New Caledonia is a paradise in the tropic of the South Pacific, a scintillating superyacht playground that can be reached easily from mainland Australia.
This is an archipelago of immense natural beauty offers an eclectic mix of experiences rolled into one exhilarating superyacht charter. From UNESCO World Heritage listed lagoons to horseback treks and phenomenal snorkelling sites, New Caledonia is an exciting adventure waiting to be discovered. Just a two-hour flight from Brisbane International Airport, New Caledonia is an easily accessible yet wickedly undiscovered gem of the South Pacific.
La Grande Terre, the country’s mainland, is surrounded by five other major islands which provide an exciting platform for yachting escapades. Known as the “land of the eternal spring”, New Caledonia boasts an all year round sub-tropical climate that is ideal for outdoor adventure, and there is plenty to uncover throughout the archipelago.
Exploring the glistening cruising grounds of New Caledonia, your superyacht charter will bring you to awe-inspiring natural wonders, including tropical lagoons and coral reefs. The New Caledonia Lagoon is the largest in the world, spanning 24,000 square kilometres. This is a stunning and unique experience for any yachting enthusiast or luxury charter guest, and you will get to know the lagoon inside-out as you delve under its surface to discover the multicoloured fauna and abundant sea life that inhabit the lagoon.
Crystal-clear waters ensure that divers and snorkelers don’t miss out any encounters with the colourful fish, and the Lagoon also benefits from not being overcrowded with tourists so you can explore the fascinating shipwrecks and reefs with freedom. Between each destination on your itinerary, you will enjoy delightful sailing through a world of kaleidoscopic colours. The natural reserve of Nokanhui dazzles with white sands and turquoise waters, and is just one of the many delightful sceneries that you can take in from your exclusive superyacht, spending indulgent days on the sun deck. Sailing through the smooth waters of Upi Bay and St Joseph, you will need to keep an eager eye out for exotic sea life, including dolphins, reef sharks and stingrays. Not all of New Caledonia’s adventures are concentrated at sea, as there are pulsating activities to immerse in on the land. New Caledonia’s pristine natural environment offers different experiences when stepping off your yacht, with enchanting rainforest retreats brimming with diverse flora and fauna.
All throughout New Caledonia, you can explore the hidden natural treasures off the beaten track on horseback tours, led by local guides who will enrichen your experience with knowledge of the country’s history and culture. Superyacht charters in New Caledonia are incomplete without majestic helicopter tours that will give guests a new perspective of this awe-inspiring archipelago from the air. Boulouparis, Bourail, Noumea and Poum are all hotspots for airborne activities, where you can hover over spectacular sights and even take part in adrenaline-pumping skydives or paraglides. New Caledonia is a haven for hedonistic retreats, with relaxing environments and indulgent facilities that are perfect for luxury superyacht charters. Escapism is at the very heart of superyacht travel, and the New Caledonian islands are your opportunity to detach from the stresses of the world in this little bubble of happiness. Your superyacht will act as an opulent base for exploring secluded beaches and bays, though there are many high-end resorts that offer pampering experiences on land.
Le Méridien Ile des Pins is one such resort, with lush rooms and bungalows and amenities including an indulgent spa and fabulous bar. New Caledonia is well-equipped for blissful cocktail-sipping escapes.
A rich and diverse cultural life in New Caledonia will enhance your experience. While you will primarily enjoy the complete privacy of a superyacht charter, there are many opportunities to embrace the thriving Kanak culture, which has remained strong to its roots while adapting to a modern world. The islands of New Caledonia come alive with fairs and festivals throughout the year, while the country is also bursting with talented artists and cultural centres. The Tjibaou cultural centre is a must-visit for lovers of art, with the centre itself a magnificent piece of architecture designed by Renzo Piano. New Caledonia is blessed with sublime natural beauty and such a vast range of unique experiences and activities. A luxury superyacht charter is the only way to explore all of the thrills of this South Pacific gem, and you will leave rejuvenated and inspired with a wealth of lasting memories.
VIEW 7 NIGHTS | 8 DAYS SUPERYACHT CHARTER ITINERARY
French Paradise at Your Doorstep
New Caledonia is known as one of the best-kept secret destinations in the world. Two hours away from Brisbane International Airport, in Australia, this remote island oasis will take your breath away from the very first glance. La Grande Terre (The Mainland) is bordered by five major islands to explore from the comfort of a superyacht: the Loyalty islands (Ouvea, Lifou, Mare and tiny Tiga) and the famous Isle of Pines. New Caledonia has the world‘s largest lagoon of 24,000 square kilometers which has been proclaimed a world heritage site by UNESCO.
