New Caledonia Cruising Guide

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superyacht twizzle review

"I just wanted to thank you for the help we got out of your cruising guide, it certainly made my life easier!!"
Gordon Percy
Captain of 57.5m
Sailing Yacht Twizzle


Excellent cruising guide

"We liked your guide a lot. We used it last November when we sailed to Isles of Pines and around the lagoon. Pretty informative. Very good job!"
Yuri Koropotkin


"Wow its amazing! well done to you, its nice to see some one doing something properly!   Myself and my brother are surfers so your high res images of the passes are perfect for looking for surf." Bevan Carr


7 Reasons why New Caledonia is the best diving destination in the South Pacific

Super dive spots depend on what the diver is looking for. Some divers love drop-offs, some love pass diving, photographers want colorful coral reefs, wreck divers want wrecks, adrenaline junkies want shoals of sharks.

And a diver's enjoyment of a dive spot depends on the weather, water clarity, the dive boat, the other people on the dive boat, if their mask fogged up, their camera leaked, they were constipated, the locals were friendly or unfriendly, and if they got into the water in the correct location. 

So - a diver can have a fabulous time - or a miserable time - in Vanuatu, New Caledonia, the Solomons - or any other diving destination; it all depends.

But  no matter what a diver is looking for, there are some very good reasons why New Caledonia offers some of the finest dives in the South Pacific. 

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1. World's Largest Variety of Dive Sites

New Caledonia's Lagoon offers 24,000 square kilometers of reefs and islands and an 1,600 km long barrier reef. It's the world's largest coral reef lagoon and a UNESCAP World Heritage Site. You'll enjoy an enormous variety of dive opportunities; deep water drop-offs, rip snorting reef passes, luxuriant coral reefs, white sand beaches, isolated lagoon islands, hundreds of wrecks (some easily accessible), manta rays, sharks, sea turtles, dugongs, and swarms of fish and invertebrates protected by an extensive array of marine reserves.

Many other south Pacific islands rise straight up out of the deep and have a comparatively limited coral reefs that are often over-fished by the villagers.

2. Accessible Dive Locations

Some of the best dive spots are within an hour of Noumea and the complexity of the lagoon and barrier reefs means you can find a place to anchor and dive in most weather conditions.

The dive spot in this image is 30 minutes by boat from Noumea. Our cruising guide will show you where the best dive spots are and recommended cruising routes and anchorages.

3. Free access to fantastic dive sites

There are vast areas of New Caledonia where you don't need to ask anyone's permission to go diving and nobody is going to bother you at all. You might not even see another boat the whole time you are there.

In most South Pacific Islands, villagers own the rights to access and use the marine resources from the shore to the drop-off. And there is a village just about anywhere you can anchor your boat in Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji or Papua New Guinea. Captains of yachts need to ask the village chief for permission to dive in locally controlled areas - even if they only want to snorkel and look. Getting permission varies from one area to another; we give the details of what you need to do in our guides.

In New Caledonia, French law says the marine resources are public, controlled by the state, and accessible to all.

However, there are also some marine reserves where nobody can go without special permission and some rural Melanesian areas of New Caledonia still maintain they have exclusive access and use of the marine environment. In the Isle of Pines, Lifou, and parts of the Northern Province you are expected to go with a guide (the local dive company) and there are some areas you are not permitted to visit at all. Our guides will warn you if you need permission or must stay away from restricted areas.

4. Know where to go to find the best spots.

Just as on land, underwater places of exceptional beauty are rare; it takes a lot of swimming (and time) to find the best beauty-spots. There is an active and enthusiastic diving community in New Caledonia and they have explored and mapped the reefs, wrecks, and scenic locations. The wreck information is available in books and maps.

Some great underwater locations are closely guarded secrets - guarded by the dive companies that take their customers out to them. But lots of dive sites are easily located as they are protected marine reserves and well marked on charts. There are even mooring buoys to tie up to while you don your dive gear.

Our cruising and travel guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia give you info on dive conditions, dive spots and regulations. Our guides have high resolution aerial photography of the reefs so you'll have a good idea of the best spots to go diving based on where the best coral development is. With our guides you can judge for yourself which destination offers you the best options. 

Plus you'll see underwater, over/underwater, and Virtual Reality sphere images of New Caledonia to show you exactly what you'll find at specific dive locations in New Caledonia's Lagoon.

The travel guides give you contact details of dive operators and even show you where they will take you and their best dive spots.

5. Protected - See reefs as they were last century.

Throughout the world coral reefs are failing; unable to survive the constant fishing pressure, pollution, and physical destruction caused by local populations and the slow death caused by ocean acidity and climate change.

