Well suited to beginner divers, experts and just about everyone in between, diving in New Caledonia is nothing short of spectacular. Coral pinnacles shelter multicoloured marine life that can be encountered even without wearing a tank, while reefs, passes and slopes provide the perfect setting to meet face-to-face with the most incredible ocean-dwellers.
Flippers, mask and a snorkel
There’s no need to dive to the depths of the ocean to enjoy the splendours that lie beneath the surface. With only a mask, flippers and a snorkel, New Caledonia diving makes it easy to spot a variety of sea creatures, from butterfly fish and triggerfish to parrotfish, clownfish and more, in the waters surrounding the islands. Wherever you are in the archipelago, you’ll find incredible opportunities to snorkel. Follow the underwater path at Île aux Canards (Duck Island), explore the depths off the coast of the Amédée Island, or spend time discovering the lagoon of Poé and the waters off Hienghène. Home to diverse corals and captivating marine species, there’s certainly no shortage of unforgettable things to encounter below the surface.
Want to explore more of New Caledonia’s top snorkelling spots? Check out these incredible sites:
- Amédée Lighthouse, Amédée
- Signal Island and Larégnère Island
- l’île aux Canards (Duck Island)
- La Piscine d’Oro, Isle of Pines
- The Southern Pleiades, Ouvéa
- Jinek Bay, Lifou
- Mouli’s Pass, Ouvéa
- Poé, Bourail
- L’îlot Ténia (Tenia Islet), Boulouparis
- L’îlot Tibarama (Tibarama Islet), Poindimié
- Hienga Island, Hienghène
Magical diving spots
Home to spectacular coral reefs and incredibly clear waters, it comes as no surprise that diving in New Caledonia is a true treat for the senses. Warm waters make it a fantastic activity to take part in all year round, while the wide variety of dive sites scattered throughout the archipelago ensure that all skill levels are catered for, from beginners to seasoned divers. Professional dive centres across the region offer access to quality equipment and run great guided dives featuring adequate safety procedures.
Shipwreck diving in New Caledonia
New Caledonia’s barrier reef has ‘surprised’ many navigators throughout the years, unfortunately leading a number of shipwrecks to occur within the archipelago’s waters. Nowadays, those shipwrecks offer the perfect diving spots for locals and international divers alike, housing an incredible assortment of marine life in their vicinity. Among the most popular of the archipelago’s shipwreck dive sites, the remains of the Dieppoise, near Amedee Lighthouse, are a worthy addition to any diving afficianado’s must-see list. Scuba divers will also be spoilt for choice with New Caledonia’s other stellar dive sites, including Poindimie and its forests of Gorgonian corals, the underwater caves near Poum and the crystal clear water of the Isle of Pines.
Freediving in New Caledonia
Although perhaps best known for its scuba diving and snorkelling sites, New Caledonia also happens to be a veritable paradise for free divers. The breathtakingly clear waters of the Caledonian Lagoon guarantee fantastic dive trips, while its lack of crowds means that the local marine life is far from shy with divers. Join one of the freediving courses offered by local operators and try your hand at the thrilling activity in a safe, controlled environment.
Diving in the lagoon
Wanting to spend more time exploring the incredible waters of the New Caledonian lagoon? You’ll find some wonderful diving spots across the region that’ll allow you to encounter spectacular marine life, captivating coral reefs and more. Start planning your next adventure with these great diving spots:
- L’épave de la Dieppoise, Nouméa
- La passe de Boulari et de Dumbéa
- Gorgone Reef, Lifou
- La Vallée des gorgones, Isle of Pines
- Les failles de Deverd, Koumac
- Le trou aux Sharks, Koumac
- La Fausse passe de l’île Verte, Bourail
- Pascaline, Poindimé
- La Cathédrale, Hienghène