Exploring the Beauties of New Caledonia

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new caledonia
Image courtesy of eGuide Travel.

New Caledonia compensates what it doesn’t have in size, with a huge array of interesting activities, incredible sights and other attractions, such as food, beaches and gorgeous water. Just a couple of hours’ flight from Brisbane and relatively close to Asia, this piece of island nature is basically in the world’s largest continent’s backyard.

French Sophistication

Even though the islands of Pacific do not tend to have a “sophisticated” ring to their names, there are a couple of exceptions and New Caledonia is definitely among this group. The island, or rather an archipelago, is a special collectivity of France, and this is exactly where the territory has gathered its sophistication from.

st joseph's cathedral
Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan

Perhaps the most reflective part of New Caledonia’s French nature is the fantastic food. Although you can definitely expect to come across a whole lot of coconut milk-based specialties and local root vegetables, there is no lack of famous French dishes here. In fact, one of the territory’s main attractions are the cooking classes, available for both types of dishes that predominate on these islands. These classes go beyond what you’d expect – they pick you up from wherever you temporarily reside and actually take you around the food markets, teaching you how to choose your supplies. After this, the French sophistication kicks in – everything you need to know about New Caledonia’s food is taught in top-notch kitchens.

Activities

When it comes to the south of the world’s largest Ocean, water sports are by-and-large the name of the game. New Caledonia is no exception, seeing as how there is no shortage of water sports that this archipelago has to offer. Windsurfing and kitesurfing are huge attractions here, but this is not to say that these are by any means the only ones. Take snorkeling, for example – although you’ll have to visit the nearby islands to really immerse yourself (both literally and figuratively) into the beauties of New Caledonia.

Among many other activities, such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, water skiing and various others, you may want to get into island hopping. You cannot say that you’ve truly experienced New Caledonia until you’ve visited at least the majority of islands along the coastline of the main one.

For example, Amedee Island boasts the historical lighthouse, while Duck Island (only 5 minutes of water taxi ride from the main island of Noumea) is fantastic for snorkeling enthusiasts. If you aren’t reluctant to travel by ferry or local flight, make sure you’ve visited the heavenly Isle of Pines – crystal clear water and miles of white beaches and untouched land is just the cream of what to expect here. Even if you aren’t into backpacking, there are two resorts here to choose from.

wooden figure new caledonia
Image courtesy of Bruce Tuten.

Getting Around Noumea and Where to Stay

When it comes to where to stay in Noumea, you can rest assured that there are plenty of options. Chateau Royale Beach Resort, for example has a whole lot to offer – from the beautiful beachside, to a pool and luxury restaurants. There are many other places to stay here, so you might want to browse through New Caledonia packages in order to find what suits you.

When it comes to transportation, although the water taxis are always at your convenience, these cannot go too far inland. Renting a car is always a good option, seeing as how this gives you not only freedom to go wherever you desire, but also a feeling of being in control of your own time spent here.

If not, you could always opt for using the public transportation, in form of reliable buses. Be careful, however, seeing as how these stop running at 8pm and you do not want to get caught out here. When it comes to taxis, there are none here, except from the mentioned water taxis, which won’t do you much good inland.

noumea outdoors
Image courtesy of Thomas Ballandras

New Caledonia is more than a great place to spend your holiday at, not only due to its beauty, but mostly due to a whole variety of activities to get lost in. This paradise on earth can also come as more than affordable, so make sure that you make the most out of your South West Pacific experience.

About the author

Marie Nieves is a lifestyle blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. Her favourite writer is Tracy Chevalier and she always carries one of her books in her bag. She is an avid lover of photography who loves to talk about her experiences. You can find Marie on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and Pinterest.

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