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New Caledonia Travel Guide

Sports & Recreation

Scuba Diving

Several scuba diving companies based in central Nouméa or along Anse Vata offer morning and afternoon dives on a choice of a dozen sites around Amédée Lighthouse. Introductory initiation dives are arranged for novices, and when space is available, snorkelers can go along too. Most of the companies also do scuba certification courses. If you're an English speaker, beware of companies catering to an almost exclusively Japanese clientele.

Some of Nouméa's top scuba locales are near the Passe de Dumbéa where there's good shark action. Turtles are sometimes seen near Îlot Maître, and the reef near Amédée Lighthouse is also visited.

Golf

In 1995, the 5,603-meter Golf de Tina opened on Tina Bay, four km beyond Magenta Airport and 11 km northeast of downtown Nouméa. It's very posh, with lovely ocean and mountain views. Greens fees aren't cheap and proper dress is mandatory: T-shirts, jeans, bathing suits, and tennis outfits are not permitted. Another rule states that you must finish nine holes in 2.25 hours, 18 holes in 4.5 hours. The blue-line bus will drop you near the course (or call to request a paid hotel transfer).

Swimming and Squash

The attractive municipal swimming pool, at the far end of Anse Vata, is inexpensive. The adjacent municipal tennis courts are lighted at night.

Have a workout at the Squash Club, 21 rue Jules Garnier opposite the Port Plaisance Mall on Baie de l'Orphelinat. Rackets are available and there's an inexpensive bar on the premises (a hangout for English-speaking yachties).

Horse Racing

On Sunday afternoons about once a month there's horse racing at the Hippodrome Municipal at Anse Vata. Most afternoons you'll see men playing pétanque next to the beach at Anse Vata and in Place des Cocotiers. Metal balls the size of baseballs are thrown, not rolled, at the other balls in this French bowling game.