Isle of Pines, New Caledonia – Image courtesy of New Caledonia Tourism
New Caledonia Honeymoon Guide
New Caledonia is the perfect honymoon destination – a sunny, tiny slice of France surrounded by the warm waters of the South Pacific.
Blessed with stunning natural beauty, delicious French cuisine, luxurious resorts and rich cosmopolitan charm, New Caledonia has all the ingredients you need for a romantic honeymoon at one of the South Pacific's best honeymoon destinations.
Whether you choose to honeymoon on the main island of Grande Terre, the idyllic Isle of Pines or on a small coral atoll in the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia offers a choice of must-see sightseeing attractions for inquisitive couples.
Find some of the best white-sand beaches in the South Pacific, hike through pristine forest and dive into the world’s largest lagoon.
In Nouméa, browse chic fashion boutiques, stroll tree-lined streets crowded with colonial architecture, eat alfresco in elegant sidewalk cafés, savour French cuisine in fine-dining restaurants and embrace the town's refined French ambiance.
The main island of New Caledonia offers a lush backdrop of mountains, rainforests, rivers, lakes and beaches wrapped around secluded coves fringed with coral gardens teeming with colourful fish – the ideal setting for a relaxing honeymoon.
Explore the lively cosmopolitan city of Nouméa and browse chic boutiques for a perfect honeymoon memento.
In the mainly untouched northern provinces meet some of the most traditional communities in New Caledonia – the indigenous Kanaks.
Tour a local Kanak village where ancient customs are still practiced, share in a tribal bougna (feast) and listen to the stories and legends of the Kanak world for an amazing honeymoon experience.
Isle of Pines
Named for the majestic 60m-tall araucaria pines that blanket the island’s interior, the enchanting Isle of Pines is known locally as the ‘Jewel of the Pacific’ – a long-time favourite of honeymoon couples.
At roughly 18km-long and 14km-wide, the island is easy to explore on foot, bicycle, 4WD or boat.
Pick a secluded spot to sunbathe on a choice of powder-white beaches edged with soaring pines and facing crystalline lagoons ideal for swimming and snorkelling – just perfect for a quiet honeymoon picnic.
The Isle of Pines is a 20-minute flight or 2.5 hour high-speed catamaran trip from Nouméa on the main island of New Caledonia.
This string of pristine coral atolls, untouched by commercial tourism, is renowned for secluded beaches, rugged coasts and stunning lagoons making it an idyllic honeymoon retreat.
The islands of Lifou and Maré (photo) are covered in dense forest pitted with caves and grottoes surrounded by coastlines indented with rugged cliffs and unspoiled beaches.
Ouvéa Island ranks as one of the most beautiful atolls in New Caledonia and the Pacific, defined by a 25km-long stretch of unbroken white-sand beach that shelves into a vivid turquoise lagoon fringed by a necklace of distant coral atolls.
The New Caledonia islands of Lifou, Maré and Ouvéa are just a half-hours flight from Nouméa.
Best beaches in New Caledonia
New Caledonia is renowned for its choice of powder-white beaches on Grand Terre, the Isle of Pines and nearby Loyalty Islands.
Here is a round-up of some of the best beaches in New Caledonia – just perfect for a romantic honeymoon getaway…
Grande Terre beaches…
Anse Vata, Nouméa
Discover Nouméa’s most popular beach – a long crescent of powder-white sand, lined with beachfront cafés, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.
Pick a secluded spot to sunbathe on the beach or try some of the numerous watersport activities available such as windsurfing, kite surfing, paragliding, jet skiing and kayaking.
Anse Vata beach is home to a range of accommodations including the luxurious 5-star Le Meridien Nouméa overlooking Anse Vata Cove and the 5-star Nouvata Hotel, which sits in the heart of this lively resort area.
Baie des Citrons, Nouméa
This family-friendly white-sand beach offers calm waters perfect for swimming, with a wide choice of cafes, restaurants and nightclubs nearby.
Come on a day trip or stay longer at one of the many beachside hotels and resorts.
