of 24,000 square kilometres and at a depth of about 25 metres, it is unique in the world in the category of reef ecosystems.

These sites include the d’Entrecasteaux reef area, the Grand Lagon Nord area, the Grand Lagon Sud area, as well as Ouvéa and Beautemps-Beaupré Island, which are among the six sites in New Caledonia that were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008.

Nokanhui Atoll

Located in the south of the Isle of Pines, this coral island seduces at first sight with its magnificent view. This view is characterised by the pure and splendid blue of its waters and the white sand that surrounds them.

The pleasure of visiting this protected atoll is completed by the possibility of contemplating its interesting aquatic fauna, which includes sea turtles, dolphins and sharks, in addition to its wealth of well-preserved coral.

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The island of Ouvéa

Ouvéa is one of the Loyalty Islands located in the northeast region of the island of Grande Terre in New Caledonia. Due to the beauty of its various natural features, it is referred to by some as a paradise destination.

It has a coastal area, a large lagoon and small islets. It is also famous for its natural beauty with the Lékiny cliffs in the southern region. In terms of monuments, it is known for its many religious buildings such as the church of Saint-Michel de Fayaoué and the church of Saint-Nom-de-Marie de Mouli.

The Island of Pines

Also considered a land paradise, the Isle of Pines is distinguished geographically by its many bays, notably the Bay of Crabs at Gadji, Ouaméo Bay and the Bays of Saint-Maurice and Saint-Joseph.

In terms of flora and fauna, it is also known for its rare specimens such as the flowering plant Pittosporum leroyanum and the ant species Myrmecia apicalis.

As for its historical buildings, the church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption built in 1860 and located in its village called Vao is also one of its major tourist attractions.

Hienghène

Located in the northern province of New Caledonia, it is one of the most visited areas by tourists. On the one hand, it is distinguished by its geography of lagoons, cliffs, reefs and beaches. It also has marine protected areas.

As far as activities are concerned, Hienghène is suitable for hiking, water sports and diving. For visitors wishing to learn more about indigenous practices, there are programmes to introduce them to Kanak culture.

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The Goa Ma Bwarhat Cultural Centre is a good place to discover the history and heritage of the area, not forgetting religious buildings such as the Ganem chapel and the Tiendanite church.