New Caledonia has an extensive network of 34 marine and island reserves that has been in place for decades - and the reefs in those areas are thriving, with an abundance and variety of marine life that must be very close to what a pristine coral reef looked like a century ago. Fish in the marine reserves are abundant and tame, offering perfect opportunities for underwater photographers. The entire lagoon is a World Heritage Site. There are also coral reefs and lagoon islands far enough away from villages and fishermen that they have survived in wonderful condition even though fishing is still allowed.

Our cruising guide will show you the exact location of every nature reserve. There is a special section on park regulations that you need to know and respect. 

6. Dive Centers and Supplies in New Caledonia.

Noumea has top notch dive shops with anything you might need, from rental tanks, quick air fills, replacement masks and fins, regulator repairs - everything.

There are 13 New Caledonia dive centers; 4 in Noumea, Isle of Pines, Lifou, 3 on the east coast of Grande Terre and 4 on the west coast of Grande Terre.

Noumea also has a full range of photographic supplies, excellent restaurants, and a wealth of entertainment activities.. 

7. Safety First

New Caledonia has excellent medical facilities, a decompression chamber on 24X7 standby, helicopter and boat rescue services, all staffed with true professionals. 

If you need help, you can get it in New Caledonia.

In Vanuatu, the Solomons, PNG and most of Fiji if you get injured while diving you are in really big trouble. 

Our guides provide the contact details for emergency services. Plus there is a special section on dangerous marine animals, emergency treatment, and (important) how to avoid getting hurt in the fist place.


Plus One Extra Special Reason

The comprehensive and accurate, easy to use, interactive Nautical Guide offered here on this website. There are simply no other destinations in the world with cruising and tourism guides like the Rocket Guides to New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

It makes your Diving activity more fun because you can plan your diving destinations with confidence and a wealth of information.


Download or order on DVD the very best cruising guide to New Caledonia right now to plan your cruise in New Caledonia.


Call Richard 87 95 63 to purchase the guide directly from the author or purchase the guide from Chloe at Yacht Agent Noumea Ocean Services- her phone number, email and location are on the Noumea Ocean website.

Cruising Guide to New Caledonia DVD

Order the 2017 Cruising Guide to New Caledonia on DVD

Includes the companion Activity and Travel Guide.
Works on Windows (XP or later) and MacIntosh (OSX 10.7 or later).

This is an excellent gift for someone who plans on cruising, chartering, surfing, kayaking or diving in New Caledonia.

There is an extra charge to mail the DVD to an address that is not your billing address and they cannot be mailed to a mid-Pacific Island address, like Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

Terms of Sale and Privacy Statement

Mailed to your Billing Address

Euro €125.00.

Mailed to a Transient Address

Euro €145.00.

DVD nautical guides to New Caledonia and Vanuatu

Special 4 Guide set:

Cruising and Travel Guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia

If you are also planning to cruise Vanuatu, we have a special offer for all 4 guides that includes the New Caledonia cruising and tourism guides plus the latest Nautical Rocket Guide to Vanuatu and it's companion Travel Guide to Vanuatu.

There is an extra charge to mail the DVD to an address that is not your billing address and they cannot be mailed to a mid-Pacific Island address, like Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga or Samoa.

Mailed to your Billing Address

Euro €210.00.

Mailed to a Transient Address

Euro €220.00.


If you have a good fast Internet connection you can download your guides now.

After payment you will be transferred to a page with installation instructions and download links..

At the same time you will also be sent a receipt for your purchase and a separate email with the links plus detailed installation and activation instructions. You need that email to get the download and activation instructions and access to the online activation center so if you don't see it in your inbox check your spam box.

The links are only valid 48 hours so be ready to do the big downloads within 48 hours before making payment. You HAVE to use a download manager because these are big files.
We recommend

The downloader assures the download will be uncorrupted. Many people who do not use a download manager have problems and waste their time and mine with download issues. In the end they use a download manager program and have no problem. So do it right the first time, please, the download manager program does not cost anything and will greatly speed up the download for you.

Windows Download New Caledonia

Requires XP or later

Installation file for the cruising guide is 386MB and the companion Activity and Travel Guide 481MB - Euro €125.00.

Mac Download New Caledonia

Requires Mac OSX 10.7 to OSX 10.10.2

Installation file for the guide is 403MB and the companion Activity and Travel Guide 561MB - Euro €125.00.

Windows Download
Vanuatu + New Caledonia

Requires Windows XP or later

Installation files for the 4 guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia are 220MB, 480MB, 386MB, 481MB - Euro 210.00

Mac Download
Vanuatu + New Caledonia

Requires Mac OSX 10.7 to OSX 10.10.2

Installation files for the 4 guides to Vanuatu and New Caledonia are 225MB, 494MB , 403MB, 561MB - Euro 210.00