An intoxicating blend of South Pacific idyll and French sophistication is waiting just a two-and-a-half hour flight from Auckland. New Caledonia can be café au lait and croissants in the morning, a swim in tropical seas in the afternoon and at night delving once again into the delights of French cuisine.
The capital, Noumea, is at the southern tip of the main island or Grande Terre. Just 50km wide but 500km long, this island has a surprising diversity of landscapes from forests and mountains to expansive plains and of course, beaches. Surrounding Grande Terre is the world’s largest lagoon and second longest reef, recently added to Unesco’s World Heritage sites. Among the 15,000 marine species in this underwater world are the endangered dugong, rare turtles and a myriad of corals and tropical fish.
There is more to New Caledonia than just the mainland. The Isle des Pins is a quintessential tropical island and the tranquil, unspoilt Loyalty Islands each have their own charms. It’s the active role of France in island life that helps make this nation unique. With shops specialising in French wines, cheeses and other gourmet products, along with typically French cafes and boutiques, New Caledonia is a true taste of France in the South Pacific.
However, the indigenous Melanesian people, the Kanaks, also offer visitors the opportunity to experience their rich tribal cultures through village visits for a day or longer. In another distinctly New Caledonian twist, the Kanak women are passionate players of cricket.
New Caledonia Holiday Destination Information
New Caledonia Highlights Spend some time at the Tjibaou Cultural Centre, Noumea - Discover the unique architectural buildings just 10 minutes from the city centre. The bold, modern style, both elegant and restrained, has been designed from the inspiration of traditional Kanak architecture. View fantastic art and artefacts from all over the South Pacific.
Amedee Lighthouse, Noumea - Take an excursion further afield to the Amedee Lighthouse located within a natural Marine Reserve and home to a large variety of coloured tropical fish. This trip is a must for those who like snorkelling. Your excursion includes return catamaran transfers from Noumea, buffet lunch, cultural dancing and a glass bottom boat ride. Anse Vata Bay, Noumea - This is the main area for sea activities. Also pleasant for a walk along the beach fringed by coconut trees. Numerous hotels, shops and restaurants and night clubs are also located at Anse Vata Bay. Sit back and relax at Baie des Citrons, Noumea - Baie Des Citrons is the perfect place for a family day at the beach or a meal in one of its restaurants and cafes Bougna Feast, Ile des Pins - Take part in a traditional Kanak feast. The Bougna often contains taro, yam, sweet potato and banana, and pieces of either chicken, fish, crab, prawns or lobster wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over hot stones. Oro Bay, Ile des Pins - North of Vao, a walk through the forest leads to two wonderful beaches and a natural swimming pool formed in the coral. Ideal for snorkelling.
Flights to New Caledonia
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