You need a visa to go to the islands, but if you go there as part of a cruise, then the visa is not required!
The island of New Caledonia is one of the largest islands in the Pacific Ocean, and it’s an overseas territory of France. France used to send its active revolutionists into exile in New Caledonia.
Here are its flag and coat of arms.
The island was discovered by James Cook in 1774, and named after the ancient name of its ancestral homeland of Scotland - Caledonia. Kanakas lived there at that time. These were the Polynesian tribes, men who wore colorful skirts. Kanakas are indigenous Melanesia peoples who live in New Caledonia where they constitute 40% of the population. The name comes from the Hawaiian phrase "kanaka maoli', often used in the past by European discoverers, merchants, and missionaries in the quality of derogatory names for many non-European Pacific Islanders. Before the arrival of Europeans in New Caledonia, there was no united state, as well as the common name of its inhabitants. Many Kanakas in their tribes continue to speak their own language and follow their own customs. The Kanakas have long sought independence, although now the indigenous population has the opportunity to receive education and develop their culture. By the way, until the 60s of the 19th century, the Kanakas were cannibals. They ate brains of the dead.
The northwest coast of the island is washed by the Coral Sea. The Sea received such name due to its location along the coast of the coral barrier reef 1000 miles (1600 km) in length (second in the world after Australian). The New Caledonian barrier reef forms the outer lagoon, the largest on the planet.
The island produces a lot of minerals: nickel, cobalt, chromium, iron, manganese, gold, and lead. These are high levels for the island! The mild climate and fertile soil allow for the growing of good crops.
On the ship, we were suggested to buy a trip for a whole day at the Amedee island where one of the tallest lighthouses in the world -
, 185 feet (56 meters), and the first metal lighthouse built in France, are located. Because we didn't have much time, we decided to look at the capital of New Caledonia.
The ship is arriving in the port where shuttle buses will be waiting for travelers from the cruise ship to take them to the dock in the city and back. Buses bring people to the building similar to the shopping center. There you can buy a tour on the 1st floor, and there are souvenirs and clothing shops on the second floor. But there were only tours for 2 hours, and it didn’t suit us. So we took a minivan with a driver for 4 hours and went to look at the sights. This taxi cost us 350 euro for 4 hours.
First, we went to the
On a small peninsula, 6 miles (10 km) from the city center, there is a new building of the Cultural Centre. Tjibaou Cultural Centre opened in 1998 designed for the preservation of the cultural traditions of Kanakas and other peoples of Oceania. The entire complex consists of ten buildings - huge cone-shaped buildings 30 to 80 feet (9 to 24 meters) in height, able to withstand strong gusts of the wind from the Pacific Ocean. They are linked to each other with 820 feet (250 meters) of transitions from glass and wood. Around the buildings, there is a garden of native plants. All pavilions are divided into three functional groups: the first is allotted to a cafe and exhibition space, the second - time projects and expositions, multimedia exhibition, the third - classrooms with special equipment to study the history of New Caledonia.
This is a site plan and layout.
We walked around the city center.
A 40-feet (12-meter) Kanak totem pole stands in the heart of Noumea, on Green Square. It was built in 2005 in memory of the funeral day of September 24, 1853, when New Caledonia was captured by the Frenchmen.
Madeleine and Uadiana Waterfalls are located in the city. We went to a waterfall Madeleine, but when we got out of the car, a thunderstorm started. We tried to climb to the waterfall but failed.
By the way, in all the shops, in addition to francs and euros, you can pay in Australian dollars, so it’s not necessary to exchange money on the ship.
We ascended the hill in the park Ouen Toro. There was a panoramic view of the lagoon Anse Vata. The height of the hill is 433 feet (132 meters). Anse Vata Beach is a white sandy beach, 1.2 miles (2 kilometers) long, located to the south of the city. It is considered to be the most beautiful beach in the capital, and one of the most famous places in the world for windsurfing and kitesurfing. There were waves and it wasn't suitable just for swimming.
Here are guns, the remains from the Second World War.
After 4 hours of trips and walks in Noumea, the driver left us on the beach Baie de Citron. It is also called the Lemon Beach due to its golden-yellow sand illuminated by the sun. The water was 82.4 degrees (+28C)! We had to lie on the beach towels because there were no sunbeds there. The beach has a shower, toilet, and bars, restaurants and souvenir shops across the street. I can say that this is not the best beach we have seen, but it’s perfect for a couple of hours for rest and a comfortable bathing. We got to the parking lot shuttle buses by bus.
Here’s the monument to the lost expedition of La Perouse.
Heart in Voh, where we wanted to go, is a heart of the mangrove trees in the Voh town of New Caledonia. The only information about flights I could find on the Internet was a 3-hour flight on a helicopter which was very expensive.
So let's admire pictures from the Internet. What a beauty!