Established to protect and ensure the future of New Caledonia’s exceptional aquatic ecosystem, the Natural Park of the Coral Sea is the world’s largest marine park.
Covering an astounding 1.3 million square kilometres, the park also encompasses the world’s largest lagoon and second longest barrier reef, and acts as a sanctuary for turtles, whales, sharks, giant clams, sea birds, an array of fish species and the world’s third largest herd of dugongs.
The highest level of protection for the world’s last unspoiled reefs – Chesterfield, Bellona, Entrecasteaux, Pétrie and Astrolabe – safeguards 28,000 square kilometres of pristine reef.
Some small eco-tourist groups will be able to gain permits to access these reefs. This watery wonderland is best explored at sea level, so to truly get an idea of the park’s rich diversity, make sure you get wet.