Furthermore it offers a 1,500 km (930miles) long coral reef, inhabited by a vast variety of marine life. Being an overseas territory of France, New Caledonia‘s native name is Nouvelle-Calédonie. This is your chance to experience both the Melanesian and French lifestyles, surrounded by nothing but water, far away from Europe, blessed by a breathtakingly beautiful lagoon in the South Pacific ocean.
New Caledonia has been described as “the land of eternal spring” as it is blessed with a pleasant sub-tropical climate all year around. Higher rainfall is usually expected from January-March and high temperatures start in January and continue to mid-April. The average temperatures reach around 22-26°C and the high temperatures can reach up to 29°C. The water temperature in the wet season has an average of 24-27°C. The most popular times to visit New Caledonia are from September to December due to mild temperatures, low rainfall and limited humidity.
The tropical lagoons and coral reefs of New Caledonia are an outstanding example of high diversity coral reef ecosystems and form one of the three most extensive reef systems in the world. They are the location for the world’s most diverse concentration of reef structures, with an exceptional diversity of coral and fish species and a wide range of reef forms, extending over important oceanic gradients. New Caledonia is proud to protect its incredible seascapes, and will also adopt a complete ban of single-use plastic products on the territory from June 2019.
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
This amazing building was designed by the renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. It has become a true cultural centre for the Pacific Islands and a great number of displays of Melanesian and Polynesian art are open to the public. The innovative architecture makes this a “must” to see.
Just a stroll around Noumea is enough to make your mouth water – buttery pastries, creperies, hand-made chocolates crafted by expert chocolatiers and gourmet stores where visitors can stock up on pates, terrines, foie gras, duck cassoulets and gooey cheeses. Wine lovers can delight their senses with a large selection of some of the best French wines available in Nouméa and gourmet French culinary products. For fishing enthusiasts, New Caledonia provides the best opportunities to catch a variety of fish (pelagic and reef species) for your Chef to prepare in time for dinner.
DAY ONE – Ile Ouen & Mato
Guests will be arriving via an international flight into Noumea. Port du Sud is a 45 min car transfer from the terminal. Waking up at the renowned Hotel Chateau Royal, we invite you to a relaxing spa treatment at the Aqua Royale which is located within the resort a few metres from the beach.
Prior to boarding, why not take to the air and set the scene for your next 7 days in New Caledonia. A helicopter flight will provide some sensational views over the lagoon and the multiple colours under the sun. This afternoon we will cruise to the South towards Ile Ouen and Mato. The stunning hike to the top of Mato will reveal a panoramic view of the islands! If you are eager to step on board and start exploring the lagoon, your Captain suggests to depart the marina early towards the “5 Islands”: these are 5 small islands situated between Ilot Eroue and Ilot Kouare and the site is absolutely superb. Continuing on to Ile Ouen, Baie de la Tortue (Turtle Bay) is ideal for an introductory snorkel off the beach or adjacent reef. This is a perfect place to spot a loggerhead turtle as it is a popular feeding spot for these wise creatures. If turtles are feeling friendly, they will even swim through the crystal clear waters with you! Plants grow only sparsely on Ile Ouen. The abandoned jade mine is part of New Caledonia’s history and can be seen from the beach. The island itself is home to two villages and will be ours for the night too – we anchor here for the evening after a delicious dinner on board.
DAY TWO – Baie de Kuto
After breakfast, we will make our way to Isle of Pines. Deserted beaches, wild coasts, pristine blue water, the Isle of Pines is a paradise in the Pacific. Dominated by the peak Nga (262 meters altitude), Isle of Pines emerges from the superb lagoon, with waters so blue indeed it hurts the eyes.
Later in the evening we’ll anchor in the magnificent Kuto Bay, one of Caledonia’s most beautiful bays. Here you can have lunch in one of the local restaurants: indulge in freshly caught seafood in this charming and intimate anchorage: it truly feels like you are held by the islands’ arms.
After lunch, our dedicated guide, Ivar, will join us for a private tour of the island: Queen Hortence grotto, the ruins, Vao Village and the most exclusive scenic views! Back on board, it is time to relax with sunset cocktails and canapes admiring the changing of colours in your new surroundings. Late afternoon swims are really rewarding whilst the crew setup the fairy lights and ambiance for your evening in peaceful paradise.
DAY THREE – Ilot Moro
This morning, our guide will meet us on board, to discover the natural reserve of Nokanhui. This atoll is one of a kind, with sand so white you can only look at it through sunglasses, and water ranging from cobalt to turquoise and every shade in between. To access Nokanhui, our guide will have requested the authorisation to the local tribe. For lunch, we will cruise to Moro Islet for a barbeque feast of seafood, fresh lobster and other local fish. After lunch, guests can rest and enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of the surroundings, or engage in more active watersports sessions. Once the energy is spent playing in the crystal-clear waters, there is a unique opportunity for a traditional New-Caledonian dinner: Bougna is the traditional Melanesian dish and it’s definitely worth a try. Bougna is a combination of chicken, lobster or fish with yams, bananas, sweet potatoes and coconut milk wrapped in banana leaves. The food is then steamed in an earth oven heated by hot stones. Bougna is served with a variety of other dishes, including seafood, coconut milk and tropical fruit.
