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.