Two beautiful destinations that you don’t often see paired together! After the crazy culture shock of Tokyo, you’ll have two weeks to wind down in laid-back New Caledonia. Think beaches, snorkelling and unique island traditions. What a combination!
Combine the biggest city in Japan with the far-flung Pacific islands of New Caledonia. In Tokyo, you’ll have the chance to dance in the karaoke bars, tour the ancient temples and sample some sushi before flying to the South Pacific, where paradise awaits.
Arriving in New Caledonia, you’ll pick up your hire car and head off to explore, taking in the beautiful landscapes, relaxing on the white sand beaches and meeting the friendly locals along the way. At the end of your trip, you’ll fly to l'Île des Pins, a small island off the south coast, where you can finish your holiday swimming in the aquamarine water of Oro Bay.
This Tokyo and New Caledonia holiday can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Tokyo, you’ll be met at the airport and assisted in catch the train or bus to your hotel. On arrival, you can check into your hotel for three nights.
You have two days to explore Tokyo, and your time is sure to fly by. Why not start in Tsukiji Outer Market, which is always bustling, as visitors and locals come to enjoy delicious food and shop for traditional ingredients? It’s a great spot to grab a snack before heading over to the 400-year-old Zojoji Temple. Sitting next to the Tokyo Tower, the temple is a great place to get a glimpse of Japan’s ancient history and modern architecture side by side.
You can also enjoy a bowl of ramen for lunch before spending the afternoon discovering the serene beauty of Hie Shrine, a quiet haven in the bustling district of Akasaka. Statues of mythical creatures guard the shrine, which sits at the top of several escalators (a modern addition!). The shrine is famous for the 90 bright red tori gates that divide the human world and the spirit world, as well as being a doorway to a place where the gods can hear our prayers. It’s an extraordinary place to visit, so take your time.
After a final morning enjoying Tokyo, you’ll check out of your hotel and take a shuttle bus transfer back to the airport for your flight to New Caledonia. You’ll arrive later that same day and be collected at the airport and driven to your hotel in Noumea. The rest of the day is yours to explore the capital city of Noumea at your leisure. With its cosmopolitan community, picturesque bays and plenty of restaurants and shops, there will be plenty to explore this afternoon.
Today you’ll head out to spend the day on Amedee Island - a tiny paradise, where palm trees sway and colourful fish dance in the water. The beaches here are sugar-white, and the coral that lives beneath the crystalline water is healthy and plentiful, thanks to the island’s status as a protected marine park.
Go stand up paddleboarding, snorkelling with the local turtles and learn how to climb a coconut tree. Visit the Amedee Island Lighthouse, built in France where it stood in Paris for two years before beginning its journey to Noumea, finally erected in 1865. You can also send a postcard home from the island post office, the smallest in the world and enjoy a delicious exotic lunch while watching the famous dance show.
On Amedee Island, you’ll have access to a “bio sun cream” distributor which produces a 100% natural sunblock that doesn’t hurt the coral. Read our blog for more details about how to visit coral reefs responsibly.
After breakfast, your car will be delivered to your hotel, ready for you to head north and begin your New Caledonia “bush experience”. Starting your road trip, you’ll be able to visit the Boulouparis niaouli distillery, where you will see how the niaouli essence and perfumes are made. Niaouli oil is made from the bark of a punk tree, with a sweet aroma and antiseptic properties – it can be used to treat colds and headaches.
After this, you’ll arrive in Moindou, where you can explore the Terremba Fort, a historic prison where you can learn about New Caledonia’s time as a French prison colony. Before arriving in Bourail, we recommend a visit to La Roche Percée Beach, where you can begin the 3 Bay Trail – this will take you to the neighbouring coves of Turtle Bay and Lovers Bay, where you can admire the mighty palm trees and turquoise water. On arrival at Poé beach, you’ll check into your hotel for one night.