DAY FOUR – Baie d’Oro
Wake up to the sound of water against the hull, and a hearty breakfast on the shaded sundeck. After your morning swim, sail on a traditional dugout kayak around Upi Bay and St Joseph: approximately 2 hours of smooth sailing, drifting with the wind on these transparent turquoise waters. Turtles, dolphins, reef sharks and stingrays may come to your encounter. Upon disembarking from this travel back in time, cross the tropical forest to find La Piscine Naturelle, a pool of exquisite turquoise water sheltered behind the reef (45 minutes walk in exquisite landscapes, maybe looking out for the Giant Snails or Coconut Crabs!). The secluded spring is part of a waterway which leads from the open sea to Baie d’Oro. Your superyacht and Captain will be waiting for you on the other side in Baie d’Oro. Lunch can be booked for you at the Meridien Hotel’s restaurant La Pirogue, which also provides you with access to the Spa. A refined French/Melanesian menu includes the bougna, and will be enjoyed outdoors or around the sleek, open-air bar. After this memorable experience, the Captain will make his way to Gadji Bay for our anchorage.
DAY FIVE – Gadji Bay
After breakfast, our guide will meet us on board to go on a diving tour this morning. There are numerous diving locations along the reef offering a constantly changing panorama of drop-offs, corridors, passages and sea grottos. There are over 15 dive sites, all around the breathtaking Gadji Bay. The more experienced divers can venture down to the mysterious freshwater underground caves known as “Grotte de la Troisième”, which can only be reached by a narrow underwater corridor. Night dives in Isle of Pines are renowned for its mysterious atmosphere, with the sea snakes and loggerhead turtles. Other sites of interest include Kasmira reef, Faille de Noupoa, Garden of Eden, or Passe de Gie.
DAY SIX – Baie du Carenage
From our anchorage, we will make our way to the expansive Baie de Prony on the New Caledonian mainland. This area is renowned for its plentiful waterfalls. The southern end of New Caledonia is famous for its mineral-rich red soil, which contrasts brilliantly against the deep green cover of the pines. The sandy beaches are fringed with coral reefs and covered with the colourful shells for which Prony Bay is famously known for. The adjacent land is a nature reserve, with well-marked tracks around the shoreline and up to the Cap N Dua lighthouse, from where you can view the entire cruising area out to Isle of Pines. Going for a walk to the lighthouse will give us a good chance to spot the humpback whales: from mid-July to mid-September every year, the gracious mammals travel from Antarctica to New Caledonia to breed and give birth! In the Kanak culture, whales play a vital role in the yam farming cycle: when the whales slap the water with their flukes and send up plumes of spray through their blowholes, the local men know it’s time to ready the land to plant their previous tubers.
As we venture further into Prony Bay, it splits onto two arms. On the starboard side past Ilot Casey is GrandNord, famous with divers for Recife de l’Aiguille (Prony Needle), with its pinnacle that extends 35m from the sea. On the port side is Ilot Rade du Nord, with an interesting river: its head can be navigated by dinghy past the ruins of a colonial prison. As we navigate into the upper reaches at Baie du Carenage, the water takes on a reddish tint and the high wooded hills close in. This area is also national parkland, and there are many walks and interesting places to explore from the tender here.
DAY SEVEN – Amedee & Boulari
After a busy day of exploring on Day Six, we will rest overnight in Baie du Carenage and make our way smoothly towards Phare Amedee or Ile d’Ouen, depending on the weather. At 56 metres tall (247 steps), Amedee is one of the tallest lighthouses in the world and it was the first metallic lighthouse constructed in France. Its position signals the entrance to the Passe de Boulari, one of only three natural passages in the reef surrounding New Caledonia. On the other side of the world, the Roches-Douvres Light in the English Channel is the twin brother of the Amédée lighthouse. Returning on board with some more amazing photos from your exploration ashore, diving enthusiasts can explore the Passe de Boulari, famous for its numerous shipwrecks: The Dieppoise at the Amédée Lighthouse, the Humboldt near the Dumbéa channel, or the Arrogant at Boulari. The site is also renowned for its manta rays, which regularly feed in the pass, and its schools of grey sharks, white-tipped reef sharks and pelagic species which are often spotted. Your crew can also organise a very special sunset session at the top of Phare Amédée tonight, thanks to Claude, the guardian. Choose to spend one last night in the lagoon, or return slowly towards Noumea. In the morning, we can take the opportunity to explore some more of the inland culture that New Caledonia has to offer such as a visit to the Tjibaou Cultural Centre back in Noumea.