Sitting due east of the northeast region of Australia is an island territory with all of the modern services to complement a holiday for the entire family. New Caledonia is a South Pacific overseas department of France, so you expect to find everything French in addition to the local cultural norms.
New Caledonia is actually an archipelago of several islands, the main one being Grand Terre. Noumea, the department’s capital, is located here on this long, thin spit of land. This is also where all the best hotels, restaurants and attractions are located. You can experience the wonders of the South Sea, from unforgettable snorkeling and diving spots to typical French delights, mountainous adventures and pristine, relaxing beaches.
There are a number of reasons to stick around that Noumea that are particularly well-suited to family holidays. Firstly, it’s a smallish city, which makes it easy to get around. The waterfront is lovely and plenty of cafes will transport you to the Hexagon. There are also plenty of hotels that are apt for the family.
Scenery - New Caledonia is incredibly lucky to have such a grand position smack dab in the middle of the sea. Most places you look will be like something out of a post card. White coral beaches fronted by candy blue water, and cushioned behind by forest, some of which have those long thing an Gogh trees.
Water sports - kids especially will love the bountiful fruits of the ocean that New Caledonia is riddled with. Snorkeling and windsurfing are popular, and there are diving opportunities for those with credentials. One of the coolest places to swim is at the Aguille de Prony, which is in a bay on Grand Terre.
Outdoor activities - Noumea is particularly well-situated to offer the adventurous families a holiday hiking in scenic mountains and lowland valleys. The Parc Riviere Bleu is especially well-reviewed. There are plenty of islands that you can visit for a good hike, from Le Mont-Dore to Dumbea and Ils des Pins.
Yacht Charters -New Caledonian yacht charter services promise to be the best bet you’ve ever made in the eyes of your family. It’s pretty hard to top the experience. Imagine traveling on a steady catamaran form island to island, unimaginable bay to unimaginable bay—you’ll see fish, dolphins, reefs, sharks and much more.
Accessible attractions - For some the yacht option is out of the question. If snorkeling didn’t bring you into contact with enough marine flora and fauna, there’s the Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Caledonie in Noumea. There’s also a zoo!
Beaches! If you can’t make it far from the main island, you have tons of beach options for the family. Ile aux Canards Island, Poe Beach, Anse Vata Beach, and Llot Maitre are a few names to keep in mind.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of New Calendonia Tourism
As a father of two, I know that having a big, bulky DSLR with me whilst trying to carry one of my kids or push the pram isn’t my idea of fun...