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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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