New Caledonia has the largest coral reef lagoon in the world, decorated with small lagoon islands each surrounded by soft white sand beaches and coral reefs. In 2008 UNESCO listed the 24,000 square kilometre Lagoon as a World Heritage Site.
The lagoon is a constant delight for divers, surfers, pleasure boaters, fishers, sight seers, and those who just love to lay on pure white sand beaches and enjoy the sun. Over 40,000 ha of the reefs and islands are special marine reserves where visitors can swim with a spectacular array of fish amid crystal jungles of coral.
The people of Noumea are avid sports enthusiasts and overseas visitors find easy access to just about every kind of water sport imaginable. Facilities include luxury resorts, dive and snorkel equipment, boats of every size and description – from kite surf rigs to charter yachts and big high speed ferries to lagoon Islands.
There are helicopter tours, day trips for diving, snorkelling and whale watching, and beaches galore. Enjoy a virtual expedition of the New Caledonia Lagoon on Arounder.
More panoramas by Richard Chesher of New Caledonia can be seen in Arounder New Caledonia.