Kuendu Beach, Nouméa
Dig your toes into the powder-white sand of this lovely beach that gently shelves into the calm waters of a horseshoe-shaped bay, perfect for sunbathing and swimming.
Snorkel the marine reserve, which lies around the southern headland – an easy walk along a beachside trail or a short swim from the beach.
Pack a picnic and come for a day or relax in style in an overwater bure at the Kuendu Beach Resort.
Ilot Maitre Island
Pick you own secluded spot to sunbathe on the powder white beach that fringes this tiny coral atoll.
Located just 25-minutes by boat from Nouméa, Ilot Maitre sits atop a huge underwater reef and offers excellent conditions for diving, snorkelling, kayaking and swimming.
Come on a day trip or indulge your creature comforts at the 4-star L’Escapade Island Resort.
Sunbathe and relax with a picnic on this popular white sand beach that stretches for 20km along the northwest coast near Bourail.
Isle of Pines beaches…
Unwind on one of New Caledonia’s best beaches – a gorgeous crescent of fine powder-white sand that shelves into a calm protected bay.
Sunbathe on the white sand, relax in the shade of towering Araucaria pines or swim and snorkel the fringing headlands.
A short stroll across the narrow sandy isthmus takes you to neighbouring Kanuméra Bay.
Come for a day or stay longer at the beachside 3-star Kou Bugny Hotel.
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Discover a picture-perfect crescent of soft white sand framed by long pine clad promontories and lapped by the calm waters of horse-shaded Kanuméra Bay.
Come for a day to sunbathe, swim and snorkel above coral gardens teeming with colourful fish or stay longer at the beachfront 3-star Hotel Oure Isle of Pines.
Both Kuto and Kanuméra beaches are considered among the best beaches in the South Pacific.
Accessible by boat or on foot along a forest path from Vao on the northeast coast, Oro Bay features two gorgeous palm- and pine-fringed white-sand beaches that shelve gently into the calm waters of the lagoon as well as a large nature-sculpted limestone pool located in a pine grove behind the beach.
Pick a spot to sunbathe, swim in the clear warm waters of the lagoon and snack on tasty lobsters at one of the small beachfront restaurants.
Come for a day or stay longer at the luxurious 5-star Le Méridien Isle des Pins, where you can indulge with a range of creature comforts.
Explore this calm, picture-perfect bay by kayak or sailing pirogue and discover tiny coral atolls fringed with white sand and basking in the sun amid crystal clear waters perfect for swimming, snorkelling and fishing.
Upi Bay is located on the east coast of the Isle of Pines.
This tiny coral atoll, located to the south of Isle of Pines, is famous for it’s idyllic white sand bar and idyllic swimming conditions – perfect for a day’s excursion.
Loyalty Islands beaches…
Make your own footprints on the gorgeous white sand of Fayaoué Beach (photo), which stretches uninterrupted for 25km along the west coast of this narrow crescent-shaped atoll – one of the most beautiful atolls in the South Pacific.
The palm-fringed beach shelves into an immense turquoise lagoon, offering idyllic swimming conditions with tiny coral atolls set between a vista of blue sea and sky.
Savour a seafood snack at a beachside café, visit the charming French colonial-style church nearby and spot endemic green parakeets flitting through the trees overhead.
Lifou Island’s forested interior gives way to a coastline indented with rugged sea cliffs, limestone caves, and pristine white-sand beaches.
Discover secluded bays edged with coral gardens and reefs teeming with tropical fish.
Relax on white sands of Peng Beach (photo), located on the west coast, or head to the east coast beaches of We, and the picture-perfect Luengoni Bay where a tall rocky outcrop soars dramatically from the turquoise lagoon just metres away from a gorgeous white-sand beach.
Unwind at the Oasis de Kiamu or at Drehu Village, two beach resorts that front idyllic pockets of white sand.
Explore the rugged coastline of this densely forested island indented with towering cliffs, waterholes, caves and small sandy coves.
