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.
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 努美阿 to Melanesian Kanak culture throughout the islands, there is an appeal to New Caledonia that is unmatched, even by it’s cousin, 法属波利尼西亚.
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, 针岛，或松树岛。
“Paradise is exactly like where you are right now… only much, much better.”