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Duck Island - Noumea

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by Gypsy Rose (subscribe)
I love travelling, discovering hidden gems & food. Experience the journey on Instragram! @gypsy_compass. Owner of do check it out for grazing platters and more :)
Published June 20th 2017
There is no 'ducking' around at Duck Island
A visit to Noumea, New Caledonia is not complete without a stop to the picturesque paradise called Duck Island!

Rush Hour in the underwater world!

Duck Island is located just a stone's throw away from the lovely Anse Vata Beach in Noumea. The Island is the ultimate getaway from the city of Noumea, making it the perfect day trip or a way to spend a couple of hours immersed in paradise fun.

Enjoying Duck Island's surroundings

Whether you are staying in New Caledonia or passing by on a Cruise Ship, Duck Island will not disappoint and it is a must add to the 'bucket list' or itinerary.

Swimming can be also be enjoyed at Duck Island

This natural reserve offers an abundance of underwater fauna and flora with an underwater trail - making snorkelling a must!

Enjoying the underwater tranquilly

The underwater trail features explanatory signs under each buoy, adding to the snorkelling experience. With approximately five-hundred metres of trail, you will be welcomed to the spectacular and tranquil underwater world with schools of fish, including superb multi-coloured tropical fish, several types of coral, and if you are lucky, you can spot out White Tip Sharks speeding past or cute turtles lazily swimming past.

Spotted this 'super speedy' White Tip Reef Shark!

The trail takes around forty-five minutes (you can easily spend hours getting lost in the underwater beauty), between two to seven metres of depth and it is the perfect snorkelling for beginners too.

We found Nemo!!!

There are six buoys on the snorkel trail and once you reach the first bouy, you will cross a zone which will feature seabed of coral fragments and pieces of shells. It is also home to the microscopic seaweed which attract certain herbivorous fish life, such as parrot fish and rabbit fish.

Swimming with schools of fish!

The second zone features sandy seabed herbarium and is protected from the swell. You will discover some species of brown and green seaweed, making it a perfect shelter and food for fish and invertebrates- so do keep an eye out on finding Nemo (clownfish) or other fish species!

Check out those amazing colours

The Talus de corail mort zone has quite strong swells and you might notice an accumulation of coral skeletons. There are a number of organisms remaining, so do keep an eye out for shellfish, fish and species of molluscs.

Awaiting to hop onto the Glass-Bottom Boat

In the fourth zone, a forest of multi-branched coral reaches depths up to three metres and features a gentle slope of the multi-coloured coral, which have formed a marvellous underwater "forest". Keep an eye out for the damselfish or clownfish, as well as their eggs. You might spot out the egg eating snake which is poisonous but harmless if left alone.

We spotted these curious fish on the 'glass bottom' boat

The Isolated rock formations or "bummies" at the fifth zone reach depths of six metres and consists of a succession of rock formations or "bummies", which are mostly covered by encrusting sponges and multicoloured coral colonies. These coral citadels provide many shelters for particular fish and if visibility is clear enough on the day, you might be able to spot some of these fish "hiding" in these shelters. Keep an eye out for the soft coral, trumpet fish, lionfish, crocodile fish and similar species.

Enjoying a stroll around the Island

The last zone is a silt sand seabed and is over six metres deep with scattered variety of flowering plants and sponges, which stretch the length of the reef. Many carnivorous fish can be found here such as spangled emperor, goat fish, diademes urchins and razor fish with their long spines!

The underwater signs help you to understand the marine life that live in these waters- so do check these out

Snorkelling at Duck Island is truly a magical experience, with a wonderful wealth of aquatic treasures awaiting for you to discover!

Be sure to check out the many sculptures

Unfortunately, the water did get murky after a couple of hours and visibility did become difficult past Zone 3 on the snorkelling trail.

On the way to Duck Island

This discovery path amidst the underwater world is not just the only activity you can enjoy on the Island. You can explore other wonders of Duck Island with a stroll around the Island, discovering the sculptors that call this place home, relaxing on the sun lounges, indulging in something to eat or enjoying a glass of fine wine at the bar are some activities to enjoy here.

Enjoying a stroll at the Island

Be sure to walk around the island to discover the many interesting Caledonian sculptors as well as sculptors from international artists who choose to exhibit their creations on Duck Island.

This family-friendly Island is not just popular with locals but tourists alike and it is a truly spectacular day visit that should not be missed, especially for snorkelling enthusiasts!

Keep an eye out for tiny fish hiding near the coral

Getting here:
To get to Duck Island you can get a taxi boat or return ride on a glass-bottom boat. Both leaving from Anse Vata Beach. Both boat rides take approximately five minutes one-way.

If you are choosing to arrive at Duck Island by the glass-bottom boat, find the beach hut with a sign pointing to Ile aux Canards (Duck Island in French) and book your return ticket or alternatively, the Information Centre in Noumea city offers tickets for sale for return glass-bottom boat rides to Duck Island, which also includes the Hop-on-hop-off bus.

Spotting out White Tip Reef Shark

What to bring:
Bring snorkelling gear, reef shoes is recommended as Duck Island is mostly dead-coral and some parts consist of hard and sharp sand.
Do note that snorkel gear can be hired on the Island.

The underwater world at Duck Island is certainly a must add attraction to the itinerary & bucket list

Where to eat:
There is only one café on the Island. If you are on a budget, do bring your own food and beverages.

Immerse yourself with the schools of fish


- English is spoken, however, not all locals speak fluent English.

- French is the main language spoken throughout New Caledonia.

- Umbrellas with sun lounges, sun lounges and huts need to be rented. Prices vary- do see the kiosk on the island for prices.

- Do exchange Australian Dollars to Franc, as Australian Dollars or other worldwide currency is not accepted in most attractions. Duck Island does accept Australian Dollars.

- Do not stand, touch or walk on coral. Coral is extremely sensitive and slight damage can kill off most of the coral life.

Most coral can be dangerous or poisonous to us humans, leading to severe cuts and/ or toxic reactions (some can be lethal) - so do inform children to never touch, walk or stand on coral!

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Why? The perfect day trip!
When: All year round
Where: Duck Island, Nouméa, New Caledonia
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