New Caledonia, a French territory, is the largest of the South Pacific isles, home to its biggest lagoon and the world’s second-largest barrier reef. It’s primitive and rugged yet sophisticated, pure but cosmopolitan, peaceful yet adventurous.
It’s the Pacific, but it’s also a part of France. In New Caledonia, you’ll find shimmering waters, hilltop rainforests, and an ancient Melanesian culture that contrasts against a European way of life.
Here are places to see in New Caledonia:
Noumea is the capital and most populated city of New Caledonia. Here is what you can expect in the capital.
- Sumptuous bays and beautiful islets: Overlooking the lagoon, the Caledonian capital is the idea of the Pacific: a city to roam about in and live well, particularly on the waterfront. The bay brought the first Europeans to live here beginning in 1853 and has still kept all its charm, as testified by the lovely beach on the Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata. Offshore in these bays are Îlot Maître and Îlot Canard, which can only be traveled by boat.
- Rich Culture: Noumea has developed its Pacific identity through a blend of styles and cultures. Although colonial-era houses are rare nowadays, some have still been entirely restored, like Château Hagen, Maison Célières, or the old Nouméa City Hall, which is now a city museum.
- Water Sports: This city of about less than 200,000 residents offers a blend of activities that will exite you with its diversity. Overlooking the sea and lined with inviting islands and beaches, you can explore outdoor sports all year- long- windsurfing, snorkeling, kitesurfing, golf, swimming, and tennis.
The West Coast
The West Coast of the region shows a fabulous variety of landscape from its northern tip down to the area encompassing Nouméa. Characterized by large spaces advocating cattle farming and a lagoon of remarkable beauty, the West Coast is also host to a vibrant social heritage. Here is what you can expect on the West Coast.
- In addition to the inherent excellence of the landscape, where pinks, ochres, and oranges are blended into the natural palette of Poum, greens, just like Koumac, offers a vital mining heritage, whose golden tourist lumps are incontestably the Pilou Mine and an ancient mining village of Tiébaghi.
- It is at the center of mangrove that the world-renowned Heart of Voh is located and whose account owes much to the clichés of different social=media photographers. The area around Koné hides a world-famous archaeological reserve. In fact, on the site of Foué, the Lapita potteries were found, which conveys New Caledonia’s cultural heritage traversing millennia.
- A certified UNESCO World Heritage site, the lake in the west coast zone, is one of the most attractive in New Caledonia, notably comprising the sublime lenticular reef, which extends from Bourail to Mondo. And what can we say about those isles! Each one is as elegant as the next. It is unmissable.