New Caledonia is an overseas territory of France with a total land area of 18,575 sq km and a population of around 200,000. It is located in the in the South Pacific Ocean, east of Australia.
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New Caledonia has more than 20% of the world's known nickel resources. In recent years, the economy has suffered because of depressed international demand for nickel, the principal source of export earnings. Only a negligible amount of the land is suitable for cultivation, and food accounts for about 25% of imports.
THE ISLAND OF NATURE...
Land of the Pacific, New Caledonia offers a mosaic of colors, of landscapes. Caledonian under waters, surrounded by a 1600 km-long reef barrier, count more than 2200 species of living creatures : IT IS THE BIGGEST LAGOON OF THE WORLD and the second coral set.
The ground flora is exceptional : it is composed of 3250 endemic flowering plants (endemism rate : 76%).
The ground fauna has a variable endemism rate following the species; it can reach 60 to 100% (from association pour la sauvegarde de la nature, Nouméa, BP 1772)
New Caledonia has a temperate climate, marked by two seasons : from December to March, hot and humid with moderate rains, average temperature from 25 to 27° C, and from April to November, cool
and dry, average temperature from 20 to 23° C.
A LAND WITH A VARIETY OF LANDSCAPES...
THE WEST COAST : Land of great plains where the Niaouli tree rules the bush, land of cattle stations, land of rodeos and stockmen, land of nickel mines and nice beaches.
THE EAST COAST : More windy, watered by rains, a tropical vegetation, numerous waterfalls, superb beaches or the mysterious region of Hienghéne with its rocky formations, "the sphinx" (150 m high) and the Poule Couveuse (the brooder) (160 m high), don't miss it...
THE NORTH : magnificent beaches in Poum and Malabou regions, the green valley of the Diahot (the longest river or New Caledonia). A memory site with Balade where took place the first years of
the European history.
THE SOUTH : Nouméa is located in the South, charming capital and ambassadors of the French culture in the South Pacific. Several beaches are a few minutes away from the city center including
the sumptuous Baie des Citrons and Anse Vata bays. Nouméa offers numerous activities like the Aquarium, the territorial museum, the zoological and forest park, the panoramic view from the Ouen Toro... At the gateway to Nouméa, the South begins, wild and mysterious world, dominated by the ash red ferruginous mounts, real vegetal and animal paradise with the Plain des Lacs (unique fossilized plants), The Riviera Bleue Park (remarkable tree species such as the Cagou, emblem of
New Caledonia). Other sites are also worth seeing : the Mont Khogi, the Yaté barrage, the Madeleine waterfalls, the Wadiana waterfall and a multitude of islets.
THE ISLE OF PINES : "THE NEAREST FROM PARADISE" is located in the far south. It offers its magnificent bays, Kuto, Kanumera, Oro and its long white and fine sanded beaches edged with azure and turquoise lagoon.
THE LOYALTY ISLANDS : in the east of the Main Land, the four Loyalty Islands assert their difference in the New Caledonia archipelago. Here, the South Pacific bursts in all its splendor, white sanded virgin beaches, coconut trees in profusion, coral reefs with magical colors, exceptional
underwater. But, in the Loyalty Islands, the inhabitants have kept their traditions and their ancestral Melanesian customs.
Discovered in 1774 by captain James COOK, he named the island of New Caledonia in memory of his native Scotland. Its county town, Nouméa, is created in 1854. On September 24th 1853, New Caledonia was declared a French territory. The convict prison created by Napoléon III, in 1864, closed in 1897. In 1946, New Caledonia became an OVERSEA TERRITORY.
The institutional organization of New Caledonia derives from the referendum law of November 9th 1988, which created 3 provinces (the Northern province, the Southen province, the Islands province); these ones are territorial collectivities of the Republic. They manage themselves freely by assemblies elected for 6 years by the direct universal suffrage. The three province assemblies constitute the Congress. The government representative takes care of the executive assisted by an advisory committee.