Nothing beats lying on the beach while sipping a refreshing coconut or cooling off in the crystal clear azure waters. If you’re travelling to New Caledonia, you’ll no doubt have beaches on your to-do list.
We’ve compiled a list of the 10 best beaches in New Caledonia to save you time. Be sure to check these out and tick them off your list.
You can also read our New Caledonia travel tips and travel guide to help you plan an amazing and relaxing holiday.
1. Natural Pool (Piscine Naturelle)
Isle of Pines
You’ve never seen anything quite like the Natural Pool. This idyllic beach with the most beautiful white sand is surrounded by pine trees, giving the island its name.
There are two ways to get to the Isle of Pines; by boat or plane. They are both around the same price at 11,000 XPF return. If you’re not confident in a small plane then it’s best to choose the ferry. Many choose to stay a few nights here and explore the island, but there’s also the option of a day trip.
There’s a small entrance fee of 200 XPF per person. To get to the Natural Pool, you will need to wade down the river. This is quite rocky, so bring aqua shoes or even some flip flops to protect your feet. When you reach the lagoon, you’ll see many species of colourful fish before even getting into the water. I’ve never seen water so crystal clear before. Tourists even liken the experience to swimming inside an aquarium.
Pack a picnic lunch if you’re planning to spend a few hours here. There are no shops nearby. We loved buying freshly baked croissants from our local bakery on our day trips. We made up ham, cheese and tomato croissants for lunch. Bring plenty of water too as the heat may make you very dehydrated.
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2. Lemon Bay (Baie des Citrons)
Lemon Bay is only a few minutes walk from the touristic Anse Vata Beach. We love this place as it’s not as busy as Anse Vata and is very clean and inviting.
Don’t miss the sunsets here, they are truly spectacular. Our favourite bar, MV Lounge is the only beachfront bar and eatery located directly on the beach. Make yourself at home on seats out on the deck, order a cocktail and watch the sunset.
Lemon Bay is also a great place for a swim and there’s also a pontoon for the kids to jump off. There’s plenty of food across from the beach – give the crepes and the ice cream a go. Prices here are slightly cheaper than Anse Vata, but are still considered tourist prices.
The beach is walking distance to La Plaisance Mall. Visit Le Sabayon NC, a bakery that offers delicious French pastries. We went here every day for a breakfast croissant and bought a couple treats with us to snack on during the day.
3. Master Island (Îlot Maître)
Island off the coast of Nouméa
Master Island is the perfect day-long getaway from Nouméa. Return tickets costs around 2500 XPF return for a 45-minute boat ride to a hidden sanctuary.
The main side of the island has great snorkelling. You’ll be surrounded by a myriad of colourful fish. Be sure to bring either aqua shoes or flippers with you as it is very rocky by the shore. You can even rent paddle boards and jet skis on the island for a bit of fun.
The other side of the island is a little windier so the snorkelling visibility is not great there, but you can swim with the turtles! It makes for such a breathtaking experience. We’ve actually been here a few times because we enjoyed it so much!
You can even stay on the island in bungalows on stilts over the water. Check out Escapade Îlot Maître.
4. Duck Island (Île aux Canards)
Island off the coast of Nouméa
Duck Island is one of the best snorkelling spots in the country. At only a 30-minute boat ride for 1700 XPF return, there’s no reason not to make a trip out there.
This is a great spot for the kids to snorkel as you don’t have to go far out at all. The visibility of the water is incredible, you can see five to 10m down with no problems! Once again, reef shoes or flippers are required as there are rocks and sharp coral near the shore.
There are many sun loungers and umbrellas lining the beach at 1500 XPF each. Being a major tourist attraction, this does seem quite overpriced. Alternatively, bring your own umbrella and towel to save some money, or head over to the sheltered beach bar for a bite to eat.
This beach gets very busy, especially around midday and the early afternoon. If you’re not a big fan of crowds or snorkelling, this may not be the best beach for you.
5. Amédée Beach
Amédée Lighthouse Island
At a 30-minute boat ride from Nouméa, it’s no surprise this is one of the most popular day trips. It’s less busy than the main island which makes for a relaxing getaway.
