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A little French in the Pacific Ocean

NOU, Noumea

An extraordinary place and a popular holiday destination with Australians, New Caledonia sits as a small conglomerate of islands in Oceania in the South Pacific Ocean. It can be found midway between Fiji and Australia.

It is on the largest of the islands where the capital city of Noumea can be found. This is where international flights land. Once you arrive, you will sense a hint of French culture. Although French is the official language, there are more than 30 languages spoken throughout the islands including Japanese and English.

Once on the island you will notice the local Melanesian’s refer to their cigar-shaped mainland as Kanaky, which is taken from the word kanaka, Hawaiian for human. The island is influenced by French designers and restaurants, with some deeming it the Paris of the Pacific.

On arrival, take the opportunity to hop on a boat and head across the Chaine Central to see the exotic east coast of Grande Terre. There are also many other islands of stunning beauty that can be reached by air or by boat.

The main attraction however remains the capital city of Noumea, which is on the north-east coast of the main island. It is filled with a French ambiance similar to what you would find in a Cote d’Azure resort.

One of the largest celebrations to take place here each year is the annual Bastille Day that happens on July 14th. This festival is an amazing display of aerial shows at Anse Vata and is accompanied by a military parade. There is also the New Caledonia Day that commemorates the country’s 1853 French possession, and takes place on September 24th.