White sand beaches and crystal blue water. Lots of sunshine, diverse natural life and French cuisine. What more can you ask for? These are just some of the remarkable characteristics New Caledonia boasts. If you are tired of the “good old” holiday destinations you go to every year and yearn for a new experience off the beaten track, then look no further, for this tiny Pacific archipelago has all you might wish for.
New Caledonia is situated in the northeast of Australia, a three-hour flight away from Sydney, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand. It consists of a range of tropical islands, some of which are remote and uninhabited, while others like Grande Terre and the Isle of Pines are ideal tourist destinations for enjoying laid-back island life, doing water sports and relaxing from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Start from Nouméa
Nouméa is the capital of New Caledonia and a great place to start your tropical adventure. It is situated on Grande Terre and is one of the most westernised Pacific cities, but still not so crowded by tourists to diminish its charm. Catch the Tchou Tchou train to get a good view of the city and as you weave through the streets, enjoy the mixture of French chic and island spirit. Aquarium des Lagons is another must – a jaw-dropping sight of bright corals and tropical fish. Fun fact: The coral reef lying off New Caledonia is the second biggest in the world (and a remarkable sight to behold).
Explore the Isle of Pines
Make sure not to miss this beautiful island, which is easily accessible by boat or plane. Known for its towering pines that reach to the very shores, Isle of Pines is a perfect getaway where you can enjoy snorkeling and strolling across the warm sandy beaches. You can practise water sports, try mingling with the locals, or simply recharge your batteries by feasting your eyes on the water whose shades range from celeste to azure. The Isle of Pine’s population is mostly made up of native Melanesians or Kanaks and you should take the opportunity to taste some of their appetising local dishes.
Bring your Whole Family
New Caledonia can cater to different tastes and there is something for everyone. If you are on the lookout for a family destination, there is much you will love about this French outpost. Take the whole family hiking in the hills of Grande Terre, unwind at the beach or try a new water sport. Create unforgettable memories in the open, visit the UNESCO-protected lagoons and learn more about the island’s culture and history. Appreciate the pristine environment and see many animal species which are indigenous to these islands.
Not only families will have fun in New Caledonia, though. Couples, nature buffs, avid travellers, explorers and people who just want to get away from it all for a while will easily fall under its tropical spell. By browsing diverse New Caledonia holiday packages, you can find out what’s on offer and discover how to make the best of your time here.
And don’t forget to brush up your rusty French or memorise a few phrases to be able to order crepes, croissants and French wine. A bit of French goes a long way in this predominantly Francophone destination. In other words – without French, you might find yourself in sticky situations.
So, book your tickets, pick up a phrase book and get here in a groovy mood. New Caledonia is a destination everyone has to visit at least once in their lifetime.
About the author
Marie Nieves, student of economics who loves unusual trips and have a plan to travel the whole world. She is an avid lover of photography. As she always loved to travel, she really loves to talk about her experiences. On her journeys she likes to read poetry and prose and loves to surf the Internet.
Find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and G+.