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New Caledonia Île des Pins & Grande Terre Explorer

0
  • PAST TOUR
  • 8 Days 7 Nights
  • Max Guests : 14
  • Adults
  • 18 - 25 May 2024

Detail

Travel to Nouvelle Calédonie, a little bit of French and Melanesian paradise on Australia’s doorstep. Less than 3 hours flying time from Sydney and Brisbane, and now with direct flights to Melbourne too, you will land in the capital Noumea. Situated on the largest lagoon in the world, we will spend time on TWO of the islands – Grande Terre is the largest island in New Caledonia and the stunning Île des Pins.

We will have 8 days/ 7 nights to travel across both these islands – experiencing all that New Caledonia has to offer. From beautiful beaches, marine life, snorkelling, swimming, boat trips, Kanak indigenous tribes, French magnificent cuisine, French language practice, Kanak culture and history, French convict history and WW2 history.

This small group trip is for adults only (if you are travelling with your family – please check out our family trip) and will host a maximum of 14 adults. The trip requires a minimum of 8 people to go ahead.

 

Highlights

  • Swimming, snorkelling, boat trips and relaxing on the most beautiful beaches
  • Travel outside the capital, Nouméa where other visitors rarely venture
  • Fly to the stunning Île des Pins (Isles of Pines)
  • Meet a local Kanak tribe, the Ny people
  • Indulge in French and Melanesian cuisine
  • Practice your French
  • See turtles and explore the reef and lagoon

Price Includes

  • 7 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • Trip Transport incl domestic flights
  • Most meals - as described in itinerary
  • French - English guide
  • Activities as described in itinerary
  • Airport transfers

Price Excludes

  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and drinks not included on itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses

What to Expect

Visiting New Caledonia, feels so close, yet so far away too! The amazing mix of Melanesian, Polynesian and European influences, makes New Caledonia a truly unique destination.

Here is what you can expect on a Pip & Co Travel trip:

  • Natural beauty: From turquoise lagoons and white sandy beaches to lush rainforests and towering mountain ranges, New Caledonia truly has something for everyone! Such a cliche, but true!! 
  • Uncover the history: Learn about the Kanak tribes, European settlers and the impacts of colonisation. 

  • Cuisine: Indulge in the flavours of New Caledonia’s French, Melanesia and Asian fusion cuisines. 

  • French practice: Spend time brushing up your French language skills with your very own bilingual guide. Use your language in everyday situations from the minute you touch down in Nouméa. Your guide will always be there to assist you but French practice is encouraged (if you want to)!
  • Meet the locals: Engage with the local communities and experience the warm hospitality of the Kanak people, learning about their customs, language, and captivating legends passed down through generations.
  • The lagoon: Snorkel or swim in the largest lagoon in the world! New Caledonia’s lagoon been recognised as a World Heritage Site since 2008 and is a calm and beautiful place to snorkel and swim amongst coral and turtles and fish! 

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Nouméa, New Caledonia

Bienvenue en Nouvelle Calédonie!

You will be greeted at the airport and travel downtown to Nouméa to our boutique, family owned hotel in Anse Vata.

You will have time to settle in, and explore our immediate area, before we meet for a welcome dinner.

We will have time over dinner to meet our fellow travellers, and hear from our French-English guide all the must know French words and phrases. Plus for the French speakers amongst us – it’s a great chance to pull out our French and practice in a safe and welcoming space!

Tonight we are staying in the beautiful and comfortable family owned Hôtel Le Lagon.

Meals: Welcome dinner

Day 2 - Nouméa

We will get up early to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the Nouméa market. Sunday is one of the best days to visit the Port Moselle market, and we will enjoy discovering local tropical fruit, and sample pastries and coffee.

Later we will be taken on a guided tour of Tjibaou Cultural Centre, named after the Kanak leader Jean Marie Tjibaou. We will learn about Kanak stories and beliefs and explore the impressive centre designed by world famous architect Renzo Piano. 

We have free time to explore Nouméa in the afternoon, including the option to relax at Baie des Citrons or take a short taxi boat to Île aux Canards or  îlot Maître.

You might like to create your own French style supper of baguette and fromage! We have many suggestions of place to dine for lunch and dinner if you would like.

Tonight we are again staying in the beautiful and comfortable family owned Hôtel Le Lagon.

