New Caledonia

New Caledonia

New Caledonia is one of the oases in the heart of the Pacific Ocean. Here you can find deserted beaches of golden sand beaches and lush mangrove forests, the bright lights of night clubs and casinos, the breathtaking underwater world of coral reefs with rich marine flora and fauna, a colorful blend of Melanesian culture and traditional French charm, magnificent waterfalls and limestone caves, and relict flora and fauna. The main island of the country stretches for 400 kilometers from north to south and 50 kilometers from west to east. Its lagoon is closed, bounded by the long ridge of coral reefs and considered one of the biggest in the world, virtually conceding the Australian Great Barrier Reef. Turquoise-blue water of the reef lagoons is flanked by small islands covered with dense vegetation. Due to the huge deposits of nickel and iron, a huge area is intended for mining, but the tourists usually do not see it.

Nouméa, the capital city of New Caledonia is on the ocean. Several bays extend along the city, providing magnificent beaches and points of view. Besides its natural features, Nouméa also has very attractive cultural offerings for tourists who choose to visit there. Facing the lagoon, the Caledonian capital is the picture of the Pacific: a city to wander about in and live well, especially on the waterfront. The bay attracted the first Europeans to settle here starting in 1853 and has still kept all its appeal, as testified by the very beautiful beach on the Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata. Offshore in these bays are Îlot Maître and Îlot Canard, that can be reached in only a few minutes by boat. Both offer an ideal setting for a day of exploration or of lounging.

Noumea is the country’s capital, the only ‘real city’ of the country and one of the most picturesque settlements of Melanesia. It might be tiny by European standards, but it has a special charm. The center of the city is a green area, which is the hub of the whole business and cultural life of the capital. Tjibaou Cultural Center is created to preserve the cultural traditions of Kanak and other Pacific nations. Of special interest is Bernheim library built in the colonial style, the Territorial Museum dedicated to archeology and ethnology of Oceania, the Museum of Noumea, the Maritime History Museum, the Geological Museum, the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Forest Park, and Botanic Park. The Aquarium of Noumea contains a huge variety of species of tropical fish, coral and luminous cephalopods.

Noumea has built its Pacific identity through a mixing of cultures and styles. This cultural diversity is reflected on your plate, but also in the architecture and all the attractions it offers. True artistic heart of the country, museums, art galleries, theaters and cinemas are concentrated in Noumea. You can soak up the heritage of the city. Although colonial-era houses are scarce nowadays, some have still be beautifully restored, like Maison Célières or the old Nouméa City Hall, which now houses the city museum.
This city of about 100,000 inhabitants offers a range of activities that will inspire you with its diversity. Facing the sea and lined with inviting beaches and islands, you can practice outdoor sports all year long; not only walking, snorkeling, windsurfing and kitesurfing, but also golf, tennis and, of course, swimming. It’s also a joyful city with many bars, clubs, and two casinos for festive evenings after – and why not – a day of shopping in the various shops of downtown Noumea and Anse Vata. Three spots you can’t miss: Alma Street, Sebastopol Street and the Promenade.

Neuville District is famous for its ancient ruins and isolated bays. It is the ideal place for swimming and snorkeling. Latin district is considered the most ‘French’ part of the city. White sandy beaches of the capital are undoubtedly the most beautiful in the country and one of the most famous places in the world for windsurfing and kitesurfing. Crystal-clear water, rich underwater world and constant winds make it one of the best places for recreation. The entire coastline is built up by first-class hotels with a well-developed infrastructure. The harbor of Bahia de la Moselle is one of the best anchorages in Melanesia, and the eastern part of the peninsula is characterized by the abundance of houses in colonial style. Request a walking tour for this part of the island from your New Caledonia tour operator.

The neighborhood of the capital is interesting due to gorgeous white sandy beaches and mangroves of the southern coast, forbidden caves located in the pantheon of Kanak tribal leaders, huge Pirsed Rock caves and a huge monolith Le Bonomi, waterfalls, and Madeleine Uadiana, numerous small islands, as well as the Blue River National Park.

The north-west coast of the island is a region of vast savannahs, picturesque mountains, mines and agriculture. The north-east coast is a little more picturesque because of the greater rainfall. Tropical crops and rocky headlands form turquoise lagoons, there are picturesque waterfalls and coconut groves interspersed with plantations of coffee. The land is also famous for hot springs with therapeutic properties. North Kumak has stunning churches and caves among groves of tropical vegetation. The main attraction of the north is also a beautiful coastline and deep blue water. Walking and riding a mountain bike are the best ways to explore this region. Ile de Pins is often called the most beautiful island in the world, famous for its underwater caves, white sand beaches and groves of pine, which gave the name to the island. At present it is one of the most famous and expensive resorts, very popular with honeymooners from around the world.

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