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New Caledonia Information
 

New Caledonia (French:Nouvelle-Caledonie) is a dependent overseas territory of France lying in the western Pacific Ocean, in the Coral Sea, to the east of Australia and west of Vanuatu. The territory consists of the main island of Grand Terre, the archipelago of the Loyalty Islands (Iles Loyaute), and numerous small, sparsely populated islands and atolls.

New Caledonia offers stunning beaches, mountaintop fondue in chalets, camping, amazing snorkeling and diving, and fabulous French food.

Noumea is the largest city in and capital of New Caledonia. One of the most westernized capitals in the Pacific Islands, it features beautiful beaches and colonial mansions and is not yet a heavily touristed destination.

Regions


New Caledonia includes:

    * Grande Terre - The main island. It is one of the largest islands in the Pacific. The barrier reef lying off New Caledonia is second only to the Great Barrier reef in size.

The main tourist destinations are:

    * Île de Pins - Was one of the few places in the Pacific with trees tall and sturdy enough to provide replacement masts for ships.
    * Loyalty Islands (Iles Loyaute) - An archipeligo to the east of Grand Terre.

Climate


New Caledonia has a semi-tropical climate, modified by southeast trade winds. It is often hot and humid. The islands are subject to tropical cyclones, most frequent from November to March. During winter (April to August) the daytime temperature is around 22 degrees.

Driving in New Caledonia


New Caledonia (particularly Grande Terre) is one of the best places in the South Pacific to take a driving holiday. Main roads are sealed and excellent quality due to French subsidies, and navigation is easy. Road signs are in French. Traffic drives on the right. Many good sights can be found by travelling on unsealed roads, but 4x4 vehicles are needed on some of them.

Avis New Caledonia has rental cars available in Noumea. There is a depot downtown and another at the airport.

Camping in New Caledonia


There are many campsites in New Caledonia, and any camping equipment you require can be purchased at reasonable prices in Noumea. Thus, a camping holiday is a great way to get off the beaten track in New Caledonia, and quite inexpensive too.




 

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