River at Parc de la Rivière Bleue in YatéRiver at Parc de la Rivière Bleue in Yaté
©River at Parc de la Rivière Bleue in Yaté|Oneye Production / NCT

9 ideas for responsible travel

in New Caledonia

New Caledonia sets the stage for responsible travel, focusing on quality over quantity. The archipelago places a strong emphasis on involving the local population in tourism and environmental preservation through investments, taxation, and labelling. This commitment encourages green tourism, eco-mobility, and sustainable development. Sustainable tourism here isn’t just a term; it’s a way of life. Here are nine ideas for a responsible journey in New Caledonia!

Kayak the Forgotten Coast

Embark on a kayak expedition in a small group and let the breathtaking beauty of the Forgotten Coast unfold before you. Beyond its eco-friendliness, kayaking offers a unique opportunity to travel autonomously, guided by the elements. In perfect harmony with nature, you’ll experience a sense of accomplishment after several days of travel at sea.

Multi-day Hiking

Transform your trip into a unique adventure by trekking or horseback riding across the Chaîne Centrale. It’s a different way to explore, at your own pace, surrounded by nature. Spend nights in a gîte or a tribe, fostering enriching exchanges. A multi-day trek is a serene way to immerse yourself in the environment, far from the urban hustle and bustle.

Mountain biking

through incredible landscapes

Biking generates no carbon footprint, so take advantage of this eco-friendly mode of transport to traverse scenic trails in New Caledonia’s expansive parks. Whether manual or electrically assisted, rent a mountain bike and explore at your leisure. Discover the red earth deserts of the South, lush Jurassic-like vegetation, and stunning views of the turquoise lagoon. Encounter cagous and ride around Yaté Lake, rewarded with a refreshing swim in the sea or a river dip. In Nouméa, explore the city via electric go-pods.

Meet the locals

Complement your hotel stays with homestays and connect with the people who breathe life into New Caledonia. This immersive experience allows you to embrace the surrounding nature, engage with Caledonians, and share in their passions authentically. By adopting everyday practices, you can participate in local festivals, outdoor sports, and discover traditional knowledge. Support individual and collective projects, especially tribal activities often initiated by women.

Catamaran trips

to untouched islets

Embark on cruises aboard sailing catamarans or motorboats, allowing you to explore New Caledonia’s lagoon at a leisurely pace. These journeys offer the joy of sailing, swimming in turquoise waters, relaxation on pristine islets with immaculate beaches, and wildlife observation.

Diving in the world's largest lagoon

New Caledonia’s lagoon conceals a treasure trove of marine life. With a nearly 1,600 km-long coral barrier reef, it ranks as the world’s second-largest. Exceptionally well-preserved, it teems with diverse flora and fauna. Nautical service providers are custodians of this unique ecosystem and educate travellers about its conservation. Your participation, from following diving guidelines to responsible waste disposal, plays a vital role in preserving this marine wonder.

Stay in eco-friendly accommodation

Staying in a traditional Kanak hut is a humbling experience that immerses you in the tribal rhythm. New Caledonia offers various paradisiacal settings, where eco-conscious accommodations embrace sustainable practices. These include eco-construction, solar energy utilisation, and permaculture initiatives. Complement your hotel stay with nights in huts, bubbles, wooden cabins, safari tents, yurts, or caravans, drawing you closer to nature. It’s an ideal way to relish a pollution-free starry sky and catch a glimpse of the Southern Cross constellation, emblematic of the Southern Hemisphere.

Wildlife Encounters without Disturbance

Meeting wild animals ranks among the most memorable experiences. Observe whales with their calves, watch dolphins frolic in the waves from a boat, swim with turtles or manta rays, and listen to the cagou‘s distinctive bark. These incredible moments will be etched in your memories forever!

Savour local produce

From vegetables cultivated on Kanak customary lands to fresh lagoon fish and seafood, New Caledonia is a culinary paradise. Locals are eager to introduce you to their fields and farms, the pride of the archipelago. Engage in shellfish hunting with locals, learn traditional fishing methods, work in the fields, visit beekeeping farms, or explore vanilla plantations. You can savour the finest products straight from the source. Many top restaurants prioritise sourcing from local providers, ensuring you enjoy fresh and flavourful produce in town. Additionally, for a farm stay experience, the Bienvenue à la ferme network offers a warm welcome.