Posted by on 01 Nov 2019 , in Islands
Take a liberal dose of classic French spirit, drop it on a tropical island, and you end up with stunning New Caledonia. With its palm-lined beaches, diverse marine life, and dazzling waters, this French paradise in the South Pacific is gradually becoming a must-visit destination for those who seek thrill, beauty, and tranquillity. If you haven’t been to New Caledonia or if the name doesn’t even ring a bell, here are five reasons to go pack your bags and book that ticket to paradise.
1. The Heart of Voh.
Propelled to world fame when it graced the cover of Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s Earth from Above in 1990, La Cœur de Voh, located north of Koné, still makes everyone’s heart skip a beat. This heart-shaped mangrove forest is best seen from the air of course and there are full packages that include microflights over the heart, but if taking a chopper is out of your budget, consider taking the track up to the 400-metre high viewing deck at Mt. Kathépaïk for an excellent alternative.
2. The Lagoon.
Yes, that’s right. But it’s not just any lagoon, it’s the Lagoon. Hailed as the largest lagoon in the entire world, the Lagoon boasts a stunning array of shades of blue that any water baby will surely appreciate, along with marine life so diverse and exceptional that UNESCO bestowed it the status of World Heritage site in 2008.
3. The New Caledonian Reef.
The double-barrier coral reef encircling Grand Terre, IIe Des Pins and other smaller islands is the second longest in the world after the Belize Barrier Reef. Go on a snorkelling trip and explore this reef that is home to an impressive array of marine life, including the endangered dugong, majestic humpback whale, and the well-loved green sea turtle. The diversity present is sure to impress any nature lover, with many opportunities to spot magnificent creatures.
4. The Natural Pool.
A world-class playground for water lovers, La Piscine Naturelle in IIe Des Pins (Isle of Pines) is a masterpiece made up of crystal-clear waters, pristine sand, and mighty Columnar pines. The Pool is protected against crashing waves by a belt of rocks, so you can explore without worrying about getting carried away by powerful currents. The waters are also shallow at most parts where striking scenes of colourful corals and fish await snorkelers and divers.
5. The French/Melanesian Cuisine.
Since New Caledonia is a slice of France in the tropics, you’re in for a gastronomic delight marked by local ingredients and flavours whipped together through French cooking techniques. Head to Le Meridien Noumea’s signature restaurant, the romantic L'Hippocampe, and sample their Unicorn fish poached in white wine and Malibu and served with asparagus, broad beans, mashed potatoes and saffron-scented mussels.