New Caledonia Overview
New Caledonia is a tropical paradise that offers the traveller a multitude of options to relax, explore, and for the adventurist, engage in outdoor pursuits throughout the year. The area possesses the world’s largest sea lagoon, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. The country has a unique mix of French and Melanesian culture.
This French protectorate consists of three main areas. Grande Terre is the five hundred kilometre long main island, home to the bulk of the population, with its capital Noumea in the South. This long thin island has a mountain range that follows its length, separating the east and west coasts, and is surrounded by the world’s second longest barrier reef. The Isle de Pins, a stunning tropical island with pine trees, lies to the south of Grande Terre, and the third area is the Loyalty Islands off the east coast.
The population of 300,000, half of which are located in Noumea, consists of the indigenous Kanak Melanesians, some Polynesians, and those of European French descent.
There are two seasons. The more tropical season is between November and April, where the average daytime temperatures are between 27 and 29 degrees, and the average water temperature 26 degrees. The cooler season between May and October has average daytime temperatures between 23 and 25 degrees, with a water temperature around 22 degrees. The wetter season occurs between December and May, June to December being the driest.
Visitors can also explore the rugged north east coast of Grande Terre which has lush rainforests and waterfalls, and visit the Kanak villages to experience the indigenous cultures of the island.
New Caledonia is relatively cheap to fly to from many destinations and also offers some very affordable accommodation options. However, food and eating out can be a little expensive due to the high import duty on imported foodstuffs.
- The people of New Caledonia are a blend of Kanak, French, Polynesian, Vietnamese and Indonesian culture.
- The Kanak Tjibaou Cultural Centre
- Rodeo shows in the middle of August
- Colonial architecture in Noumea.
- French restaurants
- French bakeries
- Traditional kanak food dish – Bougna
- Noumea Nightlife
- Incredible flat-water windsurfing and kitesurfing
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