Postcards from New Caledonia
New Caledonia is regarded an ecological hotspot, with the world’s second largest coastal lagoon and UNESCO World Heritage site in their backyard, New Caledonia has added another natural wonder to their list. The Natural Park of the Coral Sea is the second largest nature preserve on Earth, larger than Alasca, 3 times the size of Germany and covers around 450,000 hectares of coral reef with 25 species of marine mammals, 48 shark species, 5 species of sea turtles and a wide variety of bird life.
New Caledonia’s dazzling lagoon surrounds it with every hue of blue, green and turquoise. The light and the space simply delight your senses.
Once in Noumea, you are in a cosmopolitan hub of the South Pacific with its French influence on food, boutique shopping on Rue de Sébastopol and at Centre Ville, and nightlife around Anse Vata Bay and Baie de Cintrons. There is also the latin Quarter, Chinatown and morning markets selling everything from fresh croissants and coffee to papaya and passionfruit.
SOUTH PACIFIC WITH A TOUCH OF FRANCE
While Paris is home to some of the world’s best restaurants, Noumea has made a name for itself as the haute cuisine hub of the South Pacific with over 150 restaurants catering to all tastes and budgets.
Chefs fuse traditional French food with fresh local Melanesian fare with seafood featuring on many menus. Freshly caught prawns, lobsters, oysters, marlin, mackerel, crab and mussels are found in bowls of moules marinieres with the market at Port Moselle in Noumea one of the best places to pick up fresh seafood.
Other delicacies include small mangrove oysters (huitres de paletuviers), New Caledonian prawns and vol-au-vent des fruits de mer, a pastry filled with seafood and cream sauce and on the Isle of Pines visitors can try the endemic Ille des Pins escargot (snails). You can also taste the French influence in the many local patisseries and chocolatiers or enjoy an afternoon of cheese and wine tasting.