Prony and the Whales
A trip to New Caledonia will allow you to discover wild landscapes of breathtaking beauty. This magnificent natural environment has seen the evolution of many unusual species of plants and animals. The humpback whale is one such example. Every year, the south of New Caledonia welcomes these noble beasts in the warms waters of its lagoon; they have come from colder seas to mate and reproduce.
Meeting the Ocean's Giants
Many people believe that the humpback whale is so called because its back has a hump, but in fact, the name comes from the way the animal bends its body while diving. This is a migratory species, travelling up to 10,000 kilometres between the polar regions, where they feed, to the tropical zones, where they reproduce. As the young whales need a warm environment to survive, it is logical that the adults come to mate and give birth in tepid waters, like those of New Caledonia's Lagoon. Your flight to Noumea will enable you to visit the wilderness area at Prony, a two-hour boat trip from the capital city. This is a priveleged spot for observing these amazing marine mammals. It is estimated that around 500 individuals return to this part of New Caledonia every year. As their population not shown any sign of increasing, it is vital that measures are taken to protect them. To this end, the Maison du Lagon ("Lagoon House") has set up the project "Whale Watching", envisioning ecotourism with a commitment to responsibility and solidarity on the part of its operators.
Course for the Prony Bay and Casy Isle
There are numerous means of transport for those who wish to make a day trip: a semi-rigid sailboat, a catamaran with sails, or the MARY D Princess ferryboat. In order to avoid disturbing the whales, and observe them quietly, the catamaran excursions tend to be the most popular. Departures take place early in the morning, from Noumea's Port Moselle to Prony Bay. From there, taxi boats offer crossings to Somme Bay, meals may be included.
Spend a Few Days on a Cruise
Weekend Excursions to Casy Isle
The Aquanature company organises, at certain weekends, two-day excursions (Saturday and Sunday), with camping on Casy Island. The programme includes whale watching and hiking.