Ranked as one of the top 10 holiday destinations for 2016 by Flight Centre, New Caledonia is a tropical paradise that can be found near the territory of the Down Under. A place where the infusion of Melanesian and Western culture meets, the French territory creates an exotic paradise luring enough for your honeymoon. Here in TWV, we take you to the overlooked wonder of the French paradise where you can exploit all romantic delights it can offer – massive coral barriers, beaches, caves among others. Buckle up and follow us on the journey of discovering the 30 reasons why New Caledonia can be your most sought after honeymoon love nest.
Top 17 Things to do on your New Caledonia Honeymoon
1. See The Heart of Voh above from sky
If you are looking for the best romantic view, The Heart of Voh is another must see in New Caledonia. The large mangrove swamp near the town of Voh has developed a heart shape natural wonder which can be viewed from the air. If you want to see nature in love, you can take the helicopter ride service of New Caledonia Voyages. It will depart from Noumea Magenta and will be a three-hour tour to the site.
New Caledonia Voyages
Phone: 1300 660 442
2. Meet and greet with the humpback whales
New Caledonia is not short of marine wonders. The giants of the sea will not fail to give you a memorable splash. Visit and go whale watching in New Caledonia’s southern lagoon during the months of July to September where humpback whales’ mating season peaks. Thanks to the local cruises, you can go whale watching while riding a catamaran or a taxi-boat. Aside from filling your eyes with the sight of the marine life, you can also fill your stomach with New Caledonian meals that come with the tour.
For more marine life adventure, you can head up to Piscine Naturelle at the Isle of Pines where you can find a natural aquarium exactly at the sea. It would take a 15-minute walk to go to the snorkelling area and get lost to the amazing marine life.
How to go there: You may take a cruise to get here and take a 15-minute walk to the snorkelling area.
3. Enjoy serenity at the L’ Escapade Island Resort
L’Escapade Island Resort Noumea is popular to Australians and Kiwis as it is the only overwater bungalow in New Caledonia. When you stay here for your honeymoon, you can surely enjoy a luxurious accommodation because all island rooms are completely set for their guests. Take note that it is accessible by the resort’s own boat which makes 7 trips to the mainland per day!
4. Venture to the “Closest Island to Paradise”
Île des Pins or Kunié for Melanesians is 70 km off from Grande Terre. Based on legends, warriors of Tongan descent who came from Lifou, another territory of France, arrived to take leadership of the place. Later on, Captain Cook renamed the place as Isle of Pines upon seeing the tall native pines to which the place is famous for. Now, this place is considered as the closest island to paradise simply because of its stunning and undeniable beauty. The lush rainforest, breathtaking lagoons, turquoise beaches, and archaeological remains sum up the reasons why you would want to stay in the paradise at the heart of the Pacific. You can indulge yourself in a day trip from Nouméa and enjoy the small pleasures of the soft white sand, the cool shade of the pine trees, and various water activities.
5. Kayak in the world’s largest lagoon, the Forgotten Coast
Have 3-4 days of adventure at the Forgotten Coast and experience kayaking in the world’s largest lagoon. The crystal clear water splash will be overwhelmingly wonderful with the 1,600 km coral barrier reef that awaits beneath. Hotels and resorts here like the Drehu Village Hotel offer sea kayak services for you to explore the coast. You can also make use of snorkelling gears so you’ll not miss the coral wonders!
6. Go underwater spearfishing
If you already grew fond of New Caledonia’s marine life, you can already fish them for dinner. The coral barrier reef near Nouméa and the Loyalty Islands are the best choices for underwater spearfishing where you can aim for a giant trevally. Hunt on the school of fishes at Ouvéa Island’s lagoon or chance upon freshwater catch at Yaté Lake from January to October.
7. Go treasure hunting in a shipwreck, or swim in the crystal waters of Grand Terre
New Caledonia’s waters do not only harbour the treasure of marine life, but also houses marvelous shipwrecks that already surprised many diving visitors and locals alike. Although ill-fated, the sunken ships had been becoming top diving spots in the French territory. The ‘La Dieppoise’, a French naval boat which sunk near the Amédée Lighthouse, is a tourists’ favourite. It is now home to corals and fishes as it serves as an artificial reef, making it a must-visit for tourists splashing in the French waters.
