New Caledonia is located 1500 kilometres from Australia's east coast. These islands are an overseas territory of France and consists of 3 provinces being the North, South and Loyalty Islands to the south east. The mainland island is known as "La Grande Terre", with The Isle of Pines "lle des Pins" lying to the south of the mainland. These island paradise's have a genuine "Gallic" feel about them, while still giving you a tropical island experience. This is a very different region to visit to your normal South Pacific destination as it still has a very distinct indigenous culture mixed with French overtones.
New Caledonia is just above the Tropic of Capricorn and is some 21 degrees south of the Equator. Just only 2.5 hours from Australia by air means New Caledonia is close enough to visit for a short holiday or perfect for longer stays if that's what you desire. With great weather to enjoy all year round it's an idyllic place for a break. It has a population of some 250,000 people and French is the main language with some 30 local and Melanesian dialects. It oozes with culture, has great food with a mixture of Western, French and Melanesian cuisines. With hip, cool and friendly people surrounding Noumea and its villages you will never be bored, again if you?re after peace and quiet during your stay, then that too is easily found. The nightlife is tempting and so is the surf, so make a choice and don't hold back no matter what you decide to do.
Coral reefs surround the main island of New Caledonia and trail the land up the west coast for some 600 km which along the way encloses the world's largest lagoon. This lagoon encourages visitors and locals alike to enjoy year round water sports. The coast has many ideal locations for surf and only a very small portion of breaks have been found, so discovering your own little surfing paradise might be on the cards if you take to the water via a boat.
What's The Surf Like?
New Caledonia has surf all year round, although the optimal time to get waves is between the months of April through to September. Most surf is off the west coast of New Caledonia's main island and waves are produced from any swells coming from a SW to SE direction. The swells are consistent and work off the developing low pressure systems emanating from the southern parts of the Pacific Ocean. New Caledonia has an abundant supply of reef break setups with a lot of the coast still yet to be explored. The west coast has reef passes lining the coasts that have bays, points, inlets and river mouths all which provide left and right handers suitable for most levels of surfing. To the south you have the Isle of Pines which also can produce quality waves on its day.