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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.

Blue triggerfish

How to get there?

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.

Amedee island snorkeling map

Water entrance

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.

Exploration

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.

Snorkelers and sea turtle at Amedee Islet, New Caledonia

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.

Coral reef at Amedee Islet

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.

Restaurants and accommodation

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




 

  • 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.