New Caledonia: hot spot for Australians
Once upon a time this island nation was relegated to the shade behind flashier destinations like Bali, but no longer. A growing number of Australians are discovering the unspoiled beauty and cultural diversity of neighbouring New Caledonia, where pristine beaches and a bustling port are only the beginning. Read on to find out why!
1. Different but not distant
The compatibility of the unique blend of French flair and Melanesian warmth in New Caledonia creates a fascinating and vibrant atmosphere, full of history, respect, and zest for life. Noumea is the hub of this cultural union, especially in squares like Place des Cocotiers, where coconut palms and Kanak totems watch over games of pétanque, concerts and night markets. Who knew you could pick up the freshest baguettes, the creamiest cheese and best French wine without the long-haul flight? Enjoy a family picnic overlooking sparkling bays and beaches, with tropical warmth enveloping you and the sweet sound of spoken French providing the background soundtrack.
2. Explore by land or sea
If adventure is on the agenda for your New Caledonia holiday, you’ll find yourself with an endless list of things to do. The whole family will enjoy harking back to Bushmen days on a horse-ride through the Deva hills, or a hike across red earth and through ancestral forest. Delve under the surface of the Heritage-Listed lagoon, seeking out underwater gardens of coral and tropical fish, or see it all from above in a glass-bottomed boat. The cure for wanderlust is here, however you choose to explore this amazing archipelago.
3. Choose your style
Whether the adventures of the day are done or you’re simply keen to mix it up a little, New Caledonia has the answer. Find your own sunny stretch of perfect white sand, shaded by breezy coconut palms and within sight and sound of the gorgeous turquoise lagoon. Take the kids to one of the 18-hole courses to practice their swing, or spend the day exploring boutiques and boulangeries in Noumea. Take a daytrip out to the vanilla plantations on Lifou and once the kids are tired out and tucked up in bed, share a bottle of the finest French champagne. It’s all possible here.
4. Make it yours
At only 2-hours from Brisbane and with New Caledonia packages on sale now, there’s never been a better time to hit up this hot spot. Hotel le Lagon is the perfect base in Anse Vata bay, a family-friendly resort where kids under 12 stay free when sharing with their parents. Ramada Hotel and Suites is centrally located with plenty of facilities available to keep the little ones occupied while you relax. Or keep everyone happy at Sheraton Deva with unlimited golf for 2 guests and complimentary rhum tasting at the Creek Bar, boasting the largest selection in the country.