outdoor activities in new caledonia

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Outdoor activities in New Caledonia


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    New Caledonia is such a beautiful place like New Zealand, Australia or French Polynesia. However

    nowadays New Caledonia still remains unknown from general public. This country does not have a

    strong international image as upper mentioned countries. In fact, its name does not evoke to tourists

    those various and vivid connotations of nature and adventure which inspired and motivated people

    to travel around the Pacific.

    As a consequence, tourists do not come massively: around 100.000 a year; and tourism industry is

    not much developed either. It is a situation that hopefully New Caledonia will overcome as, from a

    lot of points of view; this place can compete with the most touristic countries of the Pacific area.

    Indeed, New Caledonia has in terms of beauty and diversity a luxurious and preserve nature similar

    to Jurassic time. Thus, you can practice diverse outdoors activities and sports in exceptional

    locations. Through a presentation of some of them, this booklet has the aim to be representative of

    what holidays or weekends can be in New Caledonia for Natures fans. In fact, the objective is to

    show how ideal is this country due to its astounding resources for fun.

    Thus, we will go through three themes:

    Theme n 1 : GO AQUA

    Theme n 2 : GO ADVENTURE

    Theme n 3 : GO EXTREME

    Fortunately, it might give some ideas of travel or at least but not last it will participate to the

    construction of a New Caledonian international image and imaginary.

    For information, pictures which illustrate this file were all taken during our personal excursions.

    Quick prior cultural point

    James Cook discovered the island in 1774 and named it New Caledonia in honors of Scotland due

    to similar mountains. Then, New Caledonia became French in 1853 and has nowadays a sui generi

    legal status in the French Ve Republic. This special organization provides New Caledonia with its own

    Government and Parliament which both rule the territory of the island and with a specific citizenship

    aside French nationality. Nowadays, the economy mainly relies on nickel mining (30% of global

    resources are in New Caledonia). This explains with mountains and foils are extremely red.

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    Scuba-diving What is it?

    Scuba-diving is an extreme underwater sport which was popularized in the second part of the XXth

    century. To be able to practice it, you should have a diploma like a Level I (20 meters deep), II (40

    meters deep), III or IV in French system or a PADI which is worldwide recognized. If not, you can still

    enjoy a short dive from 5 to 8 meters deep with an instructor as a complete beginner.

    What you need?

    Usually, the equipment is provided by the club which will take you on the diving

    site. Thus, you should receive a wetsuit, flippers, a dive mask, an oxygen cylinder and a regulator to

    be able to breathe underwater.

    What may you experience?

    A lot of people practice this discipline in New Caledonia as underwater world has unique and

    fabulous landscapes. Besides, UNESCO recognized New Caledonias lagoon world heritage site in

    2008. On the top of that, aquatic fauna and flora are extremely developed and colorful.

    You will experience a peaceful and

    impressive moment breathing underwater

    and somehow flying 20 meters deep. You

    should see coral reef, turtles, sharks, clown

    fishes etc. If you are lucky enough, you may

    see manta rays, dolphins or whales in

    August and September during giving birth


    Finally, at Pointe de Easo, you can go

    under rocks where sunrays make caves look

    like an old medieval church. Just amazing.

    WHERE YOU MUST GO Pointe de



    BUDGET : 90 euros

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    What you may see

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    What is it?

    Snorkeling is another way to enjoy New Caledonian lagoon. It is famous as it is much cheaper and

    easier than scuba diving. Snorkeling can be done anywhere in New Caledonia without required

    qualifications. Even if you just stay near the coast, you will see as many things as a scuba-diver.

    Despite that, it is recommended to pay attention to meteorological conditions, tides and to the

    specificities of the site you want to explore. You might find as well two or three underwater tracks

    around New Caledonia with submarine indications about fishes or corals.

    What you need?

    Your equipment is quite simple if you want to experience snorkeling.

    Basically, you will need a mask with a tuba in order to breathe normally at surface. You will need as

    well some flippers to not get tired too quickly and to be able to swim with more strength if you

    encounter streams.

    What you will see is so beautiful that it is

    recommended to bring a submarine camera or

    even a GoPro which fits perfectly as well.

    What may you experience?

    As scuba diving, snorkeling will bring you to astounding places. You will enjoy the view of colorful

    corals for kilometers. Just for the record, New Caledonia is surrounded by a double-barrier coral reef

    which is the second longest in world just

    after Australias great barrier.

    The main difficulty of snorkeling is just to

    learn how to breathe with a tuba. You will

    have to be calm and confident. The first

    time you try might be difficult as it is not

    exactly a natural way of breathing. Yet,

    once you would master how to, your trips

    would last longer and you will have more

    chance to discover the multiplicity of New

    Caledonian natural treasure.


    de Yat


    BUDGET: 0 to 10 Euros (for underwater tracks)


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    What you may see

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    Jet skiing What is it?

    Jet skiing is a motorized sport you can practice on water near coasts if you are over eighteen. Driving

    a jet ski is easy and similar to driving a scooter. You control the speed of the engine with your right

    hand and there are no breaks. However, it is a very powerful engine and as a consequence it can be

    dangerous. The fastest ones can go up to 100 km/per hour when the sea is very calm. Thus, it is

    strongly recommended to follow all security instructions.

    What you need?

    If you live in New Caledonia, you might have your own jet ski.

    The equipment needed in that case is quite important as you have to take care of the engine, drive it

    to a storage etc.

    On vacation, you will only need glasses to prevent you from

    salted waves, a swim suit and/or a very good sun cream to

    protect you from the sun.

    What may you experience?

    Jet skiing gives you a incredible sensation of freedom probably due to the speed, the possibility to

    explore unaccessible coasts or islands and the magnificence of the ocean.

    You can practice it in a sportive way by

    taking waves, racing or doing some

    wakeboarding: it is another aquatic activity

    you can practice when waves are not too

    strong. In fact, the jet ski will tow you until

    you reach the strength to get up on the

    water. Nevertheless, this sport is difficult so

    you must be in good health conditions and

    not to fear about aches the next day.

    You can as well enjoy it to explore the

    lagoon. It is quite common to see dugongs and turtles in these conditions. Besides, you will be able to

    reach amazingly blue water or desert beaches to have a swim on your own.


    BUDGET: 50 Euros / 2 hours


    Ilot Bailly

    Mont Dore

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    What you may see

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    Mountain biking

    What is it?

    Mountain biking is a faster way than hiking to discover New Caledonias bush. It is similar to regular

    cycling. However, you will use a mountain bike with bigger wheels and suspensions. It will allow you

    to go off-road on any type of rough tracks. Thus, you would be able to bike through rivers or on the

    top of small canyons. In fact, you can go anywhere yours legs allow you to go.

    What you need?

    You will need a mountain bike, which you can rent, shoes and a helmet for security. Besides, you will

    definitely need a swim suit as you will frequently find some rivers or waterfalls where you can rest

    and swim during your trip.

    It is recommended as well to carry one and a

    half liter of water per person for a 20 to 30

    km trip.

    What may you ex