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Îlot Amédée (Amedee Island), spotted 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.
Îlot Amédée is located about 24km south from 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 CFP 4500 per person for round trip.
It is recommended to get in the water either from the area just to the right of the dock (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.
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 dock.
For turtle spotting, the best place to go is near the dock. This area is composed of seagrass beds (↕0.8-2m) where green turtles come to feed during the day, often accompanied by remoras 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. 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.
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. Try to make out the different species of angelfish that frequent the reef (the two-colored angelfish, the keyhole angelfish, or the two-thorn angelfish) or to spot sea anemones and their colonies of clownfish. In this area, pay attention to crown-of-thorns starfish, which are particularly numerous.
There is a bar and restaurant installed on the island, but it is closed on days when no big boats dock.
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.
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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.
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Reef drop off with coral, fish and turtles
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Preserved shallow coral gardens with reef fish
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