The white iron lighthouse is the main tourist attraction on the island. Walk up the lighthouse for a beautiful view of Amédée and the surrounding lagoon.
Snorkelling is also great here and the pristine waters are perfect for a swim.
A tour by the Mary-D Seven is highly recommended. The tour costs 16,000 XPF for adults and includes return transfers from your hotel, transport in a glass bottom boat and a delicious buffet lunch. Snorkelling equipment is also available if required.
Take a look at the tours available here.
6. Kuendu Beach
We made a last-minute decision to visit this beach one day from a friend’s recommendation, and we were so glad to have found this hidden treasure. Take the number 10 bus from Nouméa’s city centre to the very last stop. Make sure you have a copy of the return bus times as buses only come by once an hour.
What makes this beach different is the isolation from Nouméa’s tourist areas and the lush greenery that encompasses the beach. Walk up the hill to the left of the beach for breathtaking views. We almost had the entire beach to ourselves – there was only one other group on the beach at the same time as us. This makes it a very different experience to Anse Vata beach.
7. Kuto Bay
Isle of Pines
Kuto beach in New Caledonia has unbelievably soft white sand and pristine waters. This place looks like it belongs on a postcard. It is a beautiful place to relax on the beach and also great for snorkelling. If you’re looking to snorkel keep an eye on the tides. Snorkelling is definitely better during high tides otherwise you will have to walk quite far out.
Many cruise ships do stop here and it can become extremely busy at these times. Keep track of the cruise ship timetables to avoid the crowds. Avoid travelling on those dates.
There is a bar with food available to purchase but this is quite expensive. Consider bringing a picnic lunch if you’re travelling in for the day to save money.
At only a few minutes walk to the other side of the peninsula and you’ll reach another beautiful beach, Kanumera. Both bays are separated by a small strip of land so make sure you check both beaches out if you’re travelling to the Isle of Pines. Kanumera is equally great for snorkelling and sometimes less busy than Kuto Beach.
8. Luengoni Beach
Lifou is the largest loyalty island of New Caledonia. Return flights to the island are 16,000 XPF or opt for the ferry for 11,000 XPF return. If you’re pushed for time we recommend flying so you can maximise your time on the island.
Luengoni beach is on the east side of the island. You’ll be amazed by the colour of the water. It’s the brightest azure you’ve ever seen.
Unlike many of the other day trips or islands off the coast of Nouméa, this island isn’t overrun by tourists, and in fact, most people travelling to and from Lifou are locals. Do watch out for cruise ships bringing people onto the island on occasion.
Fish species are plentiful if you’ve got snorkelling on the agenda and better still, you can swim with the turtles here too!
9. Anse Vata Beach
Being the main tourist beach on the island, you’ll never run out of things to do at Anse Vata Beach. Have a dip in the water then sunbathe on the beach with a good book.
There are plenty of water activities to partake in including kitesurfing, windsurfing and paddle boarding. They even provide lessons if you’re a beginner. Known as Nouméa’s windiest beach, you’ll see many windsurfers and kitesurfers occupying the water.
Head across the road when you’re feeling peckish for a huge assortment of restaurants, cafes, bars and even souvenir shops. You’ll find anything from pizza to sushi to local French delicacies. If this sounds like the place for you, hotel choices opposite the beach are abundant.
10. Yejele Beach
Mare is another loyalty island of New Caledonia. It costs the same to travel here as Lifou does, at 16,000 XPF for return flights and 11,000 XPF for a return ferry ride.
Yejele Beach is an untouched paradise on the west side of the island. If you’re looking for an island retreat away from the hustle and bustle of busy tourist destinations, this island is the one for you.
Food and drink stalls line the beach. Grab a fresh coconut, get your hair braided and even treat yourself to a massage. Hire your snorkel gear here too.
Mare is a popular cruise destination so keep an eye on the cruise ship timetable. Avoid travelling when the cruise ship has docked and you might be lucky enough to have the beach to yourself!