Matt & Megan
Nude Beach Map. Visited 2023
Nude beaches are few and far between in the South Pacific and only one exists in New Caledonia. We were not sure what to expect when arriving at the aptly named Plage des Nudistes (which translates to ‘beach of nudists’). There is a fairly active online naturist community in Noumea but unfortunately information on the beach isn’t widely available.
Given you can tan topless almost anywhere in the Noumea it makes sense that this beach is a little more niche and favoured mostly by males. On a weekday we found the beach well attended with a steady stream of people coming and going. The vibe is extremely relaxed and most locals seemed to know each other but keep to themselves. All the people on Plage des Nudistes were nude when we visited.
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The beach is covered entirely in coral which can be really sharp in places. Reef or swim shoes are advised and we were the only people not wearing them, which we came to regret. The surf isn’t rough here but you will need to navigate a small rocky reef to go for a swim – without reef shoes sea urchins could be an issue but we didn’t see any. A padded blanket would also be handy as there is virtually no soft sand on the beach. There is shade if you sit further up the beach towards the small shrubs but beware of your belongings and security (more on that below). Plage des Nudistes can get extremely hot in the South Pacific sun, so be extra cautious of your hydration and sunburn.
We highly recommend you leave your valuables at the hotel and only bring essentials. Unfortunately we had our belongings stolen in broad daylight while swimming at the beach. The curvature of the coral beach means that you can’t see your valuables when you swim in the ocean. During this time some crafty locals approached from the wooded area and took our wallet and mobile phone (partially our fault because we left it out in the open). It soured an otherwise great experience at the beach. Locals explained that young kids will sometimes scale the steep slope above the beach and look for opportunities to snatch your valuables. This isn’t so much a large security concern but opportunistic crimes by bored children.
There aren’t many options for food or drink nearby, apart from Kuendu Beach Resort – which used to be a well recommended four star resort with overwater bungalows. Now it is in a state of disrepair and mostly caters to locals having lunch or using the waterslide, the venue is also occasionally used for large concerts around New Years or Christmas. The resort restaurant and bar gets decent reviews but operates erratic hours and can’t be relied upon for beach supplies. A better option is stocking up with what you need in Noumea and bringing it to the beach yourself. There are several kava nakamals near the beach that become more popular around sunset with locals.
Overall we recommend Plage des Nudistes if you’re looking for a different beach option. Just be well aware of your surroundings and come prepared for a walk down a steep hill. Cell phone reception is also very spotty or non-existent at the beach – download or screenshot directions in advance. Be aware that tanning nude or topless elsewhere in New Caledonia is a cultural faux pas.
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The easiest way to get to the beach is via bus to Kuendu Beach. The #L3 bus loops around popular tourist beaches like Anse Vata and Baie des Citrons before passing through Noumea city on the way to Kuendu Beach. It'll take you about 20mins to reach the end of the line at the picturesque beach, it is a popular spot to picnic with families and Plage des Nudistes is a short 5-10min walk up the small hill.
Car parking is also available either at Kuendu Beach or right next to Plage des Nudistes by following a dirt trail. We saw several scooters and smaller cars make it all the way to the beach. I guess it depends how confident you are, or more importantly how much you want to risk your rental agreement by going slightly off road. After heavy rain the trail would be much more difficult to navigate.
After driving or taking the bus you'll need to descend to the beach. The quickest way is via the track where most cars park, however this is steep and not recommended. The easiest option is to continue following the large trail till you see a small track head down towards the beach. Beware that both the access road and trails are not maintained. Locals also frown on people using the closest beach as a nude beach (you will sometimes see this marked as 'clothed beach' in Google Maps to help avoid confusion!