The islands of New-Caledonia

New-Caledonia is a group of islands in the Pacific ocean, near Australia. Air France operates regular flights to this archipelago from several different countries. The largest island is called Grande Terre. It houses the capital, Noumea, the only large city in the whole of New-Caledonia. Around it, there are several smaller archipelagos as well as islets and coral reefs. A former French overseas territory, the country is now a French special autonomous region. French remains the official language. Due to its colonial past, the population is multicultural and mixed-race. The Kanaks, the native inhabitants of New-Caledonia, are now in the minority.
We would advise you to book your Air France flight during the dry season, from September to May. That way, you will be able to enjoy beautiful warm sunny days.

he breath-taking landscapes of New-Caledonia

Whether you are on Grande Terre or one of the many archipelagos around it, you will always find a white sandy beach and a transparent emerald sea, where you can relax. You will often be alone, or nearly so. Surrounded by a coral barrier, New-Caledonia forms a huge atoll, where the temperature of the water varies between 22°C and 30°C. With just a mask and a snorkel, you will be able to admire many species of fish, with their remarkable shapes and bright colours. From the bays of the southern lagoon, you can sometimes see whales spouting in the distance.
The Isle of Pines to the south, is known for the beauty of its beaches. To the east, the Loyalty Islands are worth a visit for their steep slopes and their caves, their beautiful cliffs and the terraces on the coast.
Grande Terre offers a wide variety of landscapes. The coast is covered with a very dense tropical forest. Don't leave without visiting the Dumbéa gorge, and diving into the waterfalls and natural freshwater pools hidden in the heart of the forest. A mountain range crosses the centre of the island from north to south. In the west, you will find a savannah landscape with its plains and plateaus.

Art and culture in New-Caledonia

In Noumea, the capital of New-Caledonia, we would recommend visiting the Tjibaou cultural centre, in homage to the ancestral culture of the Kanak race. You can admire examples of Kanak huts, with their straw roofs and their typical conical form. The New-Caledonia museum also displays many examples of Kanak art (ancient sculptures and funeral masks, jewellery, coins and weapons), as well as interesting collections of archaeological remains. Walking around the capital, you will be able to admire examples of colonial houses, identifiable by their large pillared steps.
If you are fond of the sea, don't miss the Lagoon Aquarium, home to the different species of marine animals encountered in the South Pacific. Also visit the Maritime History Museum, which describes the adventures of the first explorers.

For more information, and to prepare your journey to New-Caledonia