New Caledonia: a paradise for divers
From 6 to 9 January 2017, New Caledonia Tourism will be present at the International Underwater Dive Show (Salon International de la Plongée sous-marine) to be held at the Port de Versailles Parc des Expositions in Paris. Its stand “D08” will also be shared by its partner, the Maison du Lagon. Amateurs or seasoned divers alike will be able to get an insight into the natural wealth and diversity of the dive sites found in the idyllic archipelago of the Pacific Ocean.
Registered since 2008 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the New Caledonian lagoon is the world’s largest and also has the particularity of being subject to a range of sea currents – both warm and cold – which create a multi-faceted underwater environment. This area, incomparable for the observation of marine life in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, shelters thousands of fish, endemic species and a diverse variety of reefs. In order to protect this unique marine environment and to contribute to the sustainable development of the activities within it, in April 2014 New Caledonia created the Coral Sea Natural Reserve (Parc Naturel de la Mer de Corail). Covering over 1.3 million km², it is the largest protected marine area in France.
Discover spectacular underwater depths
Whether for an introductory dive or excursions for experienced divers, each dive spot in New Caledonia is even more magical than the last. Just below the surface, the “patates de corail” (flat coral beds) shelter multi-coloured fauna which are easily accessible with a simple snorkel and mask. For the more experienced diver, a wider world is revealed in the underwater depths: the barrier reef, the passes, the drops… scuba diving enables the diving enthusiast to come face to face with the inhabitants of this underwater world. In depths averaging 20 metres, the New Caledonian lagoon shelters some 2,000 different species of fish, 350 corals and 20,000 invertebrates, making it one of the most prized marine areas to observe the fauna. There are also over 450 species of marine plants. Under strict surveillance, this marine paradise is not only a site where sea turtles lay their eggs, a breeding ground for seabirds and a stop for humpback whales to calve but also an area featuring an exceptional density of, most notably, humphead wrasse, humphead parrotfish and manta rays. The lagoon is also home to prehistoric endemic molluscs such as the New Caledonian nautilus.
5 great reasons to dive in New Caledonia
- Professional organisation and infrastructure, with excellent supervisory personnel and dive centres throughout the territory.
- An activity which respects the environment, carried out in a fabulous natural setting far removed from mass tourism.
- Dives available for all levels.
- A protected lagoon with an exceptional diversity of species.
- Magical and virtually untouched dive spots.
The 12 must-do dive spots…
- Ile aux Canards (Duck Island) marine reserve, Nouméa
- Amédée Lighthouse island, Nouméa
- Tibarama islet, Poindimié
- Mouli Channel, Ouvéa
- Tenia islet, Boulouparis
- Oro natural swimming pool, Isle of Pines
- Scuba diving
- The Cathedral, Hienghène
- The wreck of the Dieppoise, Nouméa
- The Prony Needle, Mont-Dore
- Ile Verte reef break, Bourail
- Gorgone Reef, Lifou
- The Deverd faults, Koumac
Not to be missed!
- Friday 6 January, 18h00: Conference by Henry Eskenazi, journalist.
This underwater enthusiast will share his experiences travelling and diving in New Caledonia, including the best spots in the archipelago.
- Each day at Stand D08: Competition to win 2 dive trips in New Caledonia offered by Iatok Diving Paradise and Abyss Plongée.
Festival of Underwater Pictures in New Caledonia 17 – 21 May 2017
During the Dive Show, New Caledonia Tourism will release the teaser for the 8th Festival of Underwater Pictures (Festival de l’Image Sous-Marine) which will be held from 17 to 21 May 2017 at the Rex Cinema in Noumea. Organised by the Sublimage Association, the Festival will reveal the secrets and mysteries of the underwater world through a range of activities: conferences, exhibitions, films and more.
A competition will be organised to reward the best underwater pictures. Open to everyone this year, candidates can register online for the following categories:
- Clip — Length: 1 min. maximum
- Short film — Length: 5 min. maximum
- Slide show — Length: 3 min 30 sec. maximum
- Theme — 5 photos on a specific theme
For more information : clic here