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Why You Should Visit New Caledonia

Nov 23, 2007
Information about New Caledonia and some reasons you might want to take a vacation in this part of the South West Pacific

First of all where is New Caledonia?

New Caledonia is an overseas dependent of France, and it lies in the Western Pacific in the Coral Sea with Australia to the west and Vanuatu to the east.

If you want to go to New Caledonia, then the normal way is to fly to the capital city of Noumea, and you can fly direct from Paris by Air France. New Caledonia is a popular place for Japanese tourists so there are direct flights from Tokyo, as well as Air New Zealand, and Quantas. There aren't a whole lot of flights, and very little competition so prices will be high.

You must have a ticket to leave otherwise they won't let you in, and you'll need to check with the airline you are using about visa requirements.

Noumea the capital is full of fine French restaurants, designer boutiques, and for all the world is like Paris in the sun, and it is to be found on the west coast of the large cigar shaped main island called Grand Terre. If you visit new Caledonia you really need to go exploring, because although Grande Terre is an exciting place to be the finest beaches are all on the islands.

At least cross over to the exotic east coast, and go by boat to the Isle of Pines, the Loyalty Group of Islands, and the small uninhabited dependency of Walpole Island.

The d'Entrecasteaux Reefs which consists of two separate stunning lagoons centred around the very small islands of Huon and Surprise. Much more distant are the Chesterfield Islands, but there is plenty to see and enjoy much closer to Grande Terre.

New Caledonia is very much in the south compared to other South pacific Islands, and so its climate is more like the south of France than the Pacific. It is quite cool and windy from June to September, so much so you will need sweaters in the evening, and you will find the sea quite cool. December to March is warm and wet, and is also the hurricane season, so beware.

It is really the stupendous beauty of the Isle of Pines that is the draw, and to visit New Caledonia and not go to the Kuto/Kanumera area, because this is picture postcard country with unbelievable white sand beaches and shimmering turquoise and blue sea.

As a visitor there are things you just have to do.

1. Snorkelling, Diving, and Windsurfing. The places to go include Ilot Canard just outside the Anse Vata if you are a beginner. See the Aguille de Prony which is a quite incredible underwater structure just south of Noumea in the Prony Bay.

2. You could do absolutely nothing except lie around getting a suntan. If you want to do that near Noumea then the Baie des Citrons and the Anse Vata are beaches to visit.

3. Stay at a resort on Ilot Maitre , which is a tiny white sand island reachable by taxi boat from Anse Vata or a boat from the Baie de Mouselle.

4. Stay at one of the resorts on Grande Terre or the Isle of Pines.

5. Hiking and Camping on Grande Terre are popular, and you shouldn't miss the Parc Riviere Bleu south of Noumea in the Yate region. Do join a hiking group.

You need to be aware that French is spoken everywhere, and very few people will attempt to converse with you in English. You also need to be aware that New Caledonia is extremely expensive as much of the food you will eat has to be imported. This means that restaurants are expensive, so you should shop in the markets and try the local delicacies.

For more information about Pacific Ocean Hideaways go to http://www.worldwidevacationspots.com/categories/Pacific-Ocean-Hideways/
About the Author
Peter Stewart writes about in Kenya Safaris as well as Worldwide Vacation Spots He also recommends Travel Tennis a great Game to play on Holiday.
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