Lucky lucky people of the French speaking islands of New Caledonia. It is a true paradise. And as the former inhabitants of France say, life is much more relaxed than when they lived in the mother country. It is a place where it is perfect for relaxation it is for exploring nature and scenery will dazzle your eyes.
New Caledonia finds itself in an isolated region, in the tropical Pacific waters or the Coral Sea, between Australia, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Zealand. It also finds itself fairly isolated as a French speaking community surrounded by other past and present English speaking nations.
As soon as you touch down in Noumea the capital, you will see why New Caledonia, has left a strong impression of natural beauty, in the minds of many previous travellers to this destination. Noumea is a beautiful port city, with many beaches with turquoise blue water and and white sands. Some nice beaches to relax on are Anse Vata beach and Baie de Citron. In the shade of the beaches you can watch the local Caldoche playing boules a French bowling type game, and watch the locals playing with a cigarette permanently stuck to their lower lip.
The most exciting things to do in New Caledonia is relaxing and discover nature, in this largely untouched paradise. In the south west where Noumea is situated you will find Blue River National Park, where you can camp and hike through some protected forests. Off the coast off Noumea are some islands where you can visit and stay like Amadee Island and iles des Canards (Duck Island).
The southern area of the main island has some almost lunar landscape, where the nickel rich soil, has stunted the growth of the plants that grow there, and indeed the plants that have adapted to the soil, have learned to cope with nickel rich soils. New Caledonia contains 25% of the worlds nickel deposits, and for this reason, New Caledonia is very important for France and it’s economy.
Escaping north a visit to the 2nd biggest settlemnt Bourail is worth the visit. Probably having the only 2 surf beaches in mainland New Caledonia, there is the nice beach which contains the Roche Percée (pierced rock), and the other Poe beach where you can camp and walk to the beach. New Caledonia is surrounded by the worlds 2nd largest barrier reef and therefore most beaches receive no ocean size waves.
A possible tourist destination for those that stay more than 1 week is a touristy town called Hienghene on the north east coast. To get there you have to take the mountain pass called Col de Rousettes (Flying Fox Pass) which is covered by rainforests. Once you get to the coast you will reach a town called Houailou which has some beautiful beaches. Once you reach Hienghène there is a variety of stunning sceneries. For this reason you find a Club Med situated there. The bay there has 2 rocks going towards the mouth of the bay called Le Poulet (brooding hen) and the Sphinx because that’s what they actually look like. Another popular spot is Linderalique cliffs, which change colour according to the light of day, and harbour thousands of noising flying foxes.
There are many islands off the coast and some that are stunning to visit. The isle of Pines is one of those voted one of the most beautiful on the planet. There you can visit la Piscine Naturelle (natural pool) where you can snorkel and talk a few little bush walks. Also worth the look is Kunamera Bay, where you can also snorkel and relax.
The Loyalty Islands toward Vanuatu are also worth a visit. Just take your pick of the islands, none of them will let you down. There, you can find relaxed locals, the typical New Caledonia araucaria pine forests which make these islands all the more beautiful. Some of the most beautiful parts of the island are Luengoni Bay, Jokin. Lunegoni Bay pictured below is a quiet pure white sand beach with turquoise blue water and tranquil seas. Also Jokin has such beautiful clear green water, through which you can see the coloured tropical fish swimming around it is so beautiful, you feel that you have to jump in.
If you are looking for a beautiful tropical natural paradise, New Caledonia is perfect. It is perfect for nature tours, with many beautiful plants endemic to the island. It is also perfect to relax, snorkel, hike and take in some French Pacific cuisine. You will certainly be awestruck with a visit to this slice of paradise found.
Places to Stay
- Iles de Pins, New Caledonia and Noumea, New Caledonia (jcmaroundtheworld.wordpress.com)