New Caledonia is one of the closest Pacific neighbours to Australia and yet many Aussies still don’t know much about this island destination right next door.
If you love an active holiday, New Caledonia can be your adventure playground. The warm water of the lagoon, its underwater treasures and the trade winds that rock the coast all seasons, offer a wide range of activites; Trail running, rock climbing, mountain biking, fishing, hiking, horse trekking, quad biking, surfing and especially Kite Surfing.
We’ve outlined three of our favourite events to check out or participate in.
Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup Windsurf (November)
20 years ago, the last Noumea Dream Cup took place and now it is back with the Airwaves Noumea Dream Cup, giving the opportunity to the best windsurfing champions to stop in Noumea on the legendary spot of the Anse Vata. Professional riders have the great opportunity to sail on warm water, under the sun, on the largest lagoon in the world. This unique lagoon extending over 23.000 square kilometers is the homeland for protected species such as turtles, dugongs or whales, most of which being part of the prestigious list of World Heritage UNESCO.
For more information head to http://www.airwaves-noumeadreamcup.nc/
A popular race and unavoidable rendezvous in New Caledonia, the “Transcalédonienne” is held each year in July and its attraction goes beyond the borders. 60 km and about 2,500 meters of uneven trails have to be covered over two days between the East and West coasts of the main island. The “Transcal” is not your usual cross-country race: for the Défi Santé association who organize the event it is a pretext to display and practice the values of solidarity and sharing. This race is done in teams of three, of which one is a woman, and is open to all: students, those that practice sports for recreation, physically challenged persons. It does not matter how much time it takes, the goal is to pass the finish line together. This race also offers the approximately 700 competitors who come every year, the unique opportunity of discovering the most remote areas and tribe locations in Caledonia.
For more information head to http://transcal.ile.nc/
Trail des Cagous (May)
The Trail Des Cagous is a trail running festival held annually in May – June in the Parc de la Riviere Bleue in New Caledonia, about 1 hours drive from Noumea. The premier race is held over a challenging 80km course that includes 3650m of climbing and attracts the best runners from the region. 4 event options – 7.5 km (280m climb)- 16 km (650m climb) – 27 km (1200m climb) – 53.5 km(2340m climb)
For more information head to http://www.traildescagous.com/
HOW TO GET THERE?
Flying direct from Australia with Aircalin you can be in New Caledonia, sipping on cocktails with the missus, within two hours from Brisbane, less than three hours from Sydney and under four hours from Melbourne; the short flying times make this Pacific island the perfect adventure getaway close to home. Book your flights via www.aircalin.com