New Caledonia vs France: European elegance with a Pacific twist

Like the idea of wining and dining in the French Riviera, but at a fraction of the travel time and cost? Then you’ll love the South Pacific paradise that is New Caledonia: the vibrant, close-to-home archipelago with its feet in the water and heart in Paris. Read on to find out why a skip over the water works out better than a Euro trip!

1. All things French

Let your palate take you away to Paris with incredible French wine, cheese and chocolate. All of the traditional skills and techniques of French cooking are in effect, allowing the chefs to get playful with local flavours and fresh produce. Dine at the ever-popular La Table des Gourmets, Au P’tit Café or Noumea’s stunning rooftop restaurant Le Roof. Visit chocolatiers in the Latin Quarter or drop into La Maison Ballande for tastings of gourmet products, both local and distinctly French. Shopping in general can be a sophisticated affair, with designer brands straight from Paris along Rue de l’Alma and Rue de Sébastopol, beside trendy boutiques and high-end jewellers. After all, the word luxury as we know it was invented by the French! Stay at Le Meridien Noumea or popular Chateau Royal for prime beachfront views and French elegance. From here, you’ll stroll through Noumea at your leisure, with its grand colonial architecture and sultry weather accompanied by velvety French accents, and see how this bustling port becomes so much more.

2. In the heart of the Pacific

Forget winding streets, closet-like apartments and cold cities of cobble and stone, and instead dream of balmy days, vast open spaces and breathtaking seascapes. New Caledonia’s barrier reef is second only to Australia’s own, and protects the turquoise waters of the world’s largest enclosed lagoon, where the marine biodiversity is considered a national treasure. Sun-drenched bays out-glitter their European counterparts. Take a dip in Baie des Citrons in Noumea or Oro Bay on the beautiful Isle of Pines, where the semi-tropical climate is perfect for year-round swimming and snorkeling. The trade winds take the bite out of summer and make for great kite- and windsurfing, while in winter the temperatures rarely drop below 20 degrees.

3. Melanesian warmth

Speaking of warmth, it’s something that’s evident not only in the near-constant sunshine, but in the people themselves. Kanak culture is ancient, based on communal principles of village life and living in harmony with the landscape. Be prepared for a warm Pacific welcome – you’ll find New Caledonians generous and ready to share the love for their country.

4. Close to home

Hop on a quick 2-hour flight from Brisbane with Aircalin and by the time you make use of the full-service meals, beverages and entertainment, you’ll be in spectacular New Caledonia! The best part is a luxury holiday in New Caledonia readily fits within your budget and time frame. This means you can fly and flop or branch out—the choice is yours with so many things to do. French elegance and style truly infuses every part of this gorgeous archipelago, and for an extra touch of luxury, stay at L’Escapade Island Resort for the closest overwater bungalows to Australia’s east coast, or see our New Caledonia holiday packages for more great deals.

Peel back the French layers of the Pacific by contacting our New Caledonia Holiday Experts here.

By Alana Eising