New caledonia

Highlights

 

  • A quick 2.5hr flight makes New Caledonia an easy option for kids that have a tendency to be difficult on flights
  • The French influence means yummy bakeries and amazing French inspired cuisine. With Asian fusion restaurants in abundance, foodies get the best of both worlds
  • Your kids will feel like they’ve stepped into a parallel universe as the beautiful French language prevails everywhere. English is a distant second!
  • New Caledonia has a beautiful semi-tropical climate. Never too hot and never too cold with the beaches swimmable all year round (watch out for the odd shark if you’re a surfer)


Our humble opinion is that tourism is a missed opportunity for the New Caledonian Government. Attracting tourist dollars is not a priority with rich Nickel mines all over the Island. If they ramped up their focus on catering for travellers, then this place could become a gem! 


Overall Family Friendly Rating: 6.5

image1

Le Meriden Noumea Resort & Spa

Location


Noumea, the capital city of New Caledonia


Highlights


  • Well located near town should you want to venture around
  • Nice big pool with plenty of chairs. The pool is also right on the beach with only a bar splitting the swimming options (convenient for parents)
  • We were in the Voyageur Suite which was massive and very well suited to a family with multiple kids
  • Hotel is big with several dining options. Customer service is not their strong suit… drawing an analogy here, the crawling pace of “Fiji time” would be an improvement!


Brad & Sar's Final Thoughts


Beautiful resort but somewhat limited in things to do. If your kids want to do more than swim 24/7, there are nice expansive grounds but it’s not kitted out like some super friendly destinations in the Pacific.


It felt like a resort in Fiji or Bordeaux smashed together but not as good as either destination! If you’re looking for something unique then it does deliver that in spades.


Family Friendly Rating: 6

image2

Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Golf Resort

Location


Bourail, 2 hours north of the capital Noumea and 1 hour 40 from the International Airport.


Highlights


  • A huge resort with beautiful grounds. They have novelty golf buggies available to pick you up and take you around the resort which is a nice touch
  • There is a massive golf course and driving range that is barely used. We hit that with a drink each afternoon as a stress-free area for the kids to run about 
  • Nice pool but the spa is adults only! The pool water was freezing, making this rule a little difficult to understand 
  • Kids Club onsite. We barely used it as unfortunately it was understaffed, whilst the limited carers only spoke French. Our kids found it hard to follow along with the activities but I guess we need to respect the language barrier!
  • Great kids eat free options


Brad & Sar's Final Thoughts


This resort works best if you have a car to check out the area; also ensuring easy access to the supermarket. New Caledonia (this hotel in particular) is expensive so it’s important to save a few dollars here and there.


The hotel was another one with massive potential! Similar to our stay in Noumea, it just missed for our kids. Meals were great and whilst they had invested in a Kids Club, the expansive grounds lacked some children's play areas. With a freezing cold pool and off limits spa, you’ve really got to love the beach!


It was a fun drive to Bourail with single lane roads the whole way from Noumea! Still, I think we’d do "real" France or stick to Fiji if we’re looking for a short flight to a magical destination in the Pacific. The appeal to return to New Caledonia, in our humble opinion, is not there :(


Family Friendly Rating: 7.5

image3