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Tiam Bouene is a remote and pristine islet located off the northern side of New Caledonia. A strip of white sand, stretching on several hundred meters from the eastern tip of the islet, offers postcard-perfect tropical landscapes. The coral reef surrounding Tiam Bouene displays a varied marine life and will bring you wonderful snorkeling sessions.

How to get to Tiam Bouene Islet?

Tiam Bouene islet is located off the northern tip of New Caledonia, a 5 to 6 hours drive from Nouméa. The main way to reach the islet is to book a boat tour at Gîte de Golone or at Malabou Beach hotel, located close to Poum village. Another taxi boat (PUM PUM) offers trips to the islet.

Green chromis in branching coral
Branching coral attracts large groups of green chromis.

Boats depart from Golone Peninsula, and will take you to the islet in 30 to 40 minutes. Tour prices start at CFP5000 per person (approx. €40), and CFP6500 (approx. €60) including a barbecue on the beach (min. 4 pers.).

Getting into the water for snorkeling Tiam Bouene Islet

You can enter the water anywhere around the islet, but we recommend (because of the proximity to the most beautiful reefs) choosing the northeastern side (see map below).

Tiam Bouene Islet snorkeling map

Tiam Bouene Islet snorkeling tips

You can snorkel all around the islet, as it is entirely circled by a coral reef laying 100 to 250m from the beach. However, the area marked on the map above is the most recommended for snorkeling: the reef is healthy, it starts just a few meters from the beach, and gives access to relatively deep areas (up to 23ft/7m) full of marine life.

View over Tiam Bouene islet reef
View over Tiam Bouene islet from the reef.

Along the reef, it is easy to observe and get close to many fish species. Surgeonfish, butterflyfish, pufferfish, clownfish, damselfish and triggerfish are easy to spot, and, with a little luck, colorful angelfish. Have a look under the coral and in rocky crevices, where it is common to spot ornate rock lobsters.

Barrier reef anemonefish at Ilot Tiam Bouene
A Barrier reef anemonefish noted on the reef flat.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

No food or water is available for purchase on the islet. Gîte de Golone and Malabou Beach hôtel are the two closest accommodation options near Tiam Bouene.


  • Level required Beginner
  • Protected areaParc Naturel de la Mer de Corail
  • Maximum depth23ft/7m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardNo
  • Visitor numbersLow
  • Access costsSnorkeling tour price (from CFP 5000/EUR 40pp.)
  • Restaurants nearbyNo
  • Public toilets & showersNo

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.