The Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Calédonie, located between Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata, is a small aquarium with a focus on marine life of New Caledonia.
What to see at the Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Calédonie
The aquarium is divided into different areas, each representing an ecosystem native to New Caledonia.
The fresh water environment is the first area visitors encounter upon visiting the aquarium. This area features fish native to New Caledonia’s rivers including giant freshwater shrimp, carp, mullet and eels.
The next area represents wildlife from the mangrove ecosystem that covers 79% of New Caledonia’s west coast (but only 14% of the east coast). There are around 260 species of fish living in New Caledonia’s mangroves as well as molluscs and crustaceans and this area of the aquarium is home to the fiddler crab and the amphibious mudskipper.
The coastal waters area of the aquarium is home to marine life that is found in shallow waters in the reefs surrounding New Caledonia’s islands, which includes the colourful fish that you often sea when snorkelling. Here you can see cow fish, damselfish, wrasses as well as sea cucumbers and the black spotted garden eel.
The next area is bathed in ultraviolet light to highlight fluorescent coral and flashlight fish. This is the world’s largest collection of this type of coral in an aquarium.
The lagoon area is home to a large variety of colourful fish that live in lagoon between the barrier reef and the islands’ coastline including damselfish, lionfish, parrot fish, surgeon fish and wrasses as well as marine snakes including the striped jersey.
The aquarium’s exhibition hall features marine-themed exhibits and it also hosts a programme of temporary exhibitions.
The open sea area is home to marine life from beyond the reef including the humphead wrasse, surgeonfish and several species of shark.
The deep sea area is home to marine life that usually live at depths of between around 150m and 300m (500–1,000 ft) including the world’s first aquarium display of live nautilus.
There is also an auditorium near the end of your visit where you can watch a film about the species that live in the aquarium. These films include Corail Nouvelle Calédonie about marine life on New Caledonia’s coral reefs and Mangrove, which showcase the life of the island’s coastal mangrove ecosystem.
Visiting the Aquarium des Lagons Nouvelle Calédonie
The aquarium is located between Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata and it is within walking distance to many of the hotels in this part of Nouméa.
The admission fee is 1,600F with reduced rates for children (800F) as well as students (aged over 60) and seniors (1,200F).
The aquarium sometimes hosts evening events and on these days there is a lower admission fee (1,000F for adults, 500F for children and 750F for students and seniors).
As it is a relatively small aquarium, 1½ hours should be sufficient time to see everything.
61 promenade Roger Laroque, Anse Vata, Nouméa 98807
Bus L3 (stop: Commodore)
Phone +687 26 27 31
Open Tue–Sun 10am–5pm (last entry 4pm)
Admission 1,600F, students 1,200F, seniors (aged over 60) 1,200F, children (5–16 years) 800F, children (under 5) free; evening rates 1,000F, students 700F, seniors (aged over 60) 1,200F, children (5–16 years) 500F, children (under 5) free