A coral reef within the Ilot Maitre Marine Reserve, just 25 minutes from Noumea. This lagoon patch reef is within snorkling distance of the pier at l'Escapade Island Resort. The New Caledonia lagoon is the largest lagoon in the world and is a World Heritage Site. The Ilot Maitre marine reserve has been in place for over 20 years and the fish on this coral reef are extremely tame and abundant.
For a virtual tour of l'Escapade Island Resort see the Rocket Guide to New Caledonia Noumea Hotels
Noumea is the capital and vacation centre of the Islands of New Caledonia in the South Pacific. Noumea is a "French" city, but the 91,000 inhabitants are a very mixed cultural group with French, Melanesian, Polynesian, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and lots of mixtures of these. Over 60% of the population of New Caledonia lives in Noumea.Noumea is a peninsula on the southwestern end of Grande Terre and the central business district (Centre Ville) is next to one of the best natural harbours in the South Pacific. The lagoon side of the peninsula has two picturesque bays with white sand beaches and is called Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons. These twin bays are the international tourism capital of New Caledonia with hotels, restaurants and bars on the landward side of "La Promenade".First settled by the French in 1854, Noumea retains close political ties with France. It has excellent schools and public facilities - parks, recreation areas, exercise paths, schools and medical facilities. Today it is the fastest growing city in the South Pacific. There are 23 hotels in Noumea ranging from one to five stars and over 100 Restaurants.