Sailing holidays in New Caledonia

Sailing holidays in New Caledonia

The Ultimate Guide to Sailing in New Caledonia

A complete yacht charter guide that has everything you need to know about your next sailing holidays in New Caledonia.

Want to know more? Keep reading…

If you are familiar with a New Caledonia sailing vacations and want to look at boat options for your next yacht charter, then skip to: 

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Sailing New a glance

New Caledonia is home to the world’s biggest Lagoon, with 3,700 species of plants, 114 species of birds and 143 species of reptiles.

Over 80% of these species are found nowhere else on Earth.

In 2008, the Lagoon was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Due to the special habitat the lagoon provides, many groups and people have come together to promote conservation efforts.

As a French territory, you will find quite a lot of European influence throughout the islands.

Though thousands of nautical miles away from France, a yacht charter in New Caledonia is surrounded by the typical cosmopolitan French atmosphere and offers great choices in regards to restaurants, cafes and nightlife. 

On your yacht charter New Caledonia, sail to the Isle of Pines located in the South, but for those who feel more confident in sailing close to reefs, the sailing itinerary includes passages to the Loyalty Islands and Vanuatu

Exploring New Caledonia’s islands

   Isle of Pines

The United Nations considers the island so special it has listed it as a World Heritage Site where friendly geckos, curious reef fish, and fearless tourists bathe in year-round sub-tropical temperatures along the island’s deserted beaches. Isle of Pines is a paradise in the Pacific with a virgin coastline, crystal clear water and a unique “dolce vita”. The island’s lagoon of still waters ranges from 21C to 28C.

       Loyalty Islands

The Loyalty Islands consist mainly of 3 islands located some 60 miles off the east coast of New Caledonia: Ouvea to the North, Lifou in the middle, and Mare to the South. Lifou is rich in picturesque landscapes, consisting of caves, beautiful beaches and lush forests. It is definitely worth a visit. In the islands, the Kanak culture remains strong and must be respected. The Kanaks live in tight clans and the island is divided into three districts, or chiefdoms.


Vanuatu island is an archipelago of about 83 islands on the edge of the Coral Sea, between Australia and Fiji. Beautiful Vanuatu is renowned for its offshore activities, the nation's coral reefs, shipwrecks and unbeatable beaches. Its people, known as the Ni-Vanuatu, are peaceful and gentle, enjoying life in a country full of unique customs. The best season to sail in the islands is May to October.

Weather conditions & best time to sail in New Caledonia

While sailing New Caledonia, you will enjoy a nice subtropical climate. You will usually never see temperatures above 35°C and they tend to stay steady year-round. 

As New Caledonia is in the southern hemisphere, summer is from November to February and winter is from April to September. 

However, the seasons are less distinct here, and the climate is moderated by year-long south east trade winds. 

The islands’ average rainfall is 1,700mm/yr, but you might want to note that the dry seasons are between April to May, and September to November. 

Where to start your New Caledonia sailing trip from & how to get there

To get to New Caledonia, you will have to fly into a bigger regional hub.

For European travelers, we recommend flying via Australia or Japan. However, flight times via Japan are generally shorter. 

From Australia Aircalin, Qantas, Air New Zealand and Air Vanuatu have flights leaving from Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney or Auckland on a regular basis. 

You can also get daily non-stop flights from Tokyo and Osaka with Aircalin.

Transfer time from Tontouta International Airport to base: 43 minutes

For European and North American travellers, only a valid passport is needed. Without a visa, European citizens can stay for 3 months, and North American citizens for 1 month.   

New Caledonia Boating Holiday Tips

If you would like to plan anchorages or routes in advance for sailing New Caledonia, download the Rocket Cruising Guide to New Caledonia for all the best info, including over 200 routes, and plenty of activity ideas.

It is necessary to note that the authorized sailing area is around the mainland plus Isle of Pins, Ouvea, Lifou and Maré.

There are restrictions to be taken into consideration, such as no night sailing in the lagoon. The only authorized night sailing is to Loyalties Island. 

For provisioning on your yacht charter New Caledonia, there are not many supermarkets around. The best supermarket is about 800 meters from base. If desired, Yacht4Less can arrange provisioning and you can arrive to a fully stocked boat.

Ask your charter broker for more details!

Again, it is essential to note certain local restrictions - like the city of Nouméa prohibits sale of alcohol on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 12am to 9pm. Only hotels and resorts may find their way around this. 

For currency, New Caledonia uses the Pacific Frac (XPF).

Exchanging at local banks and airports is easy and accessible. You can also use credit cards at many places on the islands.

Recommended 7-day Sailing Itinerary from Noumea to Houailou

⚓ Day 1. Noumea to Ouen Island

⚓ Day 2. Ouen island to The Island of Pines

⚓ Day 3. The Island of Pines to Lifou

⚓ Day 4. Lifou to Ouvea

⚓ Day 5. Ouvea to Hienghene

⚓ Day 6. Hienghene to Houailou

⚓ Day  7. Houailou to Noumea

Recommended 7-day Sailing Itinerary from Noumea to Amedee

⚓ Day 1. Noumea to Ilot Maitre / Maitre Island

⚓ Day 2. Maitre Island to Ouen Island Turttle Bay

⚓ Day 3. Ouen Island Turttle Bay to Prony Bay Casy Island to Carénage Bay

⚓ Day 4. Carénage Bay to Isle of Pins Kuto Bay

⚓ Day 5. Kuto Bay to Brosse Island to Kuto Bay

⚓ Day 6. Excursion Natural Swimming-­pool in Kuto Bay

⚓ Day 7. Kuto Bay to South Lagoon Kuaré Island

⚓ Day 8. Kuaré Island to Ua Island

⚓ Day 9. Ua Island to Mato Island

⚓ Day 10. Mato Island to Amédée to Noumea

Prices: How much does it cost to charter a yacht in New Caledonia?

It depends. For example, the most important ones are the type of boat you will choose and whether you require a professional crew on board (e.g. skipper, hostess or cook). So, as you can see, there are many factors that can shape a price for a boat rental.

Check our full guide about yacht charter cost and how you can save much money in your next sailing holidays.

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