New Caledonia offers countless adventures for the active soul. From quiet lagoons and colourful reefs, to steep climbs up to the best lookouts across the nation, this piece of French paradise in the South Pacific has everything needed to flip your holiday from lazy to adventurous.
On this track, hikers and trampers will discover some of the most unique parts of New Caledonia, many of which are exclusively accessible by foot. Discover New Caledonia’s old mining village, travel across the red earth, take a dip in the clear river waters and hike the various peaks along the way. Be sure to look out for the native birds, such as the cagou, a flightless bird often found along the path.
The Netcha Trails, known locally as Les Boucles de la Netcha, offer several biking trails of varying difficulty, from beginner to expert. The green paths are ideal for those who want a more leisurely or family-oriented ride and are about 3 miles (5km). Intermediate bikers should look for the blue trails, and advanced riders may choose from the red or black trails, which are up to about 20 miles (33km). The trails are near the botanical path to La Madeleine waterfalls, if you prefer to mix up your bike ride with a walk.
Just a short boat ride from Nouméa lies a traveller favourite—Amedee Island. The island is perhaps most famous for its incredible lighthouse, which stands proudly in the centre. Constructed in Paris in the 1860s before it was disassembled and transported to Nouméa, the lighthouse towers above the island at about 184 ft. (56 metres). Visitors must climb 247 steps to the top, but the panoramic view is unbeatable.
Scuba diving the hydrothermal structure, the Prony Needle, will satisfy beginner and advanced underwater adventurers alike. The incredible pinnacle is formed when various minerals from the hot springs in the area meet the cool ocean saltwater. The Needle is covered in oysters, coral and other bivalves and is home to a thriving marine eco-system of varying colours, shapes and sizes.
Let the moon light the way with an evening kayak through Blue River Park. Choose from a relaxing after-work kayak tour into the Deep South forest, or take the full moon kayaking expedition. The tour travels the Drowned Forest, also known as the Sunken Forest, where hundreds of trees and bleached logs stand in the middle of an artificial lake.
Poé Beach is a beautiful white-sand beach in the colonial town of Bourail, the same area famous for the rock formation, the Bonhomme de Bourail. For the best view of the sandy stretch, parachute or skydive across the spectacular reef, and then finish your afternoon with snorkelling in the clear waters.