New Caledonia is the third largest island in the Pacific Region after Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. It is located in southern Melanesia, at a latitude of 19° - 23° south and at a longitude of 158° - 172° east.
The island is situated about 1,500 km from Australia, 1,700 km from New Zealand, 5,000 km from Tahiti, 7,000 km from Japan, 10,000 km from the West Coast of the USA and 20,000 km from France.
New Caledonia is a fragment of an ancient continent which drifted away some 250 million years ago. Its flora and fauna evolved in isolation, and are now quite unique: 3500 recorded species of plants, three quarters of which occur only here; 4300 species of land animals, 1000 species of fish, 6500 species of marine invertebrates.
Five hundred kilometers long, fifty kilometers wide, New Caledonia offers an endless variety of landscapes, from some of the best white sand beaches in the Pacific to spectacular mountain retreats.
Surrounded by a 1,600 km long coral reef, New Caledonia also boasts the largest lagoon in the world. The reef can be as close as a few kilometers from the coast in some places and as far as 65 km in others - with an average depth of 40 m.
The Territory of New Caledonia consists of the Mainland, the Isle of Pines to the south of the Mainland, the Loyalty Islands to the east of the Mainland (Maré, Lifou, Tiga and Ouvéa), the Belep Archipelago in the north west and numerous islands and islets: Huon & Surprise, Chesterfield, Walpole, Beautemps-Beaupré, Astrolabe, and the Bellona reef, … a total surface of 19,000 sq km (16,372 sq km for the Mainland alone, which is 400 km long).
Surfing New Caledonia: New Caledonia’s great surf breaks and close proximity to Australia (just 2 hours from Brisbane and 2.5 hours from Sydney) make it an increasingly popular choice for intermediate to advanced surfers.
There is an exciting variety of world class reef breaks consistently offering waves from 1.5 up to 4.5 metres and with winter water temperatures around 22 degrees celcius.
Surf Camps are a popular way to surf in New Caledonia, and enjoy some fantastic French culture at the same time, designed for committed surfers who want to mix some first class surfing action with great food – and the option of other activities.
A spectacular way to reef surf is to stay on board a catamaran surf charter.
Surfing has also seen a spectacular rise in popularity with the creation of the New Caledonian League (Ligue Calédonienne) which organises competitions once or twice a month on the best spots of the West Coast: Uaräi (Bourail), Ténia (Boulouparis), Ouano (La Foa), Dumbéa pass and Amédée lighthouse (Nouméa).