New Caledonia Sports & Outdoors Tips by hunwagner Top 5 Page for this destination
New Caledonia Sports & Outdoors: 4 reviews and 4 photos
The barrier reef seen from Mount Panié
New Caledonia has an enormously long barrier reef surrounding Grande Terre, and diving and snorkelling is a popular activity among visitors.
The best places to do it are the outer islands where you can just swim in from the beach and find fine reefs - the barrier reef around Grande Terre is mostly far out and requires expensive boat-charters to reach.
To be honest, I must admit though that compared to more tropical places further North like Papua New Guinea, the Solomons or Indonesia, I found New Caledonia's reefs quite dull, lacking in species diversity. This is no doubt due to the cooler climate here.
Don't be put off though, as most tourists were still very happy with what they saw here!
Theme: Scuba Diving
New Caledonia is home to 19 surviving species of endemic birds, and most of them, including the unique national bird, the kagu, can be seen quite readily if you know where to look.
Most birders only visit the Riviére Bleue park and Mount Koghis to tick off most endemics, but Mount Panié and the North-East in general have an even richer avifauna.
Unlike in Vanuatu or Papua New Guinea, the birds here tend to be relatively confiding and responsive to "pishing"!
The trail up Mount Panié
The Grande Terre offers some of the best hiking in the South Pacific, with long, marked trails going through mountainous terrain.
Unfortunately, it can be a challange to find trail guides even in French, let alone in English!
Prime hiking areas would have to be Mount Panié for some strenous climbing, or the Riviére Bleue park for exploring the rainforest, but there are many, many more.
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