Destination: New Caledonia
Paris in the Pacific
New Caledonia is a special collectivity of France, and a country in the South West Pacific unlike any other. We’ve visited New Caledonia many times and explored a number of the Loyalty Islands, Isle of Pines and of course, the main island of Grand Terre, but this remarkable country keeps drawing us back. There is an unmistakable familiarity to New Caledonia that is blended with a mix of French mystery and Kanak culture that constantly intrigues.
New Caledonia Travel Guide
Sitting 1,210km from the coast of Australia, exploring New Caledonia is remarkably similar to the Australian Queensland coast, but with better temperatures all year round.
Covered in lush rainforest, the red soil of the main island of Grand Terre is home to significant natural mineral resources that contribute much to the local economy. As a result, tourism in the island nation is underdeveloped compared to it’s neighbours, in spite of the fact that New Caledonia is home to the New Caledonia Lagoon and Barrier Reef, the largest lagoon in the world, third largest and longest continual barrier reef in the world.
The gorgeous New Caledonia Reef and Lagoon system is just one of the draw cards that isn’t being flaunted by this underrated country. From Parisian flare in the capital of Noumea to Melanesian Kanak culture throughout the islands, there is an appeal to New Caledonia that is unmatched, even by it’s cousin, French Polynesia.
From gourmet French bakeries to brilliant beaches and exquisite marine life, you can swim with turtles, zip line through the rainforest, or just chill out in New Caledonia, Paris in the Pacific.
While New Caledonia has a significantly underdeveloped tourism industry, cruising has helped to open up the country to the world. Most island cruises from Australia will dock at the capital of Noumea, and most cruise lines frequently visit the Loyalty Islands and Isle of Pines as well.
New Caledonia CRUISE
Radiance of the Seas I Royal Caribbean
Sydney, Australia - Nouméa, New Caledonia - Lifou, Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia - Île des Pins, New Caledonia - Sydney, Australia
Pacific IsLands CRUISE
Voyager of the Seas I Royal Caribbean
Sydney, Australia - Maré, New Caledonia - Mystery Island, Vanuatu - Île des Pins, New Caledonia - Nouméa, New Caledonia - Sydney, Australia
New Caledonia is home to a variety of endemic species of wildlife on land, and at sea. Below the water, it’s easy to access some of the most stunning reefs in the world, no matter what island you visit, and swim with turtles, sharks, eels, sting rays and more reef fish than you knew existed.
Île aux Canards
Back to Nature
Île des Pins
Fittingly nicknamed “the closest island to paradise”, you’ll know you’ve found it the moment you see the natural beauty of the crystal clear turquoise waters and soaring pines that earned this island the name, Île des Pins, or Isle of Pines.
“Paradise is exactly like where you are right now… only much, much better.”
In New Caledonia, indigenous Kanak culture is intertwined with French colonial settlement creating a vibrant and unique French-Melanesia. Perhaps that’s why its known as Paris in the Pacific!
Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre
A Glimpse of Our Island Tour
Île des Pins