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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.

Aerial view of Faille Shark in Poé
Seen from the air, Faille Shark is a spectacular geological formation.

How to get to Faille Shark snorkeling spot?

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:

  1. Book a snorkeling tour with Passion Lagon, the only local operator offering snorkeling trips at this location. Tours costs a bit less than €60 per person (minimum 4 persons). You will explore the crack by drift snorkeling, dropped off and then picked up by a boat.
  2. Access this spot from the shore. This option is reserved for experienced snorkelers with excellent knowledge of the local environment. If you choose this option, reach Domaine de Gouaro-Deva from Poé (free entry). Follow the road until you come out of the estate, then drive to the last roundabout which leads onto a track on your left. Then follow the track that joins the seaside, then the track that runs along the beach. The track stops about a hundred meters from the crack. From there, park and continue on foot.

Carte snorkeling à la Faille Shark, Poé

Water entrance for snorkeling Faille Shark

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 snorkeling exploration tips

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.

Coral reef and fish in Poé

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.

Giant guitarfish in Poé
A giant guitarfish noted on the sandy beds.

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.

Chromis around branching coral
Thousands of green chromis gather around the branching corals, where they can hide in case of danger.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

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.

 

  • Level required Advanced
  • Maximum depth80ft/25m
  • Water entranceFrom the edge or the fault, or from a boat
  • Potential DangersStrong currents
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsFree (from shore) or around €60 (with a boat tour)

MAP Spot

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.