Dig your toes into the soft white-sand at Nengone beach and unwind at the 3-star Nengone Village Resort, which faces a turquoise lagoon perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Take a day trip to try several other beaches such as Shabadron (photo), Tawainedre, Peneloi, Medu and Metche beaches.
What to do and see…
New Caledonia offers a wide choice of things to do from sailing, scuba diving and kayaking to hiking scenic forest trails…
Grande Terre offers some of the best hiking in the South Pacific, with a choice of marked trails through forest, valleys and into mountainous areas where native plants and birds flourish. Be independent or join a guided walking tour along ancient Melanesian trails.
Explore the rugged red landscapes of the Yaté district, see waterfalls and cool off with a refreshing dip in a swimming hole at Blue River Provincial Park; hike past giant kaori trees in the Dumbéa Valley to reach Mount Koghi and be rewarded with breathtaking views of Nouméa and the lagoon.
Meet local Kanak tribes on Mount Panié, learn about their ancient traditions, then join cowboys in the Caldoche.
Snorkelling is excellent everywhere in the lagoon but is best for beginners at Ilot Canard just off Anse Vata and for everyone else at Aguille de Prony, a fabulous underwater structure south of Nouméa.
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Dive the biggest lagoon in the world at 24,000m2 and explore a 1600km-long barrier reef that is home to nearly 2000 different varieties of fish and more than 6500 different molluscs.
Nouméa has some of the best dive sites, including the Amédée Lighthouse Reserve, which often includes shark feeding; the wreck of La Dieppoise, a navy patrol boat sunk in 1988; and Ilot Maître.
Elsewhere, try the Prony Needle in the south; the Tenia Horn near Boulouparis; the Fault near Poé; the Gorgonia Valley and several freshwater caves around the Isle of Pines; the Gazelle Pass to the north; and the Hienghène Reef to the east.
Many other dive sites exist around the Isle of Pines and Lifou Island in the Loyalty Islands.
Several PADI-approved diving centres offer beginner, training and certification courses as well as night and photo dives.
For the best windsurfing conditions head to the Bay of Anse Vata and Côte Blanche, both in Nouméa, where you can watch some of the world’s top competitors during international competitions such as the Trophée des Alizés.
New Caledonia’s network of rivers, streams and lakes offer a range of great kayaking and canoeing experiences. Don’t miss Dumbea, Tontouta or Blue rivers as well as Yaté Lake and around Lindéralique.
Try underwater spear fishing off Nouméa reef or hook up a charter to chase tuna, marlin and snapper offshore. If you prefer freshwater fishing, check out Yaté Lake during the season from January to October.
Experience New Caledonia’s beautiful countryside on a horseback excursion of two-hours or on a trek lasting several days. Cross mountain ranges, muster cattle and camp overnight. Horse trekking is easily arranged from Nouméa, Dumbea, La Foa, Bourail and Thio.
Tee-off from one of New Caledonia’s three 18-hole golf courses: Dumbéa Golf Club, Ouenghi Golf Club and Tina Golf Club. Lessons and equipment are available for hire.
Explore the cascades, forests and villages of New Caledonia on a mountain bike, including the Dumbéa valley, the Dzumac Mountains and the River Blue Park. Or cycle Nouméa’s scenic bays including Baie de la Moselle, Baie de l’Orphelinat, Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata.
Spot humpback whales in the bays of the southern lagoon and Lifou Island during the mating season from July to September.
Cruise the lagoon in a glass-bottomed boat to see colourful marine life flittering around coral reefs.
For French designer labels, browse the chic boutiques around the Place des Cocotiers or head over to the Noumea Market at Port Moselle for a selection of local arts and crafts.
Top Festivals in New Caledonia
Consider planning your honeymoon or romantic getaway to coincide with one of New Caledonia's major festivals.
Festival of the Yam
(Mid-March) – Watch the most important event in the Kanak calendar at the sacred Festival of the Yam, which marks the beginning of the yam harvest.
In New Caledonia, the yam is treated with the respect usually saved for an ancestor. The yams are blessed the following day by the priest then distributed among the villagers.
