Part French Riviera, part tropical paradise, New Caledonia is a land like no other. White beaches, turquoise waters and mountain rainforests are contrasted against a fragrant language and a procession of quintessentially French imagery – gendarmes, baguettes, Citroëns, petanque, crepes and the Tricolor.
The capital, Nouméa, is where these cultures are most vibrant. Set on a hilly peninsula surrounded by bays, Nouméa is the largest city among the South Pacific isles. Its magnificent Tjibaou Cultural Centre has been lauded as the Opera House of the Pacific and is a celebration of island cultures.
Beyond the city, there is much to explore from the unspoilt Isle of Pines to the stark red soils of the Great South to the “Caledonian cowboys” of the cattle country.