French Roots in New Caledonia

Discover Dumbea’s Giant Omelette Festival!

As the French Film Festival kicks off around Australia, we find ourselves longing for sun-drenched landscapes, a profusion of creamy cheese and mellow wine, and a romantic accent that immediately transports us to faraway places. The good news is that you don’t have to fly long-haul to Europe to quench your Francophile thirst! New Caledonia has long been affectionately known as the Paris of the Pacific, and it’s easy to see why. One particular long-standing, eminently French tradition has become more popular year after year, and now it’s just around the corner: Dumbea’s Giant Omelette Festival (21 April 2018).

This peculiar festival draws crowds in the tens of thousands every year, and is very, very French. In a tradition said to have been imported locally by Madame Radotin, townspeople and tourists alike come together to celebrate the creation of a giant omelette, using over 7000 eggs! The resulting culinary delight measures over 3.5 metres in diameter and is dished out in a symbol of worldwide fraternité and cultural exchange. The tradition originates from a time when Napoleon’s army was travelling through the south of France. Legend has it that Napoleon stopped at an inn in the small town of Bessieres, and there tasted an omelette so delicious that he demanded the townspeople gather all the eggs in the village to prepare another enormous omelette for his troops the next day. The festival is a must-see if you’re in New Caledonia around Easter, combining concerts, carnival rides, and other attractions with the main event and held in the beautifully green Parc Fayard in Dumbea, less than half an hour from downtown Noumea.

Dumbea itself is the perfect break away from the capital, popular with Noumean locals for picnics or some leisurely downtime in the sun. The town has progressed to become more urban in recent years, but the north is still protected bushland, with plenty to see and do. Dumbea River runs past Parc Fayard, and its clear, cool expanse provides opportunity for plenty of water activities. Upstream are favoured swimming spots, such as Trou aux Nurses, and spectacular gorges. Other must-sees include Mt Koghi for panoramic views and stunning trails through primal forest, Dumbea Provinical Park, and the historic bridge over Dumbea River.

Inspired to uncover the French roots of this Pacific paradise? Don’t wait! Contact our My New Caledonia Holiday Experts to start planning your dream holiday today!

Post by Alana Eising

Alana is a writer and a wanderer who almost always wishes she were somewhere else. That’s why she writes about the fabulous places she’s been, and all the destinations left on her bucket list.