Meals: Breakfast 

Day 3 - Fly to L'Île-des-Pins (Isles of Pines)

We depart Nouméa for Magenta domestic airport for a short 30 minute flight to the magnificent L’Île-des-Pins.

As soon as we arrive, we will realise why the Isles of Pines has been nicknamed “the nearest island to paradise” – its white sandy beaches and clear, turquoise waters will amaze you! 

2000 people live here mostly Melanesians, called the ‘Kunie’ people.

This afternoon we will take a tour of the island, visiting the Lookout point of ilot brosse, Vao’s Church: built in 1860, St Maurice’s Bay, and Queen Hortense cave.

Tonight we will stay in a Kanumera Bay at a lovely 4 star lodge.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4 - exploring Moro and Brosse Islets

Discover the lagoon of Isles of Pines. We head out on a boat trip to meet mantra rays, dolphins, turtles and more!

Swim, snorkel, relax and enjoy!

We stop all that adventure to enjoy a BBQ lunch of grilled fish, lobster, papaya salad, grilled coconut and fried manioc.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight we stay at the Lodge again.

Day 5 - back to Nouméa and on to explore Grande Terre - Poé

After our transfer and short flight back to Nouméa, we’re heading up the Grande Terre (the main island) for our New Caledonia ‘bush’ experience! Our first stop at Boulouparis niaouli distillery, where we learn how niaouli essence and perfumes are made. Niaouli belongs to the same family as tea tree, and has many therapeutic benefits. 

From here, we continue to Farino, and the Great Fern ParkParc des Grandes Fougères. It’s 4500 hectares of tropical rainforest, home to many endemic flora and fauna. Great for birdwatching, hiking and taking in the scenery and bush air.

On we travel and we explore Bourail, including a stop at the New Zealand military cemetery. Most of the NZ troops stationed in New Caledonia during the war, were in this region. 

We will also stop at La Roche Percée beach, famous for a rock shaped like a man’s head, plus it’s the start of the 3 Bay Trail.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight we will stay in Poé Beach, in a small boutique hotel bungalow.

 

Day 6 - depart Poé Beach for boat trip

Today, we will enjoy a glass bottom boat trip on the UNESCO World heritage Site great barrier reef.

Turtles are commonly seen, and we observe the reef through the glass bottom. 

Please note – this trip does not include a snorkelling tour.

We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

And in the afternoon, we’re free to explore the beach and surrounding areas.

We will also have time to visit the Bourail Museum, constructed in 1870 it was originally the prison service store, and houses the last guillotine used in New Caledonia. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight we stay again at Poé Beach

Day 7 - meeting the Kanak tribe of Ny

Today we will meet the local Kanak people and tribe of Ny.

After doing the custom welcome gesture, you will participate in the preparation of a traditional bougna which will be cooked in the dish over the fire.

During the cooking of the bougna, if you want, you can take a stroll to discover the waterfall and rock carvings or relax in one of the pools offered by one of the many waterfalls or a natural spa-pool.

Your host will invite you to sit around his table to share the Bougna and discover the flavors of local products.

After lunch, there’s time to feed the fish! (Carps and lapias, eel and freshwater shrimps). Plus we will have some swimming and bach time on our return to the hotel.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Tonight we enjoy our final night together for the trip at Poé Beach.

Day 8 - Depart for La Tontouta International Airport

After breakfast, and some time to pack, it’s time to say good-bye and drive to La Tontouta International Airport.

Please let us know when you book, if you would like to extend your trip. We can help with any additional nights you might like to stay.

Map

FAQ

Who comes on the trips?

Lots of different people! A lot of women in their 50s – 70s are interested in our adults trips.

Families with younger pre school and primary school aged children are interested in our family trip options.

Travellers who share a love of discovery, learning, adventure, fun and kindness of any age or gender are right for Pip & Co Travel trips!

What are the payment terms?

To secure your place on the trip, you need to pay a deposit of $1500 AUD. Payment can be made by credit card or bank deposit. 

If you need to cancel the trip, your deposit is a “lifetime” deposit – which means you can use it for any of our other trips.

Full payment is required 90 days before the trip date. 

I'm travelling solo

We love having solo travellers on our trips.

We can match you with another solo traveller of the same gender, or in some cases there are limited solo supplements available.

Travel insurance

All Pip & Co Travellers will need to purchase comprehensive travel insurance prior to the trip.

If you need help with this, please contact us.

 

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