New Caledonia Yacht Charter Guide
New Caledonia Yacht Charter Overview and Destinations - Discover The Isle of Pines & The Loyalty Islands on your Bareboat and Crewed Yacht Charters in 2020
New Caledonia is a French territory and the third largest island in the South Pacific region. It is known as a paradise for nature lovers. On both water and land, you can discover intriguing and unique flora, fauna and marine life. This tropical land consists of many islands. The Main Land (Grande Terre) is surrounded by the worlds largest lagoon, with the Isle of Pines to the south and Belep to the north. The three islands of Mare, Lifou and Ouvea, known as the Loyalty Islands archipelago, are 100 miles to the east of New Caledonia. People are really friendly and helpful, and 70% of the population, a mix of French and Melanesian culture, live on Grande Terre in the city of Noumea, known as the French Riviera of the Pacific. In the Loyalty Islands, you can experience the Melanesian rhythm of life, where minutes last for hours.
New Caledonia is also a stunning sailing destination, where the tradewinds blow regularly and the scattered small islets provide good shelters. You can enjoy sailing as you wish, from day sailing to one or two-week cruises exploring the east coast, anchoring in the crystal blue waters of the Isle of Pines or the Loyalty Islands. Although this is a French territory, most people working in the tourism industry speak English.
New Caledonia is located off the east coast of Australia, halfway to Fiji. Tontouta International Airport is 45 km from Noumea. Shuttle buses and taxis offer regular transfers into the city and its marina. Car rental is also available. Air France and Aircalin provide flights from Paris, Tokyo and Osaka. Air New Zealand, Qantas and Air Vanuatu fly from Australia and other Pacific nations. The marinas are located in the heart of the city of Noumea, and within walking distance of banks, post-office, marketplace and shops.
The Worlds Largest Lagoon
The world's largest lagoon circles Grande Terre in a large elongated circle, reaching Isle of Pines in the south and Belep in the north. There are hundreds of small islets scattered throughout the lagoon, all within easy sailing distance of the marina at Noumea. Just choose the right place to feel like Robinson Crusoe, and be the only person to be walking on these pristine beaches. Each island is surrounded by reefs, creating individual lagoons that lap against beautiful beaches. What a perfect anchorage! If you like snorkelling, just take a free mooring in one of the natural aquamarine reserves such as Amedée. Put on your snorkelling gear and swim among various schools of multi-coloured fish. Or you could also enjoy sunset sailing and have a drink anchoring in your private blue lagoon. The further you sail, the closer you get to paradise!
The Isle of Pines was named by the explorer James Cook, after observing the vegetation spread across the island. Located at the southern tip of New Caledonia, 80 km from Noumea, it is a fabulous yachting destination, where you can circumnavigate the island and find almost unlimited anchorages with sandy beaches and clear water. Kanumera Rock and Kuto are two of the best beaches in the region, and Nokanwi and Gadji Bay are a must to visit. The water is so clear that you can see the fish from the deck of your yacht. Upi Bay is also really spectacular with the coral rocks emerging from the crystal water. On the Isle of Pines, you will experience another way of life following the rhythm of nature. You will be immersed in the best that the South Pacific has to offer!
Lifou, Mare and Ouvea - these three islands offer the ultimate luxury - kilometres of beaches with spotless sand and perfect curves, as empty as on the first day…Each island has its own preserved secret that you will discover passing its hidden creeks, sheer cliffs, and wide bays surrounded by pines. Sailing there will make you penetrate the mysterious depths of the Melanesian world, as you will need to observe the Melanesian custom and ask for permission and the spiritual protection of the village chief. A symbolic gift to the community, offering them some clothes, money or tobacco, will suffice.
Lifou is the biggest island in this archipelago. Gorgeous sandy beaches, spectacular limestone cliffs and lush, tropical vegetation! The only advice is to explore the underwater wildlife. The anchorages are spectacular, and you can anchor close up against the cliffs in crystal clear water. Ouvea is possibly the closest island to paradise, offering the longest sandy beach in the region. A 25 km long white sandy beach, shaped like a giant croissant, where kids always play and laugh until darkness falls. Ouvea ends in a myriad of small islets, where the colour blue sparkles in all its shades, from the deepest indigo to the purest turquoise. You will need about 10 days to make the most of cruising this unspoiled paradise.
Named as the “land of eternal spring”, New Caledonia has a tropical climate. The east coast is humid and hot, with luxuriant vegetation, green valleys and rivers. The west coast is drier and hotter, where the cattle graze up in the “Niaouli” plains and savanna. The cold season lasts from May to September, but the sea always stays warm enough for swimming. The warm season, from October to April, has average daily temperatures around 29°C. January to March is the rainy season when tropical cyclones sometimes pass through the region. April to November offers the best sailing conditions, with south-east tradewinds blowing regularly at 15 to 20 knots. The lagoon is well-beaconed, and the coral barrier stops the swell and so provides a safe sailing environment. There is virtually no current and the tidal range is only half a meter.
New Caledonian cuisine offers a large variety of dishes inspired by the various communities of the local people. Authentic French, Italian, Indonesian, Vietnamese or Melanesian cooking, you will find something delicious to satisfy your taste. Rice and soy sauce accompany all meals. Local specialities are mud crabs, shrimps, reef fish and local beef and deer. The “bougna”, the Melanesian custom dish, is a mix of yam, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas and meats with coconut milk cooked in banana leaves.
New Caledonia is a true South Pacific paradise. Boatbookings knows the region and boats and can find you the ideal charter yacht, be it bareboat, crewed, sail, motor or catamaran. Click here to see our New Caledonia Charter Yachts or simply contact us and we'll recommend the best boat for you.