Free shore access
This spot have a free shore access: you can go snorkeling there freely and without having to book a tour or pay an entrance fee.
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Last updated on November 8, 2022
Faille Shark (Shark Fault), also called Faille de Poé, forms a deep crack in the western lagoon of New Caledonia. Being the only point to enter or exit the lagoon for several kilometers, it is an important passage for marine fauna. Large species, such as turtles, sharks and rays, are particularly abundant here. Due to the configuration of this spot (especially the currents), it is only recommended for experienced snorkelers, except if you visit it with a guided boat trip.
Faille Shark is located about 4km north of Poé Beach, on the west coast of Grande Terre. From Nouméa, it takes two hours by car to Bourail, then about 20 minutes to Poé. There are two possibilities for snorkeling in the crack:
If you are participating in a tour, you will get into the water from a boat. If you visit this spot alone from the shore, know that the best time to snorkel is slack between low tide and rising tide. Do not enter the water during the ebb tide, because the current, extremely strong, would carry you towards the outside of the lagoon.
At low tide, you can reach the fault by walking since only a few centimeters of water are present on the seagrass beds. Enter the water from the edge of the crack.
Faille Shark is the bed of an ancient river. It extends for nearly 2km between the coast and the exit of the lagoon, and the depth is on average 80ft/25m. It takes its name from Shark Island, located on the edge of the fault.
Being the only crossing point between the inside and the outside of the lagoon for several kilometers, and protected by a marine reserve, Faille Shark is home to extraordinary biodiversity.
At the edge of the crack, the corals are beautiful and very healthy, while the deeper bottoms are visited by green sea turtles, jacks, blacktip reef sharks, whitetip reef sharks, gray sharks, guitarfish, eagle rays and barracudas.
If you explore this spot on your own from the edge, stay on the first few hundred meters from the shore. If you find that currents are dragging you out of the lagoon, reach the edge of the fault and get out of the water.
This spot is located a few minutes drive from the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva Spa & Golf Resort*****, located within Domaine de Deva. You will find at Poé beach many restaurants and accommodation.
These spots are only recommended to good swimmers, in good physical conditions, and with excellent snorkeling skills. These spots can experience currents, moderate waves, important depths, tight or narrow passages, or tricky water entrance, and can be located near hazardous areas (channels, boat traffic, strong currents…). The distance to swim to reach the most interesting snorkeling areas can be important - up to 500 meters. The “advanced” category includes drift snorkeling (transported by currents) and snorkeling off the coast.
This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell.You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.
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Snorkeling spots are part of a wild environment and their aspect can be significantly altered by weather, seasons, sea conditions, human impact and climate events (storms, hurricanes, seawater-warming episodes…). The consequences can be an alteration of the seabed (coral bleaching, coral destruction, and invasive seagrass), a poor underwater visibility, or a decrease of the sea life present in the area. Snorkeling Report makes every effort to ensure that all the information displayed on this website is accurate and up-to-date, but no guarantee is given that the underwater visibility and seabed aspect will be exactly as described on this page the day you will snorkel the spot. If you recently snorkeled this area and noticed some changes compared to the information contained on this page, please contact us.
The data contained in this website is for general information purposes only, and is not legal advice. It is intended to provide snorkelers with the information that will enable them to engage in safe and enjoyable snorkeling, and it is not meant as a substitute for swim level, physical condition, experience, or local knowledge. Remember that all marine activities, including snorkeling, are potentially dangerous, and that you enter the water at your own risk. You must take an individual weather, sea conditions and hazards assessment before entering the water. If snorkeling conditions are degraded, postpone your snorkeling or select an alternate site. Know and obey local laws and regulations, including regulated areas, protected species, wildlife interaction and dive flag laws.
Fringing reef with clownfish, turtles and dugong
Small islet edged by a coral reef with sharks, turtles, rays and reef fish
Segrass meadows and reef drop off with sea turtles, sharks and reef fish
Offshore islet with coral reefs, turtles, sharks and rays
Islet surrounded by reefs and seagrass meadows with sea turtles and fish
Reef drop off with coral, fish and turtles
Free shore access