A Mini Guide to New Caledonia
Where is New Caledonia?
New Caledonia is a group of islands in the Pacific with strong links to France, some 20,000 miles away. It has a wide range of terrain from wet rainforest to dry coastal savannah and two mountains, each nearly 6,000ft high. The capital, Noumea, is classed as one of the most industrialised cities in the Pacific Islands and has a population of nearly 200,000. The climate is tropical with temperatures averaging around eighty degrees.
How do I get to New Caledonia?
La Tontouta New Caledonia Airport is the biggest airport in the islands but still doesn’t see many flights. The majority of flights come from other islands around the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand as well as Southeast Asian countries. Air France operates the only flights from Europe and many flights stopover in Asia. Travellers from other European countries will need to fly to Paris Charles de Gaulle or fly to Asian destinations and connect to Noumea. From the airport you can take a bus into the city centre or hire a car for collection at New Caledonia Airport.
See and do in New Caledonia?
There’s not a lot of history to be found on the island despite its colonial past. Much of the historic part of Noumea was redeveloped as the city expanded, destroying most of the old centre around the port. The attractions of the islands are its natural beauty and the diversity of landscapes across this large island. Hiking is very popular, especially around Mount Panie in the north and Mount Humboldt in the south. You can walk through tropical rainforests or take safaris across dry coastal savannah in the west. Offshore, the coral barrier reef is the world’s second largest after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Boat trips or island hopping flights are available to the other islands that make up New Caledonia and each has a different atmosphere and landscape.
What to eat in New Caledonia?
French food is everywhere and delicious with it. There are several variations on French cuisine using local products and cooking methods. Bougna is a popular dish where meat is wrapped in banana leaves and cooked under hot rocks. Coconut crab is also a local delicacy served in a variety of ways. Kava is the local alcoholic drink, consumed like beer but based on coconut milk. Be warned it is very potent!
Depending on your plans you’ll find there’s plenty of choice on our website for car hire in New Caledonia and at a price that will suit your pocket. We check the prices of all our local competitors to ensure that we can’t be beaten on car hire in New Caledonia but we also check the service offered too so you can get the same standard from us but at a lower price.
New Caledonia Factfile
- New Caledonia is a French territory in the Pacific Ocean,
- It’s nearly a thousand miles east of Australia
- It was called New Caledonia because it reminded its discoverer, Captain Cook, of Scotland
- It became popular for its production of sandalwood
- The New Caledonia lagoon is one of the largest in the world