Today you’ll head north to the coastal village of Kone. This region is the home to the Caledonian farms, managed by the ‘broussards’ (bush locals). With their whips and cowboy hats, they wouldn’t look out of place in a Western. These large, open plains are stunning at dusk when the land becomes shades of purple. On arrival at Koné, you’ll check into your hotel for one night.
Today, you'll cross the middle of the country on your way to the east coast of New Caledonia and the village of Hienghene. Hienghene is one of the most famous communities in New Caledonia, with spectacular rock formations, waterfalls and the highest peak of the Caledonian chain.
Here, you can meet the locals and learn about tribal life or walk the hiking trails to discover breath-taking scenery. Off the coast, you’ll be able to spot the famous limestone cliffs that have eroded into fantastic shapes and peaks. Keen divers can also dive the Great Barrier Reef from here – if you want to add on some diving, just ask!
Today, you’ll set off on a short drive down the east coast to Poindimie, considered the 'capital' of the east coast. The humid climate on this coast produces lush vegetation and is a fantastic backdrop for hiking or horse riding, and there are also some stunning waterfalls to visit in the valleys of Napoemien. On arrival in Poindimié, your tropical bungalow will be waiting for you – it’s a charming hotel with a unique Pacific atmosphere, opposite the most beautiful beach on the east coast.
Driving south, the coastline between Poindimié and Kouaoua is a diverse mix of New Caledonian landscapes, with Ponérihouen coconut groves, forested mountains plunging into the sea and red peaks uncovered by nickel mining. The road is very picturesque and will gradually bring you to your hotel, where each room has a private deck with a small spa pool – heavenly!
Today, you’ll have the chance to visit the Great Fern Park, located at the crossroads of three villages, protecting the local ecosystem of dense, dry forest. Almost 70% of the plant species here are endemic, as well as several species of birds, including the cagou and the Caledonian warbler.
This park truly is the lungs of New Caledonia, with huge ‘arborescent ferns’, that look like huge trees creating a canopy above the smaller plants that carpet the ground. After spending the day in this green wilderness, you’ll drive back to Noumea and check back into your first hotel for one night.
After breakfast you’ll head to the airport, drop off your car and take the short flight to Ile des Pins. One of the beautiful islands in the world, l'Île des Pins, pine trees resemble the masts of sailing ships, and the waters are bright turquoise. At the end of the 19th century, the island became the prison for 3,000 political prisoners deported from France - the remains of the convict prison can be seen inside the islands wooded interior. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.
On your first day in l'Île des Pins, you’ll enjoy a full-day boat excursion, all the while looking out for dolphins and turtles in the water. In the morning you’ll visit Ilot Brosse, a tiny island covered in the trademark pine trees of this region, where you can snorkel and swim in the perfect water, before heading to another small island, Moro, for lunch. Here you’ll enjoy grilled lobster, fresh coconut and crunchy papaya salad – delicious!
On your second day, we’ve included another boat excursion, this time to Upi Bay. This isn’t a guided tour, so you’ll be dropped off in the north of the bay, and you can walk around 40 minutes through the forest to reach Oro Bay, the famous natural swimming pool in New Caledonia. Oro Bay truly is paradise – swim, snorkel, relax and soak in the incredible colours of this beautiful island.
Spend one last morning enjoying this paradise, before heading back to the airport for your flight to Noumea. On arrival you’ll be taken to your hotel for your final night – make sure you raise a glass at dinner for a wonderful couple of weeks exploring two such different cultures.
Your holiday has come to an end – today you will be driven back to the airport in time for you to catch your flight home.
New Caledonia has a temperate climate with two main seasons, cold and hot. The cold season runs from June to August and the hot season runs from mid-November to mid-April. In the cold season, temperatures are approximately 24c during the day and 15c at night, for those wanting to hike this the perfect time to visit. For travellers wishing to lie in the sun, the hot season temperatures are between 26c and 30c. Cyclone season is between January and March. Overall, the best time to visit is between September and December.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post Go to Tokyo: why you should choose Japan as your Asia stopover, written by one of our consultants who has been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.