Is This The Closest Island to Paradise? – Man On The Lam


New Caledonia shouldn’t be on everybody’s bucket listing, however maybe it ought to be. My associate Ryan and I are planning our travels for 2020 already, and since Australia and New Zealand are already within the playing cards, we determined to look into what reasonably priced locations are within the area. Enter New Caledonia: “One of many least expensive spots for Aussies” declares

New Caledonia is a French territory, so it is likely to be a wise transfer to brush up in your français beforehand, but it surely’s positioned only a two-hour flight from Sydney, Australia. Despite the fact that it’s typically a conservative nation, LGBTQ travellers are welcome with open arms – New Caledonia legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.

So what’s an intrepid customer to New Caledonia to count on? A number of sand and solar and snorkeling after all, however so as to get essentially the most out of your journey, one of many largest attracts right here is the island-hopping. Since every island has its personal distinct flavour and vibe, every island comes replete with its personal set of distinctive actions.

One query that continues to be unanswered is: simply what number of islands there truly are in New Caledonia? Even the official New Caledonia tourism web site. has this to say on the matter:

“There are such a lot of islands, isles and islets dotted within the lagoon of New Caledonia that consultants have given up counting them.”

Nicely then. Appears like heaven to me. Looks like there’s loads of room to stretch out and chill out in any case.

Now with out additional ado, right here’s my breakdown of what to anticipate in case your itinerary consists of island-hopping in New Caledonia:

Grande Terre

In the event you fly into Nouméa, then congratulations – you’ve made it to the principle island of Grande Terre, affectionately referred to as “Le Caillou” (The Rock) by locals. First up, take a metropolis tour of Nouméa to get your bearings, then enterprise over to Anse Vata, the preferred seashore on Grand Terre, to benefit from the quintessential seashore paradise expertise.

Grande Terre is ringed by the second largest barrier reef on the earth (Australia’s Nice Barrier Reef is first) creating the world’s largest lagoon, and one of many largest protected marine reserves on the earth — the Pure Park of the Coral Sea. So regardless of in the event you head east, west, north, or south, you’re sure to discover a seashore to your liking.

In the event you’re assured you’ve had sufficient tanning time already, head indoors to the Musée de la Nouvelle Calédonie to assemble some perception into the nation’s indigenous Kanak individuals and their conventional tradition. If conflict museums are extra to your liking, the Musée de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale particulars the profound affect WWII had on the nation when 1000’s of its residents had been despatched to struggle in Europe, whereas a whole lot of 1000’s of troops descended on the island that acted as a base through the battle.

In the event you’re pressed for time and nonetheless need to slot in not less than another island, take into account a daytrip to tiny Amaree Island from Grand Terre to see the lighthouse. The great thing about its white-sandy seashores is barely outdone by the superb quantity of sea life you’ll encounter whereas snorkeling.

Isle of Pines

Nicknamed “l’île la plus proche du paradis” (“the closest island to Paradise”), the Isle of Pines lives as much as its different nickname as properly: The Jewel of the Pacific. The island boasts beautiful turquoise lagoons and postcard-perfect sandy white seashores, set towards a backdrop of seemingly otherworldly Araucaria pine timber. 

The Cave of Queen Hortense and the pure swimming pool at Oro Bay are priorities right here.

To completely admire the great thing about the island, hike to the highest of Pic Nga for spectacular views of its seashores and crystal clear waters. The hike additionally gives the chance to see some non-marine life – most notably the intelligent New Caledonia crow which might create instruments out of sticks and different objects, behaviour scientists beforehand have solely seen in people and apes.


With an astonishing 25 km of unspoiled seashore, Ouvéa is properly definitely worth the quick 20-minute flight or 2 ½ hour ferry experience from Nouméa. The Hanawa Blue Gap is straightforward to seek out – it’s on the narrowest level of the island the place solely 50 meters separate the 2 coasts. For the extra lionhearted amongst your group, a hike to the north of the island to soak up the shark nursery with its bevy of lemon sharks is so as.


The beautiful Shabradan Terraces handle to remain that manner primarily because of the work concerned in getting there, however those that energy by way of the two.5 hour hike within the scorching solar are rewarded with one of many nicest (and emptiest) seashores on the planet.

Warrior’s Leap is one other must-see on the island. Legend has it that so as to evade his enemies, a warrior jumped the 7 meters from one cliff to a different over a 30 meter drop to the ocean beneath. For the report, the enemies tried the feat as properly, however none survived. Additionally for the report, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO JUMP WARRIOR’S LEAP!

New Caledonia Journey Journeys:

When to Go to New Caledonia

Truthfully, there’s by no means a foul time to go to New Caledonia, however there are specific components it’s best to take into account. In the event you’re attempting to keep away from the rain, you’ll expertise the most effective climate from September to November, but in addition the best costs. For the budget-conscious/reasonably priced luxurious crowd, you’re higher off visiting from February to July once you’ll see a marked distinction in lodging and flight costs.

Methods to Get to New Caledonia

The best and quickest method to get to New Caledonia is to fly with the nation’s nationwide airline, Air Cailin. It gives direct flights to the nation’s capital Noumea from varied cities in Australia and New Zealand, in addition to Asia and whilst far-off as Paris, San Francisco, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and Vancouver.

In case your island-hopping plans embody islands outdoors of New Caledonia, Air Cailin has acquired you coated with that as properly. The airline flies to Port Vila in Vanuatu, Papeete in Tahiti and Nadi in Fiji, as properly locations as Wallis and Futuna.

Is New Caledonia in your bucket listing? I’d like to get your ideas within the feedback part beneath.

Word: This can be a sponsored put up in collaboration with New Caledonia Journey.


Final Up to date on by Raymond Walsh


Latest posts