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Îlot Amédée (Amedee Island), known for its overshadowing lighthouse built in 1865, is one of the symbolic landscapes of New Caledonia. If it hosts beautiful coral reefs with crystal-clear waters, the islet is better known for being the best spot of the territory (and one of the best in the South Pacific) for swimming with green turtles, many of which are found in underwater meadows that stretch out, facing the beach.

Blue triggerfish
Huge yellow-spotted triggerfish are sometimes spotted feeding on Amédée Island seagrass meadows.

How to get to Îlot Amédée snorkeling location?

Îlot Amédée is located about 24km south of Noumea, at the entrance of the lagoon. Several providers in the capital sell day tours to the island. You can choose between a simple round trip or an all-inclusive excursion (which includes lunch, entertainment, and beach chairs). Prices start at CFP4500 per person for a round trip.

Amedee Island snorkeling map
Amedee Island snorkeling map.

Water entrance for snorkeling Îlot Amédée

It is recommended to get in the water either just to the right of the jetty (on your right when you are facing the ocean) or from the western tip of the island. These two entrances face seagrass beds where turtles are generally present (areas A and B on the map).

Îlot Amédée snorkeling tips to swim with sea turtles

The area you will explore covers seagrass beds and coral reefs that are facing the north-west coast of the island, on both sides of the jetty.

Snorkelers and sea turtle at Amedee Islet, New Caledonia
If you are dreaming about swimming with sea turtles, Amédée Island is the place to go!

For turtle spotting, the best place to go is near the jetty (area A on the map). This area is made of seagrass beds (↕0.8-2m) where green sea turtles come to feed during the day, often accompanied by sharksuckers or trevallies. When landing on the island, you will already see their shell through the translucent water.

Îlot Amédée is a truly magnificent spot to swim with these peaceful creatures- there are so many that it’s not rare to find 2 or 3 turtles around you, coming very close to the beach (sometimes less than 10m from the shore), and in very shallow areas.

Coral reef at Amedee Islet
Some nice and healthy coral reefs can also be explored around the island.

In addition, the turtles are easily approachable. Resist the urge to touch them, however, and give them enough space when they come up to the surface to breathe. Turtles can also generally be found in another seagrass area near the western end of the island (area B on the map).

While turtles are the main underwater attraction of Îlot Amédée, this spot also offers beautiful coral reefs. In some places, rugs of yellow and blue branched corals cover the seafloor (↕0.5-1m). The reef then descends gently on sandy beds (↕2-4m). It is here that the underwater life is the most plentiful.

Whitetip reef shark in Amedee Island
Whitetip reef sharks can sometimes be seen on the deeper outer reef of the islet.

Try to make out the different species of angelfish that frequent the reef (the bicolor angelfish, the keyhole angelfish, or the two-thorn angelfish) or to spot sea anemones and their “families” of clownfish. In this area, pay attention to crown-of-thorns starfish, which are particularly numerous.

Experienced snorkelers may consider exploring the deeper areas facing the western reef (area 2 on the map), where whitetip reef sharks and dugongs are occasionally seen. Take a dive flag with you, as this area has some boat activity.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

There is a bar and restaurant installed on the island, but it is closed on days when no big boats dock.

Live a close encounter with Amedee Island’s sea turtles in this video👇 shared by Fongi!


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaRéserve marine de l'Îlot Amédée
  • Maximum depth15ft/5m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • Potential DangersMany crown-of-thorns starfish in reef areas
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersMedium to high
  • Access costsReturn trip or tour price (from CFP 4500pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyOnly when main boats are on the islet
  • Public toilets & showersYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

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.