After that, you can continue your diving experience at Grand Terre. It is the largest island in New Caledonia which is surrounded with UNESCO World Heritage Site listed lagoon. If you think that the surface says it all, try a diving experience at the Amédée Diving Club. You’ll get wowed with the world’s second longest double barrier reef which reaches up to 1,500 kilometres of marine and coral spectacle. Your SGD193 fee will include hotel and boat transfers from Port Moselle, two dives, and lunch. It’s a 7am to 5pm adventure, a day’s worth of natural wonders.
How to get there: You can find a boat rental here to reach the lagoon near Noumea.
8. See spectacular reefs and lighthouse at Amedée Island
At New Caledonia, you will not be short of coral reef adventures. Have a great time as you go glass-bottomed boating on the top five most sought-after snorkelling spots in the country. You can start with Les Fonds de Touho and swim with the manta rays. Then head to L’Ile aux Canards riding in a taxi boat while not missing the third destination at Le Phare Amédée. If you really can’t get enough of the beauty of the waters, you can wrap your adventure at Ile des Pins and Lifou island. Never allow yourself to leave without taking a few shots from your camera!
Then after enjoying beautiful reefs, make sure to visit the Amedée lighthouse was constructed during the era of Napoleon III in Paris to guide the ships so they will avoid destroying the reefs. Now, it just takes 247 steps to have your breath taken away by the spectacular view of one of the most acclaimed reefs in the whole world! There are day trips in Amedée where you can visit the lighthouse and enjoy other water activities like riding a glass-bottom boat and snorkelling.
9. Check out the gorgeous panoramic views of the East & West Coast
Expose yourself with the wonder of East coast that offers the lavish scenery dressed in dense foliage. It unfolds the narrow coastal strip set between the mountain and the ocean. Hienghène is one of the places in the east that has a striking lagoon surrounded by 120m-high black cliffs. It is a region where Melanesian villages, forests, coconut palms, and beautiful beaches reside. At the southern part, you will see Yaté which is also surrounded by azure wonders.
When you’re done exploring East Coast, you can extend your adventure at West Coast. Here in West Coast, you can enjoy a great variety of breathtaking scenery all over its place. From the soft, pure white sand beaches, rainforest, and offshore atolls of the West Coast. It is considered as the most favourite and largest space for livestock farming and lagoons sightseeing. Also, West Coast is rich in cultural historical places that you will surely love for your honeymoon.
But if you have more time and you’re done exploring both East and West Coast, Mont-Dore is something that you should not miss in your New Caledonian honeymooning. There are various options available to see the spectacular panorama view the place through a hiking adventure. As you reach the 800-meter summit of Mont-Dore, you will witness the lagoon dominating a wide panorama, including the South’s red earth and the small islands facing it.
10. Explore a huge limestone cave Grotte de la ReineHortense
After facing all the outside pleasures of New Caledonia, it is in good time to explore what lies inside its caves. Grotte de la ReineHortense is a striking cave tunnel in a limestone cliff and with a path going through wild tropical gardens. This place is named before Queen Hortense, wife of a local chief believed to have taken refuge here for several months during the intertribal conflict in 1855. Now this cave is one of the most visited and maintained caves in New Caledonia.
11. Be surrounded by adorable turtles
Splashing in the waters of New Caledonia is enough for a natural wonder, but having the adorable turtles swimming along is just so much for a paradise. You can join a Kanak guide to the islets of Turtle Bay and Brush Island to find loggerhead turtles flocking into the feeding spot. The water is translucent enough to spot the marine life, including dolphins, going for a swim. After your adventure in the waters, you can have a stroll in the shore while seeing harmless sea snakes taking refuge on the rocks. To get here: Air Caledonie is offering flights to the Isle of Pines where the islets can be found. You can check their flight schedules here.