Giant Omelette Festival
(April) – New Caledonia's Giant Omelette Festival at Par Fayard takes place around Easter, during which a dozen chefs make a huge 3.5m diameter omelette using around 7000 eggs.
The festival dates back to the time when Napoleon ordered the townspeople of Bessieres to create a giant omelette for his soldiers. Today, this unique festival is celebrated in five French-speaking cities in France, Canada and New Caledonia.
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New Caledonia sightseeing
New Caledonia offers a choice of must-see attractions for inquisitive couples enjoying a romantic honeymoon, including the following…
(Grande Terre) – Discover a taste of France in New Caledonia’s vibrant capital, Nouméa. Savour French cuisine and fine wine in alfresco restaurants and sidewalk cafes, browse for Paris fashions in chic boutiques and stroll tree-lined boulevards and picturesque squares lined by colonial and European-style architecture.
Stroll the lively Place des Cocotiers (Coconut Square) beneath the stunning red blooms of poinciana flame trees, ride the scenic railway line to the powder-white sands of Anse Vata, Nouméa’s most prestigious beach or take a day trip to beautiful Baie des Citrons.
Visit the magnificent Tjibaou Cultural Centre, with its world famous architecture, beautiful landscaped native gardens and wonderful collection of Pacific Art, including decorative arts, sculpture, painting, photography, prints and drawings.
Here you can also watch concerts, plays and exhibitions celebrating indigenous culture. The fascinating Musée de Nouvelle-Calédonie also offers an insight into traditional Kanak and regional Pacific culture.
Embrace the lively multi-ethnic atmosphere of Noumea Market at Port Moselle, where you can browse for arts and crafts and watch locals barter for fresh produce including flowers, fruit and vegies, bread, meat and fresh fish.
See local flora and fauna at the beautiful Parc Zoologique et Forestier, including native species such as the cagou, roussette (fruit bat), notou and various parakeets; and watch stone fish, turtles, stingrays and sea snakes at the Nouméa Aquarium.
Nouméa (above photo courtesy of Martial Dosdane) overlooks one of the world's largest, sheltered natural harbours on a 42km2 peninsula on the south-west coast of La Grande Terre.
Blue River Provincial Park
(Grande Terre) – Enjoy a day trip to this scenic 90km2 wilderness reserve in the southeast Yaté district (photo) where you can choose from a range of hiking and mountain biking trails.
Hike through the lush forest to waterfalls such as the picturesque Madeleine Falls, kayak the river, cool off in a waterhole and picnic overlooking scenic spots.
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Visit the park's giant 40m-high Kauri stands that is almost a 1000 years old, then try to spot the cagou, New Caledonia’s national bird, as well as other colourful bird species.
(Grande Terre) – Climb to the Point de Vue lookout point for breathtaking views of the Lindéralique rock formations. These towering black limestone cliffs soar abruptly from the sea to end in 60m-high razor-sharp edges.
Explore the area’s many caves and coves on foot or paddle a sea kayak beneath the jagged rocks around La Poule Couveuse (the Brooding Hen) into Baie de Hienghène, then glide inside the Grotte de Lindéralique. Look out for swallows and flying foxes soaring overhead. Lindéralique is located south of Hienghène on the northeast coast of Grande Terre.
Dumbéa gorges and Mount Koghi
(Grande Terre) – Discover breathtaking views over Nouméa and New Caledonia’s lagoon from the summit of Mount Koghi (1061m). Located just north of Nouméa, this scenic region is a favourite spot for hiking, swimming and kayaking.
Explore a network of forest trails, admire waterfalls in the scenic Dumbéa gorges and cool off with a swim at one of many natural swimming holes.
(Grande Terre) – Located just 25km south of Noumea, Mont-Dore (770m) offers great walking tracks and a range of stunning views. Explore valleys, forests and scenic freshwater springs on foot or by mountain bike. Mount Dore is known as the Golden Mountain due to its golden hue at sunset.
(Grande Terre) – Enjoy a guided walking tour through this picturesque region and climb to the summit of the highest point in New Caledonia (at 1629 m) for magnificent views over the reef and hinterland.
