Kirsty's trip to New Caledonia

A week on a tropical island to escape winter and recharge batteries
12 July 2023

Kirsty from the Gisborne branch went on a week’s holiday with her friend to New Caledonia. She came back looking refreshed and full of energy and new memories. Today, she will share with us some of her tips and places she fell in love with. Enjoy your read…


Port de Plaisance is an easy 10-minute walk from Baie Des Citrons where you can find over 30 shops and services. There’s a beautiful little French Patisserie there and the supermarket has a lovely selection of delicatessen. On Saturdays there is a market including lots of local craft stalls, which is well worth a visit. 

There is no shortage of places to dine in Baie Des Citrons or Anse-Vata which is a short stroll around the peninsula. The restaurants and bars along Bais Des Citron offer front row seats to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sun fade on the horizon.

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We stayed at Casa del Sol which offers long stay, non-serviced apartments in Baie Des Citrons. The apartments are minimalistic bust very spacious and in a great location. Apartments on the Eastern side of the building capture the afternoon sun and have lovely decks to sit and watch the sunset after a day out exploring. 

Our favourite spot for a good coffee and breakfast was a little café in Baie Des Citrons called Lemon Bay. It was one of the few cafes that offered barista coffee and a comprehensive breakfast menu from fresh fruit with yoghurt to a fully cooked breakfast and everything in between.

Amadee Lighthouse Daytrip

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My highlight was our day trip to Amadee Lighthouse. We were picked up from our hotel at 7.45am and transported to Port Moselle where we boarded our ferry to Amadee Island (about a 45-minute trip). Amadee Island is a marine sanctuary with beautiful white sandy beaches and plenty of marine life. While we were there, we had a rather cheeky green turtle frolicking around in the lagoon with the swimmers. A beautiful island BBQ lunch is provided including coffee/tea, beer, wine, orange juice and an in-house cocktail during lunch. After lunch you can sit back and enjoy a very entertaining Pacific Island dance show.

Everyone is given a coloured wrist band when boarding the ferry and this determines you allocated time for your 30-minute glass bottom boat tour. 

Port Moselle

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Port Moselle is also the location of a New Caledonia’s largest market open Tuesday to Sunday from 5.00 am to 11.30 am. It took us about an hour to walk there from Baie Des Citron. Three of the market’s five pavilions are set aside for fresh food, most of which is local produce that has been grown across the archipelago. Throughout the stalls, you’ll discover an incredible variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables, from pineapples, bananas and passionfruit to some of their more exotic counterparts. Situated at the heart of the pavilion, the French-inspired cafe bar serves up some delicious treats, including their famed croque-madame – a toasted ham and cheese sandwich covered in béchamel sauce and topped with an egg. This tantalising treat is sure to satisfy even the largest of appetites. If you’re looking for great gifts for friends and family or are searching for a souvenir to remember your time in New Caledonia, Port Moselle Market is the perfect place to start. Spend time browsing through stalls filled with hand-crafted goods, clothing, homewares, jewellery, accessories and more. With a wide selection of items to choose from, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Know Before You Go

  • Currency: The Pacific Franc (XPF)
  • Language: French
  • Power: You will need a power plug adapter (type F)
  • Flight time from Auckland: 3h 5m
  • The best time to visit: April-May, September-November
  • Visa: not required on NZ passport
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