New Caledonia: A Little Piece of Paradise

There are hundreds of places in the world that I would love to see and probably never will. In this series of posts, I’m writing about these places, sharing a little bit of information about what pulls me to them. Today is number 4 on my top 5 list and it’s New Caledonia.

The first time I heard about New Caledonia was when my Dad talked about his time in Australia as a young man. He worked in a factory and made some friends there who were also immigrants. They were from New Caledonia. I’ll have to verify this story with him again in case I’ve remembered it wrong but I think a woman in that factory from New Caledonia fancied him and he just wasn’t interested. The story made me laugh and I wanted to find out more about these French-owned islands. Here are the three reasons why I want to visit.

Palm Lined Beaches

Every island in the southern Pacific is exotic to me. When I picture the Pacific islands I visualise palm trees, powder-white sands and fruity cocktails at funky little bars. The official tourist board website for the island welcomes you with the slogan, “Where every landscape is a postcard.” Who could resist advertising like that?

Each picture I’ve seen of the island shows crystal-blue waters with a thousand lights dancing on the surface and lush vegetation surround the coast. It’s not just the gorgeous beaches or tropical forests that pull me in though. There are also over-water bungalows dotted around the island. These would be perfect to stay in!

over-water bungalow

Noumea – The Capital of New Caledonia That Rivals Europe For Style

Noumea is a city I absolutely want to visit before I die. It looks and sounds idyllic. There are museums, galleries, designer clothing stores and luxury boutiques, restaurants and two casinos. Anyone who knows me will tell you I love a good night at a casino! The appeal of this city is the clash of cultures. It’s got all the style and glamour of a European city but it’s in the South Pacific.

So, what is there to see in Noumea? Well, there’s Port Moselle Market which is the biggest market in the city, The Place de Cocotiers which is a kind of meeting place or focal point in the city where people congregate and St. Joseph’s Cathedral, built by a former convict in the late 1890s.

A Nature Lover’s Dream

There are over 3,000 native species on the islands and it features the world’s largest natural lagoon. It’s remote enough to have plenty of unspoiled beauty spots, despite being influenced by European immigrants and neighbouring Australia.

It’s not going to be easy to get there. After all, I’m on the other side of the world – living in the original Caledonia! My best chance of getting there will be if I ever visit Australia. If I had the spare cash, I would definitely go and see where my Dad lived when he was a teenager, as well as meet all the cousins I’ve only ever spoken to online and have always just been names on a Christmas card. Trips to New Caledonia are priced reasonably from Australia, around the same as we would pay for a trip to Spain or Greece here and there are cruise ships docking in Noumea regularly.

new caledonia

Have you ever been to New Caledonia? Share your experiences in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. October 4, 2018 / 1:28 am

    Ha Ha. New Caledonia brings to mind my honeymoon on the Oriana in 1972. We were in a dark cabin in the bowels of the ship, the sea was rough and no one except ourselves turned up for breakfast each day.

    The last port of call was Noumea. We leapt into the wildly bouncing lifeboats to go ashore. The view that greeted us was an industrial port with chimneys belching smoke. Our few hours ashore were spent in the town wandering muddy streets. The highlight was a dessert called chantilly lace in a French style cafe.

    I plan to go back one day. As you said it is cheap from Australia. I’m sure our next experience would be a better one.

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