New Caledonia: The Destination You Never Knew You Were in Love With
Did someone say seafood and champagne? French chocolates and dreamy beaches? For all the elegance of Europe paired with the warmth and exoticism of the tropics, you can’t go past New Caledonia—the Paris of the Pacific. One of the best holiday destinations within a stone’s throw from home (2 hours from Brisbane), known for its gorgeous seascapes and ancestral forests and celebrated French colonial roots.
The main island of Grand Terre sits prettily in the middle of one of the world’s largest lagoons, perfectly azure and scattered with white-sand islets, where you have the possibility to swim, dive, snorkel or simply relax. For the most popular beach hit up Anse Vata, where conditions are perfect for windsurfing, paddle-boarding and kayaking. If you’re wanting to take it down a notch, head to the balmy Baie des Citrons. Here you can stretch out on the sand or retreat to one of the rafts installed out on the water every summer.
The rest of the islands are a rich tapestry of colour and culture, from vibrant red soil to lush emerald forests, Kanak cultural traditions to French-styled farmland. The sweet semi-tropical climate is perfect for working off restless energy. The hard part is deciding whether you want to hike, zip-line, hire a couple of quads or go tree-climbing with the locals. If a game of golf is more your style, New Caledonia boasts four gorgeous 18-hole courses.
The black jagged cliffs of northern Grand Terre make for a fantastic photo op, as do the white shores and crystalline waters of the Isle of Pines. For something a little different, check out the vanilla plantations on Lifou. A whole new world of exotic luxury awaits wherever you go in New Caledonia!
Head to the capital of Noumea for a shopping experience on par with the high streets of Europe. Browse and shop for most of life’s little luxuries: bright jewellery and pearls, lingerie, fragrance and leather. For the latest Parisian fashions check out Rue de l’Alma and Rue de Sébastopol, while La Promenade at Anse Vata displays chic fashion boutiques alongside haute couture.
Noumea is also full of trendy bars and hatted restaurants. For a cocktail at sunset, Baie des Citrons is the place to be seen for locals and visitors alike. In restaurants all over the capital the freshest ingredients are paired with intense flavours and classic French techniques, then taken to the next level by the warm ambience of pacific culture. No visit is complete without stopping off at Maison Ballande for wine and champagne as well as fresh local products, followed by Morand the master chocolatier in the Latin Quarter.
Make the most of your luxury escape and polish off a perfect day with a spa visit. Deep Nature Spa at the super-luxurious Le Meridien Noumea is the perfect balance of French elegance and bright, natural beauty.
Fallen in love with New Caledonia? Contact our My New Caledonia Holiday Experts to book 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.