Surfing in New Caledonia
New Caledonia is a French territory located in the South Pacific Ocean comprising dozens of islands. It's known for its tropical beaches, incredible scuba-diving and abundant marine life. With an exciting variety of world class reef breaks and consistent, powerful waves that can reach up to 12ft it’s odd that New Caledonia remains an underrated surf destination. The surf potential of the archipelago is so big that the french pro surfer and tube rider, Jeremy Flores, calls this place home. The main island of Grand Terre is surrounded by a massive reef barrier that produces long and perfect barrels. In order to get to these spots a boat is required, since the breaks are located on reef passes between 5-20km offshore and are stretched along a 700km area. The best time to surf in the country is from May to September when the waves are bigger and the winds are just right. Surfing in New Caledonia offers you a chance to be in contact with nature at all times. The crystal clear waters make it easy to see local marine species and it’s not unusual to see baby turtles at the beach making their way into the ocean. Come enjoy this paradise on earth because the stoke is definitely guaranteed.
Climate in New Caledonia
The climate in New Caledonia is tropical with warm temperatures all year round. Trade winds from the ESE bring year long cooling breezes that help to decrease the heat index. There is a wet season that goes from December to April that can bring heavy thunderstorms and cyclones. The best time to surf is during winter from May to September when roaring forties SE-SW swells produce 2-10ft waves on the SW-facing coast. From November to March the swells are less consistent but smaller 3-6ft SE swells will still produce good waves on exposed passes. The prevailing winds are the SE trade winds that can be cross or offshore for the lefts.
Best surf spots in New Caledonia
There are all kinds of waves in New Caledonia. All of the surf spots are reef breaks that break far away from the coast and require knowledge and a boat to access it. The best surf spots are Snorky, Secret, Les Ronfleurs, Ile Verte, La Roche, Guaro Right and Ouano Left.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $12 USD. Mid-range meals start at $25 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $40-70 USD.
There are some surf schools where you can rent gear from.
Prepaid SIM cards
Mobilis is the only choice. SIM cards can be purchased from an OPT store only.
Prepaid packages start at $30 USD.
One of the simplest ways to get around New Caledonia is by car, but there are countless other services available, from buses and coaches, to flights, water taxis and airport shuttles.
The main mode of public transport in Noumea is the bus network.
For Grand Terre, Lifou, Ouvea, Isle of Pines and Mare you should plan to rent a car or scooter.
$1.28 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Need a boat. Reef.
How to prepare
Citizens from Australia, the US and most of the EU can enter New Caledonia without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
French is the official language. English is not widely spoken.
The currency is Cour de Franc Pacifique (CFP).
Best time to go
The best time to surf is during winter from May to September.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Check surf picture of New Caledonia at #surfnewcaledonia.