12. Unleash your inner cowboy or girl in a Grand Terre horseback riding
Unleash the inner cowboy or cowgirl in you as you saddle up in a horseback riding activity in New Caledonia. Every 20 natives that inhabit the place has raised their own horse, making horseback riding the best way to see the Grand Terre. There are guided tours from the villages of Nouméa, La Foa, Koné, Dumbea, Bourail, and Thio.
But if you’re not into horseback riding, you can enjoy hiking with locals. Take note that there is no better way to discover the New Caledonian hiking splendor than to mingle with the indigenous Kanak people. You can have a hiking trip at the Grand Terre starting at the Grande Randonnée trail if you are up for hard tramping. The track has seven stages before finishing in Dumbéa. This 100km trail is split into eight connecting hikes which you can enjoy for the following days of your honeymoon.
13. See the rare Cagou in a Blue River Provincial Park tour
“It hisses like a cat and barks like a dog!” This is how some tourists describe the rare flightless bird that resides in this park in the south. It is the same size as kiwis and usually comes out at day. Aside from this, you can also wander in the 9000 hectares of mineral rich red soil. Did you know that even the new leaf sprouts here are actually red? Come and see it for yourself!
How to get there: You can take the RP3 from La Coulée and get off at the end of the electronic dam at Lac de Yaté. From there, you will need to take a 2.4 km drive up to Rivière Blanche.
14. Indulge in the French savoir vivre of Lemon Bay
New Caledonia is characteristically French and oozes with the European way of living in every corner. Getting to the Lemon Bay or Baie de Citrons will give you the French-iest refuge in the country with its long stretch of beach with palms adorning the washed shoreline. There are also shops, cafés, and restaurants to fully engage you in the French experience in the Pacific.
Then as you enjoy the white sand beaches and bright sun rays of New Caledonia, do not miss the chance to be tanned in French style! Sunbathe and soak yourself in the azure waters and have the best beach honeymoon outing ever. Enjoy the soft, white sands and feel the heat brought by the shining sun.
15. Visit the Noumea market on a Tchou Tchou train
Honeymooning has never been as good as experiencing the buzz of New Caledonia’s capital. You can ride a Tchou Tchou train, a yellow, open-air vehicle that tours around the city. In a week, the train runs three times and has an English-speaking tour guide to keep you informed about the place. Let the eye-catching squares, cathedral, market, museums, and old colonial houses unfold right at your window. There is also an Aquarium des Lagons which is one of the world’s leading centres of coral reef scientific research.
Furthermore, you should prepare yourself to get the best deals at the Nouméa market for the freshest produce of fish, meat, and souvenirs as well as artefacts, art pieces, and jewelry. Do also take note that Nouméa market is located beside Port Moselle marina where Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are the busiest days, so it is advisable to stroll every morning and do some picnic in the afternoon to avoid the crowd.
Then, if you want to have a break from the buzzing activities, you can head to the Cathédrale Saint-Joseph de Nouméa not far from the city centre. It was built back in 1888 and has served as one of Nouméa’s most prominent landmark. You can simply savour the view and take souvenir shots of the little statue of Joan of Arc. You might also want to pay a visit on the church that has beautiful stained glass windows and elaborately carved pulpit.
16. See live performances at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre
Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a tribute to Kanak leader Jean-Marie Tibaou and the indigenous culture of New Caledonia in general. It is located in a peaceful woodland and mangrove paradise of Tina Peninsula. Let the sun kiss your cheeks as you join the locals in their weekly live dance performances. After this, you can immerse yourself in a display of sculpture, paintings, photographs, artifacts, and other indigenous pieces that celebrate the Kanak culture at the South Pacific Commission Building and New Caledonia Museum.
How to get to New Caledonia:
Airlines that offer direct flights to New Caledonia are limited, but you can still find your way to the paradise through Air Vanuatu, Air New Zealand, Qantas, and Aircalin. There are airports available for New Caledonia which are Nouméa Magenta Airport, Maré Airport, Ouvéa Airport, and Lifou Airport.
Get Insured on your Honeymoon
Do remember to purchase your travel insurance before embarking on your honeymoon. Insurance is key to safeguarding yourself against expensive medical costs or luggage losses.
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