The initial project
Originally the aquarium of Noumea was established in 1956 by Dr Catala and his wife who fell in love with marine diversity of New Caledonian sea floors. At that time it was considered as avant-garde project as presenting species in their restored natural habitat. The aquarium, on top of a tourism mission, was resolutely turned towards research and conservation of marine species.
But in the 90’s, it was necessary to undergo a renovation. Given the heavy necessary work and the impossibility of expansion, a new Aquarium was built in 2007, known under the present name of the Lagoons Aquarium.
Today this great aquarium spread over 3000 square meters, describes the different marine ecosystems present in New Caledonia. The visit is organized by themes and makes us walk through different rooms embellished with educational explanations.
A theme for each room
As during a trip, we go through the world of rivers and lakes with their fresh water, then continue to discover the specifics of the mangroves which houses a biodiversity essential to the balance of the sea. Later, is one of the prides of New Caledonia, the lagoon. Protected from waves by the coral reef, it unveils its thousand colours and species such as parrot fish, rockfish or striped knit snake. The corals of different varieties including fluorescent ones are beautiful.
The tour continues deeper into the Ocean waters where you can get to know the different species of sharks and the famous Nautilus. Outside, the dedicated turtle pond is popular with children. A “fare” is also installed to picnic.
Several events are organized around the sea turtles, reef animals, interactive quizzes or the opportunity to attend the fish feeding. Ask about schedules to organize the visit depending on what animations interest you.
In addition to its educational mission to publicize and protect various marine species, the Aquarium of the Lagoons is in charge of healing the sick species in a dedicated care center and has a research center to improve the knowledge of the different aquatic ecosystems.
Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm
Price: 1000 CFP / 500CFP adult / child