Stroll past mountain araucarias and giant kaoris (large palm trees), discover mountain cascades that tumble into small creeks that are perfect for swimming and meet local tribes to experience kanak culture and local traditions. Mount Panié is located in the northern province.
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Where to stay in New Caledonia
Honeymoon couples can choose from authentic Melanesian country gîte (thatched beach bungalow) to 5-star resorts featuring over-water bungalows and a range of creature comforts dedicated to spoil newlyweds, including the following…
Le Meridien Noumea
Location: Pointe Magnin Noumea
Prices: from AUD273 per room
Description: Overlooking the sparkling waters of Anse Vata Bay, Le Méridien Nouméa boasts an outdoor pool and a tennis court. Just 1 km from Palm Beach Shopping Centre, it offers rooms with free WiFi and a private balcony offering lovely ocean or garden views. The spacious, air-conditioned rooms have a minibar and tea/coffee making facilities. Each room includes a bathroom with a bathtub, a hairdryer and free Le Méridien toiletries. You can work out in the fitness centre, visit the sauna and steam room or relax in the outdoor hot tub. Massage a beauty treatment services are also provided. The property offers free canoeing, windsurfing and snorkelling equipment. Guests can head over to Le Shogun to sample Japanese dishes, or enjoy a relaxed lunch at the beachfront Le Fare Restaurant. Nouméa Le Méridien is 100 m from Grand Casino De Noumea, and 200 m from Promenade Pierre Vernier. It is a 10-minute drive from central Noumea and a 45-minute drive from Tontouta International Airport. Facilities incl.: Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, 24-hour room service, health club, massage centre, laundry service and various water sports.
Château Royal Resort & Spa, Noumea
Prices: from AUD244 per room
Description: Located opposite Anse Vata Beach, Chateau Royal Beach Resort & Spa boasts a day spa, a tennis court, 3 restaurants and a fitness centre. It offers luxurious suites with 250MB of free WiFi, per day, per room and a private balcony with lagoon, mountain or garden views. The air-conditioned suites have a fully equipped kitchen and a bathroom with a rainfall showerhead and free toiletries. Each suite has a seating area with an LCD TV. You can work out in the fitness centre, or enjoy a swim in the pool overlooking the lagoon. The hotel also offers a hair salon, a 24-hour front desk and a gift shop. The buffet breakfast includes a selection of pastries, bread, bacon, eggs, sausages, fruits and juices. Offering stunning lagoon views, Le Taom Restaurant offers both local and international cuisine. Le Warai Bar is the perfect place to relax with a cocktail after a day of sightseeing. Chateau Royal Beach Resort is located next to the Meridien Casino, and 3 km from Noumea Harbour. The Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre is a 10-minute drive, and La Tontouta International Airport is a 45-minute drive away.
Le Meridien Ile des Pins
Location: Oro Bay, Ile des Pins
Prices: from AUD476 per room
Description: Set alongside the beautiful lagoon of Oro Bay, Le Méridien Ile des Pins Resort offers direct beach access, a swimming pool and a day spa. All accommodation offer a private patio or balcony. Located in Ile des Pins, this resort is a 25-minute flight from Noumea, followed by a 10-minute drive from Île des Pins Airport. Built using local wood and stone, the bungalows feature a private patio offering views over Oro Bay or the tropical gardens. The hotel rooms are located in the grand guestroom pavilion and feature a private balcony. Guests enjoy 24-hour room service, water sports facilities and free use of kayaks and snorkelling equipment. The resort offers multilingual staff able to assist with a variety of international guests. La Pirogue Restaurant serves French and Melanesian dishes using fresh seafood and handpicked herbs. You are welcome to enjoy a free drink at La Boussole Lounge Bar upon arrival. Le Méridien Ile des Pins is 1 km from the natural swimming pool. It is 15 km from Kuto Bay, Upi Bay and Kanumera Bay.
