New Caledonia is not like any other Pacific Island I have been to. Most Pacific Island’s main attraction are the endless incredibly serine beaches – which is enough to keep any traveler (of any age) happy. With New Caledonia, there are still plenty of the beautiful beaches that you come to expect from a Pacific Island, but the capitol of Noumea also has a myriad of great family friendly attractions as well.
We traveled to New Caledonia with a 6 month old, but the following activities will keep a child of any age happy and with fond vacation memories – which is the point right?
Aquarium des Lagons
The Noumea Aquarium is really fantastic. Here you can see all of the beautiful and interesting creatures that live in the UNESCO world heritage lagoon that surrounds New Caledonia. Jacob loved just sitting in front of the large tanks watching the fish swim by in amazement – he could have sit there all day long.
Highlights of the aquarium include the incredible ultra violet glow in the dark coral, and the nautilus exhibit. The nautilus is what really amazed me, as it was the first time I had ever seen one other than the beautiful shells that sometimes wash up on the beach.
Parc Zoologique et Forestier
The Noumea Zoo and Forest park is located on a tranquil hill on the outskirts of Noumea. The zoo features animals that are native or endemic to New Caledonia, and therefore features a lot of special bird and bat species. The zoo is really well kept and well presented. There is a children’s play and picnic area, and a petting zoo as well.
The Forest park consists of a pleasant walk through a slice of native New Caledonian forest. It’s a great place to let energetic kids burn off some energy.
Le Petit Train
The little yellow train is a great way to keep kids entertained while getting your bearings of the city. It also incorporates the Noumea Zoo and Forest Park on its route which makes this slightly far flung attraction much more accessibly.
Ile aux Canards and the Snorkel Trail
Ile aux Canards is a small island located just a few minutes by water taxi from Noumea. It’s an escape from the city that is only a few minutes from the city. Not only is the sand soft and the beach chairs inviting, there is also something here that can keep the kids busy for ages. And that thing is the underwater walkway. The underwater walkway is a snorkel trail that offers a great introduction to the New Caledonian lagoon and is only a few meters from the shore. The underwater walkway is marked by maps attached to buoys, and can be accessed simply by walking off the beach. The water here is so calm that parents can relax on the beach while being able to keep an eye on the kids swimming the snorkel trail.