15 Best Things to Do in New Caledonia On Your First Visit

mooring at Drueulu, New Caledonia

Posted by on 10 Feb 2022

New Caledonia is a heavenly paradise for travellers seeking peace and calm from the hustle and bustle of the city. The archipelago is home to gorgeous beaches, picturesque landscapes, rich culture and plenty of fun activities for your holiday.

If it’s your first time travelling to this tropical island, we’ve narrowed down our top 15 New Caledonia tourist attractions to include in your custom itinerary.

15 Exciting Things to Do in New Caledonia

  1. Marvel at the Heart of Voh

  2. La Cœur de Voh New Caledonia things to do

    The first attraction on our bucket list is a natural wonder that has captivated the hearts of many travellers—La Cœur de Voh. True to its name, this mangrove swamp is shaped like a heart.

    The area is best seen by air but you can enjoy the view from Mount Kathépaïk. This mountain has a viewing deck that’s 400 metres tall.

  3. Climb Mont-Dore

  4. Hiking enthusiasts can go on a trekking adventure to Mont-Dore in the Great South. The summit of this golden mountain stretches 800 metres above sea level. Start your hike from the suburbs for a spectacular view. A stunning panoramic view of Noumea and the Grand Terre awaits you on the summit.

  5. Experience Kanak Culture in Tjibaou Cultural Centre

  6. A visit to New Caledonia isn’t complete without learning about its indigenous culture. A great place to start is in the Tjibaou Cultural Centre. Explore Kanak culture, history and art through the centre’s photographs, paintings, sculptures and other cultural artefacts.

    The museum is home to contemporary Kanak architecture that artfully blends with the surrounding woodlands. Explore the rich cultural and natural landscape of New Caledonia with our Ponant - Revealing the Mysteries of Melanesia holiday package.

  7. Visit the Mwa Ka Monument

  8. Mwa Ka totem pole top attraction New Caledonia

    The Mwâ Ka is a hallmark of Kanak’s rich culture. Erected in 2014, the totem pole is 12 metres tall and has 8 different levels representing the 8 regions of the archipelago.

    The monument celebrates the unique Kanak identity and its multiple ethnicities. You can find the famed landmark right across the New Caledonia Museum.

  9. Learn History in Fort Tereka

  10. If you’re a history buff, don’t forget to add Fort Tereka to your list of must-visit places. Once an abandoned 19th-century military port, it is now one of the most famous landmarks in New Caledonia.

    Learn about the history behind this fortress on foot or by bike. Explore the canons, lookouts, tunnels and gunpowder holdings inside this mighty fort.

  11. Study the Fishes in Aquarium des Lagons

  12. Families with young children can enjoy an educational trip to the Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Noumea. Meet the sea creatures living in the waters of New Caledonia, such as sea snakes, sharks, stingrays and giant clams. Watch out for the beautiful nautilus and the iridescent flashlight fish hiding behind colourful living corals!

  13. Experience the Serenity of Amedee Island

  14. Noumea Island snorkeling things to do in New Caledonia

    The tropical beach of your dreams lies in the coral atoll close to Noumea Island. Enjoy a swim in the ocean or snorkel with thousands of offshore fish.

    The tall white lighthouse is a historic landmark that has been around since 1865. Be amazed by the sweeping ocean views when you reach the top.

  15. Surf in the Anse Vata Beach

  16. Anse Vata beach in Noumea New Caledonia

    Let Anse Vata Beach feeds your adventurous spirit with its breathtaking cerulean waves. On a breezy day, you can enjoy kitesurfing and windsurfing.

    Try water sports activities like snorkelling by the pier. Then after a long day at the sea, sit back and admire the sunset across the horizon.

  17. Snorkel in the Ile aux Canards

  18. When visiting Anse Vata Beach, you can’t miss out on the nearby Ile aux Canards. This idyllic island is home to the best snorkelling spots in New Caledonia. Follow a trail of buoys under the sea and spot bright-coloured corals along the way.

    The island’s beach is charming, so feel free to stroll along the golden beach. Or better yet, soak in the Pacific sun while sitting on a beach chair.

  19. Explore the Wonders of Aquarium Naturelle

  20. The Aquarium Naturelle in the south of Tadine isn’t your typical aquarium. Instead of huge tanks, a landlocked swimming pool awaits.

    This natural wonder is tucked between staggering cliffs and turquoise seas. Keep an eye out for turtles, Napoleon fish and other sea creatures swimming along the clear waters.

  21. Traverse the Grotte de la Reine Hortense

  22. Queen Hortense Caves in New Caledonia

    Embark on an adventure in the mystical caves of Grotte de la Reine Hortense. Reach this cavern by taking a short hike through the deep woods and lush tropical gardens. This cave will welcome you with a large opening adorned by stalactites.

    Here’s an interesting tidbit of info about the cavern: it once sheltered Queen Hortense, the wife of a local chief, during an intertribal conflict in 1855.

  23. Go Cycling in the Blue River National Park

  24. The Blue River National Park is another must-visit place in the Great South. It’s home to stunning Grand Terre natural attractions, such as the Sunken Forest, Giant Kaori and the Blue River. It’s also a hotspot for Kagu birds and native kauri trees.

    The best way to explore this provincial park is by bike, but feel free to explore the park on foot.

  25. Explore the Place des Cocotiers

  26. After a long day of sightseeing, unwind in the Place des Cocotiers. This city plaza is home to surprises and lies in the heart of the capital of New Caledonia.

    Take a romantic stroll along the square’s wide walkways until you reach the top. At the peak, you’ll find the majestic Band Rotunda, a pavilion built in the late 1800s. Take your nature walk further and visit the lush botanical garden nearby.

  27. Savour New Caledonian Cuisine

  28. New Caledonia cuisine

    This Pacific gem takes you on an extraordinary culinary journey you’ve never experienced before. You’ll never run out of things to dine on in New Caledonia because of its traditional meals and fusion dishes. You can even participate in food festivals!

    For an authentic local culinary experience, sink your teeth in traditional bougna. It’s a Kanak dish filled with yams, sweet potatoes, coconut milk and pieces of chicken, fish or lobster wrapped in a banana leaf.

  29. Shop at the Port Moselle Market

  30. Before you leave this tropical paradise, drop by the street markets in Port Moselle at least once. It’s easy to spot because of its bright blue roofs and hexagonal structure.

    You’ll have plenty of options to choose from, including stalls selling fresh produce, stylish French patisseries and chic souvenir shops.

Visit New Caledonia for Your Next Holiday

New Caledonia is brimming with natural wonders and fun experiences for first-time travellers. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, this Pacific sanctuary has a place for you.

Make your dream tropical holiday come true with us. Check out our New Caledonia holiday packages today.

Last updated: December 12, 2023
When experience matters