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Oure Tera Beach Resort
Location: Isle of Pines
Prices: from AUD573 per room
Description: Offering an outdoor pool, 2 restaurants, 1 bar and private beach access, Oure Tera Beach Resort is located near Vao in Kanumera Bay. All air-conditioned accommodation features a balcony and satellite TV. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi in public areas.The bungalows and private rooms offer garden views, a flat-screen TV, a refrigerator and tea/coffee making facilities. Each has a bathroom with a shower, a hairdryer and free toiletries. Some accommodation is situated on the beachfront. Kanumera Restaurant offers dinners featuring fresh seafood, such as the famous Isle of Pines lobster. Le Banian Bar & Restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch, serving an a la carte menu with French cuisine. Guests have free use of kayaks and snorkeling gear. The tour desk books diving trips, visits to the natural swimming pool, island lunch tours and outrigger cruises. Activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, board games and French bowls is available. Located on New Caledonia's tropical Isle of Pines, Oure Tera Resort is 10 minutes' walk from Kuto Bay. It is 15 minutes' drive from Île des Pins Airport (Isle of Pines Airport).
Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa
Prices: from AUD286 per room
Description: Boasting an idyllic beachfront location, Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa offers an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. All rooms are air-conditioned and offer a flat-screen TV. It features a terrace and garden views. All rooms also include tea and coffee making facilities. The private bathrooms offer a bathtub, free toiletries and a bathrobe with slippers. A buffet and an à la carte restaurant are available on-site, as well as a bar. Guests enjoy free WiFi, and free bike hire. Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort & Spa also features a tour desk and a kids club. It offers water sport facilities, snorkeling and canoeing. Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Resort is a 7-minute drive from both Poé Airport and Poé Beach.
L'Escapade îlot Maître
Location: Ilot Maitre
Prices: from AUD267 per room
Description: Floating on a turquoise lagoon, L'escapade Îlot Maître offers luxurious accommodation with stunning garden and sea views. It offers beach access and an outdoor pool with a poolside restaurant. All bungalows feature balconies and are equipped with air conditioning. Each has a seating area and a bathroom including bathrobes and hairdryers. For the active visitors, there is a water sports centre and a tour desk. The restaurant serves local cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A swimming pool is also offered. L'escapade Îlot Maître is located 30 minutes' from Noumea. Access to the island is by the hotel’s boat, with helicopter transfers available on request. Facilities incl.: Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, swim-up bar, 24-hour room service, massage and treatment rooms, internet access, laundry service and various water sports.
Hotel Oasis de Kiamu
Location: Lifou Island
Prices: from AUD199 per room
Description: This small resort nestles beneath coconut palms in front of a gorgeous white-sand beach with excellent swimming and snorkelling on the nearby reef. The guests rooms are comfortable and you can expect very friendly service. Offering an outdoor pool, year-round outdoor pool and sun terrace, Hotel Oasis de Kiamu is situated on Lifou Island. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. All rooms are fitted with a flat-screen TV. Some rooms feature a seating area to relax in after a busy day. Each room includes a private bathroom. There is a shared lounge at the property. This hotel has a private beach area and bike hire is available. A selection of activities are offered in the area, such as snorkeling and hiking. Facilities incl.: Restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, laundry facilities and water sports.
Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about hotel accommodation in New Caledonia at TripAdvisor.
Best time to visit New Caledonia
With a sunny, year round subtropical climate, New Caledonia is perfect for a honeymoon at any time, (although, it can rain year round, with the heaviest rainfalls from February to April).
September to March averages 26°C; April to August averages 21°C.
April to August is the best for trekking, while April to November is the best time to charter a yacht, with southeasterly trade winds of 15-20 knots giving good sailing conditions. The tidal range in New Caledonia is only half a metre and currents are negligible.
For more climate info: New Caledonia Weather Guide…
New Caledonia is the third largest island in the South Pacific after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand.
Fly direct from Sydney or Brisbane to Noumea’s Tontouta International Airport on Air Caledonie or Qantas Airways; and via Auckland on Air New Zealand.
Information on how to get to New Caledonia…
› New Caledonia Map…
More about New Caledonia…
Latest update: New Caledonia honeymoon:
10 September, 2018
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