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New Caledonia

New Caledonia

New Caledonia

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Zoe shared an experience for New Caledonia
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Visited Noumea at Christmas and had a fabulous week improving our kite surfing. Islot Maitre is 20mins by water taxi from several spots on Anse Vata beach (2800 CFP return) and well worth the trip for the vast shallow lagoon, long sandy beach, consistent breezes building to 20kts most afternoons. We saw many turtles every day only a few metres away from us. Lagoon is tidal but its possible to kite all tides unless you are complete beginner as you will need the higher tides for body-dragging (or falling over). Water is warm and between knee and shoulder deep for many kms along the beach and out to the reef. Wind is often onshore but its easy to walk out through the shallow water for a few hundred metres and then get going - more advanced kiters were able to go straight off the beach. Booties recommended as there are a few rocks you can step on, but generally sand/mud bottom. Wetsuits not essential but we took summer shorties and were very comfortable. The beach can get busy in the afternoon (but the lagoon is so large, its not a problem once you get further offshore) but the mornings were blissfully deserted. Don't bother staying on the island unless you are a honeymooner - its isolated and quiet - best to stay in Anse Vata and get the water taxi every morning - lots more to do on the main land for non-kiters in the family with great snorkelling, beaches, kayaks, jetski hire, sailing and trips inland to the beautiful rivers or hiking/cycling trails. Water taxis start 8am and go on to about 6pm (check with driver each day). Alternative for advanced kiters is off the main beach near the Meridian Hotel with deeper water and waves - there is also a good spot tucked behind the hotel for amazing flat-water jumping. Noumea is French-speaking but most understand enough English to get by. Food is scrumptious although is at Australian-prices - however the flights out are inexpensive, so you save on that. Lots of supermarkets around for self-catering and most large hotels e.g. Hilton has fully fitted kitchens. Easy transfers from airport to Noumea, everything in walking distance at Anse Vata and cheap buses to main town Noumea for the genuine French bistro experience. A good day or overnight trip is to Isle de Pins - magnificent scenery - but must book in advance online. There are kite-spots on the west coast of New Caledonia too - much quieter locations however - kiting generally off the beach in wide sandy bays. We visited Plage de Ouano where the locals were enjoying the flat waters and a few people were having beginner lessons. You will need a car as its remote - nearest town is the cute Bouloupari. New Cal is amazing and easy to organise - we plan to go again soon. Good for families, couples of groups of mates.
Like | Comment | Jan. 11, 2016

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Scott shared an experience for Ilot Maitre
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I've kited hood river, plenty of spots in the caribbean, across the south pacific, australia, thailand, and vietnam and nothing beats this place. Flat water with a really nice warm SE wind usually 18-28knots. I only ride an 8meter switchblade (190lbs) in boardshorts and a tshirt. no jellies or things to sting you (although often riding you get to see turtles and dugongs).
Like | Comment | Feb. 7, 2013

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Very nice beach (a little narrow at high tide). Shallow water, ideal for beginner. Watch out the coral reef if you go far away. Water is usually crystal clear! Amazing place.
Like | Comment | Jan. 12, 2013

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Description

Kitesurfing in New Caledonia


In the Coral Sea east of Australia, at only a 2.5 hour flight from Sydney , New Caledonia is the closest to paradise on earth, at least for kitesurfers... Surrounded by the world's largest lagoon, the French overseas territory offers an inviting semi-tropical climate, a spectacular landscape with mountains and unspoilt beaches, bath warm waters, and the best kitesurfing conditions imagineable between November and March: In this period, trade winds blow consistently like clockwork, building up every day to a constant speed of 15-25 in the afternoon. And on top of this, a beatiful mix of butter flat waters and world-class waves can be enjoyed, making this destination suitable for every kind of kitesurfer.

There's an endless number of great spots in New Caledonia, scattered on the many islands that are part of the territory. In order to enjoy several spots in one holiday though, it is best to simply stay on the main island of Grand Terre. On the southwestern shore, you will find several beautiful spots, most concentrated near the capital Noumea.

Kitespots near Noumea


The nearest kitespot is in front of the Meridien hotel. Although the water here is shallow and flat, it is not the best place for beginners as the launch is tight and the wind usually offshore. We suggest you head out a bit further, to Anse Vata, from where a ferry or a water taxi can be taken to the Ilot Maitre, which is only 15 minutes away. Ilot Maitre is a protected lagoon within the greater lagoon of New Caledonia. During high tide, it can be a bit choppy, but normally it offers the flattest water possible, which is shallow too. There's lots of room for everyone, as the area is c. 2km long and 1km wide, and there are no dangerous obstacles, nor on the beach nor in the lagoon, where the bottom consists of sand and green sea grass only. A similar spot, also great for beginners and freeriders is Ilot Goeland, 20 minutes further by boat.

If it's wave riding you're after, head out 20km further to Passe de Dumbea, where excellent waves can be enjoyed on the outer reef. This spot is for advanced riders only, as the reef can be very shallow at some places and since launching from water is required.

Other recommended kitespots


Most kitesurfers will probably be more than satisfied with the spots mentioned above, but for the really adventurous types, the holiday can be enriched by heading north to great kitespots such as Tenia, Ouano, Plage de Poe, Plage de Pindai and Koumac.

Recommendations

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Experience Add Experience



Recommended kitespots

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  1. 1.

    Ilot Maitre

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    Plage de Poe

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    Tenia

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    Meridien Hotel

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    Ouano

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    Ilot Goeland

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      66.7% of the visitors say it is! (out of 3)

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    Koumac

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    Plage de Pindai

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    Passe de Dumbea

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Climate

The best time for kitesurfing in New Caledonia is around its summer (November to March), when the SE trade winds are strongest (usually between 15-25 knots) and most consistent. In the wintermonths, kitesurfing still is posible, just on fewer days. The wind is lighter, but there's a bit more swell in this season. Water temperatures are always over 23°C (73°F), so there's no need to bring any form of neoprene.

When to kite

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  • August

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Getting there

New Caledonia is easily reachable from Australia. From Sydney for example, it's only a 2.5 hours flight. From Europe and from the US, a flight usually takes a day and a half. From the airport to Noumea itself, it takes c. 40 minutes by car.

Getting around

Car hire is available (at the airport as well as in Noumea itself), but only necessary if you wish to explore the entire main island. If you stick to Noumea and its surrounding spots, getting around will mostly be done by boat.

There are ferry boats as well as water taxis, which can take you to Ilot Maitre, Ilot Goeland and Passe de Dumbea. The ferry to Ilot Maitre departs every 3 hours, at downtown Noumea.

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Find recommended hotels & B&B's, nearby the best kitespots

  1. 1.
    Resort

    L'Escapade Ilot Maitre

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  2. 2.
    Hotel

    Le Meridien Noumea

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  3. 3.
    Hotel

    Le Surf

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