New Caledonia comprises a group of islands lying between Australia and Vanuatu, northwest of New Zealand. Grande Terre, the main island, is home to the capital city, Noumea. The outer islands include the Isle of Pines, the Loyalty Islands and several small uninhabited reefs. The perfect place for ecotourism and adventure holidays, New Caledonia is one of the richest areas on earth in terms of its biodiversity. It is home to the largest variety of endemic botanical species and one of the richest tropical forests in the world.
Surrounded by a 1,600 km long coral reef, New Caledonia also boasts the largest lagoon in the world. The reef can be as close as a few kilometres from the coast in some places and as far as 65 km in others - with an average depth of 40 m.
New Caledonia has had French ties since the 1800s. These days it is a semi-autonomous French territory. French, Micronesian and Polynesian influences are blended, and French is the main language spoken. The traditions, cuisine, merchandise and other aspects of culture have a fascinating fusion of European and Pacific influences.
New Caledonia enjoys tropical, warm and humid weather all year round. There are often pleasant breezes to balance the heat and humidity, and the waters are warm all year round.
To get to New Caledonia, try the national airline Aircalin, which also connects with other airlines such as Qantas, Air France and KLM from Europe and elsewhere.