A city encircled by the lagoon
The largest French-speaking city in the Pacific, you're sure to fall hopelessly in love with Nouméa. Bordered by the lagoon, plenty of outdoor activities and a properly laid-back lifestyle await you in the New Caledonian capital.
Scattered with islands and islets, the coast off Nouméa has a feel of the French Riviera about it. Visitors can enjoy strolling along the bays, watching the kitesurfers skim over the crystal-clear waters, and lunching in the waterfront restaurants. It's a fabulous backdrop for sampling one of the mouth-watering menus on offer, where French flavours are often to be found running through Pacific- and Asian-inspired dishes. From mangrove crab gratin to dauphinoise sweet potatoes and cassava and poingo banana croquettes, you really will be spoilt for choice.
New Caledonia has a clear identity, which islanders are keen to maintain. You'll love the tranquillity of day-to-day life here, and there's no better place to experience it than a stay with a local tribe. All along the eastern coast and on the islands, longstanding traditions are still alive and well, and the people are homely and generous.
As soon as you leave the capital, the beauty of the vast sea and mountain landscapes will take your breath away.
New Caledonia is home to an abundance of natural treasures, such as the great yellow-tinted plains where you'll find the “broussards”: the farmers who have embraced the American cowboy way of life. On the other side of the island, the lush East Coast is home to some beautiful walks, along with unspoilt rivers and waterfalls for swimming. Plus, why not take some time out to explore the red earth and nature reserves of the Great South, which is home to many indigenous species.
This diversity, coupled with the lagoon – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and the immaculate white shorelines of the surrounding islands mean you can roll several holiday experiences into one with a trip to New Caledonia!
During July and August, you can even spot whales from the shore! So…what are you waiting for?
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not to be missed
museum - not to be missed
off the beaten track - not to be missed
monument - exploration
off the beaten track - exploration
park - not to be missed