Grab your diving gear and be sure to pack a healthy appetite as Qantas brings back its popular flights to Noumea.
Brisbane-Noumea is the first to take wing, restarting at once service per week on Saturday June 4.
Sydney-Noumea swings back on Sundays, Mondays and Wednesdays from June 5, with Saturday being added to the schedule on August 13.
All flights rely on the airline’s workhorse Boeing 737, with a QF ‘codeshare’ on Aircalin – the flag carrier of the petite French island collective – on most other days.
Travellers are in for a treat too, with the flights onboard Aircalin’s new Airbus A320neo from Brisbane and the A330neo aircraft from Sydney.
Both offer state-of-the-art seating and HD touchscreens, with an entertainment offering of more than 90 programmes plus inflight WiFi.
New Caledonia opened its borders for Australian travellers in March and in May removed its pre-departure test requirements.
Australian travellers now need only complete a rapid antigen test 48 hours after arrival, which can be done for free in pharmacies in Noumea and across New Caledonia.
Just two hours from Brisbane or less than three from Sydney, New Caledonia is often described as a piece of France that broke off and drifted down to the Pacific. Yet it’s much more than that, with traditional Kanak culture, astonishing coral reefs, and a French-Melanesian culinary scene best described as manifique.
"After more than 2 years of Covid closure, it is a very exciting time and the opportunity to rebuild tourism to New Caledonia,” says Julie Laronde, New Caledonia Tourism’s General Manager. "We cannot wait to welcome our Australian neighbours back to our shores!”
Additional reporting by Chris Ashton