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New Caledonia - Activities

New Caledonia Activities

Wood carved palisade, Vao

With New Caledonia claiming the world's second biggest coral reef, the diving and snorkelling are spectacular. In summer the water may not be as clear with wet season runoff from the land, but on calm, windless winter's days underwater visibility can reach 50m (165ft). Some of the best dive sites are on Île des Pins, Poindimié, Amédée Islet, Maré and southern Grande Terre. Swimming, of course, is an option in most places with so many fine beaches, and the best are on the east coast, Loyalty Islands and Île des Pins.

Trekking on foot and horse trekking are both popular, and you can arrange two or three day horse rides into the interior of Grande Terre. There are plenty of possibilities for caving on Grande Terre, Île des Pins and the Loyalty Islands. If John Denver's sticky end didn't deter you, you can also try ultra-light flying from Noumea or Lifou in the Loyalties, and to really loosen your bowels there's parapente (parasailing). You run down the edge of a hill or mountain dragging a rectangular parachute behind you till it opens (you hope) by the time you launch off into thin air. Being an outpost of France, the cycling is manic, and they even stage their own version of the Tour de France in September.

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