Hi everyone, looking for some help about Surfing/Living in New Caledonia, we have a dilemma ; my wife has been offered a big job in Noumea. We both surf and have 2 young kids ( 8 and 6 yrs ) and live in Kommetjie , Cape Town. Pretty much can surf every day , all sorts of waves. Kids are just about thru the foamier stage.Cold water yeah, but been doing it for 40 yrs so not an issue.
In Bourail, I see there are some quality waves around off the reef passes and such, been told its pretty seasonal .( May to Sept )Are there waves year round ( can be crappy, just to get wet ) or am I gonna have to learn to Kiteboard ( heaven forbid.. ) In short ,if we move there are we going to wither and die or will it be a crazy great adventure to jump at doing? I can transport my jetski there ( allowed a 20ft container ) but fuel costs might be radical but way cheaper than hiring a boat.Any suggestions or links to people that may help us make a massive decision. Thanks In advance , Mickey
Any leads, Stu ? It sounds like going surfing there is a bit of a performance and effort, was hoping there are some grovel spots to keep the arms moving between proper swells. Hard to decipher from looking at the one surf camp options marketing spiel, what the real deal is. A friend of a friend was there and didn't last long, said " surf wise its very far from what Australia has to offer" so Im under no illusions how different it might be. I suppose the " biggest lagoon in the world is a dead giveaway" anyways we kinda thinking that keep riding the " Cape of Storms " is our path.
New Cal is a funny one, Mickey. It's so close to Australia and well-oriented for max exposure to south-west groundswells moving up the Tasman Sea, yet few Aussies go there. One reason, I think, is that it's French speaking and more geared to the Gallic. Easier for us to to go to Fiji, or Samoa, or across the continent to Indonesia.
The other reason few Aussie surfers go is the distance the reefs are offshore from the mainland. Every session requires a boat, which means money and time, and also magnifies the need to speak the language when organising etc. Clumsy sign language won't get you far.
No doubt you've looked at a map and seen how far offshore they lie from Noumea - that's a long bumpy ride home in the trades - though they veer closer to land up further up the west coast.
The stand out reef is about a third of the way up the island, and just south of the place you mentioned. It's still a significant ride out there. I've also heard a few reports about bolshy locals throwing their weight around. If you go then learn the language, and quick.
Reckon there's a lot of space for adventure up that west coast, or even down the far south which gets more swell. Need to plan well and have your wits about you. No idea about fuel costs over there.
Anyone else been lately?
If you’ve got the opportunity I reckon you should jump on it. Doesn’t really matter if you don’t score everyday when there’s a good chance of having an epic tropical adventure with your family .
Food , culture, lifestyle , adventure with possibility of sick fishing , diving and surfing thrown in . What’s not to love ?
There is upsides to waves which aren’t obvious, easy and accessible . Far less punters for a start . Give me a quality wave which is difficult to score over a cunce filled Uluwatu lineup any day.
Worst comes to worst and you go back to freezing cold , shark ridden Cape Town. Not like it’s going anywhere in the meantime.
I'd definitely take this opportunity. The kids will have a chance to experience such a different culture. Sure there may not be surf outside your door step but the effort to score waves will be offset by lack of a crowd in the lineup. Crowded Uluwatu?? - no thanks.
Suggest making a big effort to learn the local language. You'll be accepted more so and enjoy the whole experience more so. Sign language can only take you so far - and not very far at that!
If you can set up a spare room, you might be able to rent it out to anyone with a Swellnet membership.
Thanks Stu for the heads up info, much appreciated, still deliberating what to do, what with Covid my wife cannot go there and scout it first, so it's a tough call.
Shot for the encouragement guys, gonna need all the help we can get on this one. ( not helped by another 7 days of solid waves coming here next week..)
Actually [email protected], ......the way I see it you lucky fella is as follows..
a. Your wife has a great job opportunity which is great for self esteem and your peace of mind as a supporting hubby......Happy wife=happy life
b. You have 40 years of surfing under your belt so you won't be really missing out now will ya?
c. I am sure you will find some inner reef type beachies for your kinds to advance on while you get the lay of the land [ ocean]
d. You definitely will not wither and die....in fact you all will grow and shine.
e. He who procrastinates is lost...
f. Go hard mate.....
g. if I was you.....all of the above
Over the years my wife has been offered 2 year stints in Washington DC, Paris and London. We decided to turn all three down for lifestyle reasons. New Caledonia would be hard to pass up though. From what I hear the waves are amazing once you’ve figured out the logistics. Best thing would be to buy your own boat I reckon.
I think Megzee nailed it.
Wonderful opportunity for the kids too.
Have a go mate- you'll never know if if you never go.
My cuz lives there. Got a boat, into his fishing .
reckons it's paradise.
Definitely a hard decision....
Dunno if this helps Micky and I'd imagine you may have seen this already, but if not, have a browse around this and it may go someways towards letting you know what you can expect.
want to know how good the surf is? new caledonia is a three-hour flight from the east coast of australia and yet virtually no australians travel there to surf.
That might have something to do with the French Chook.....
Surfed the French coast a few times over the years and as the old saying goes...."The only bad thing about France is the French"
Personally id jump at it, im sure it gets high quality surf at times ive seen some pretty nice pics, get in with the locals and im sure in time you will score.
Ive never been but i use to collect rare palms when lived up North, New Caledonia is home to some really nice unique palms and other plants and talked to guys that use to go there and they always had a lot of good things to say about the place.
mixed,reefs are a long way off shore so very open to the wind but as you have a jet ski your laughing.......heard there used to be nice beach break river mouth set up that got ruined half way up western side years ago .......beautiful water so take up diving and wind surfing...no brainer.