12 Instagrammable places in New Caledonia
Our planet may not be the largest in the Solar System, but it sure has enough mysteries hidden up its sleeves to attract travelers to roam its lands and seas for years. Nature has been bountiful and created some stunning scenery to have humankind mesmerized for eons. These are the places that end being on the fantasies and bucket lists of all of us. One such place that is beckoning weary hearts to visit is New Caledonia, and the first thought that would come to mind is where is New Caledonia. Let's find out.
Where is New Caledonia?
New Caledonia, or French Nouvelle-Caledonie, is situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean 750 miles (1,200 km) east of Australia. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean's azure, the island is the largest of all the French Overseas territories. It lies approximately 17000 km from Mainland France. It is part of an archipelago that consists of Grande Terre, the Loyalty Islands, the Chesterfield Islands, the Belep archipelago, the Isle of Pines, and a group of other insignificant islets. Now that we know where is New Caledonia let us know a bit more about its geography. If you are to travel to New Caledonia, you should know that it is divided into three provinces. The North and the South Provinces are located on the New Caledonian mainland, while Loyalty Island is a set of islands off the mainland. When you travel to New Caledonia, you would have to keep in mind the place's geography. It makes traveling much easier.
How to travel to New Caledonia?
The best way to travel to New Caledonia is through flights from Australia or Japan. There are plenty of flights flying from these sources, though traveling from Japan saves a lot of time since it is the shortest route. Travel to New Caledonia takes around 25 hours from Paris to Noumea via Japan.
New Caledonia has some of the most Instagrammable places on the planet. These Instagrammable places range from the barren outback to eh coral reef surrounding the archipelago. New Caledonia has been amply blessed by mother nature when it comes to Instagrammable places. Let us have a quick look at some of the Instagrammable places which attract travelers from all over the world.
12 Instagrammable places in New Caledonia:
1. The Heavenly Lagoon
The turquoise colored water washing itself on to the soft white sand and dragging itself back into the vast ocean, a distant merge with the sky's azure, is a frame worth every pixel and penny. It is also one of the best places to visit in New Caledonia. The lagoon at New Caledonia is the world's largest enclosed lagoons and is a UNESCO world heritage site. The biodiversity that it holds is simply unbelievable, and your travel to New Caledonia is unfulfilled if this place has not been visited. Many places in New Caledonia are best suited for snorkelling but none as good as the lagoon.
2. Mini France
Being an overseas territory of France, the French influence is all-pervading. Be it in their food or the language, the image of France seems to be everywhere. However, it has blended well with the Polynesian customs, and the cohabitation has been blissful for many centuries now. For a more authentic French feeling, visit the chocolate fountain at Tonton Jules, a pilgrimage for the gastronomes. It is the best place to visit in New Caledonia for food lovers and Instagram obsessed souls.
3. Port Moselle Market
This market is one of those places in New Caledonia which cannot be missed under any circumstances. It has plenty of French restaurants dishing out some of the most authentic and mouth-watering French Cuisine in the archipelago. To many, Port Moselle Market is amongst the best places to visit in New Caledonia. It is also a haven for food photographers and Instagrammers.
4. The click of the tropical sunset
Most of the places in New Caledonia are known for their stunning view of the tropical sunset. The golden period that is when the sun sets on the distant horizon makes for a surreal click. It is indeed an experience for travelers to be a part of it. Imagine lying down on the soft white bed of sand and watching the distant ball of fire slowly setting, making way for a starry night. Add a glass of bubbly, and you have the perfect vacation for yourself.
5. The Isles of Pines
Crystal clear water, New Caledonian pines, beaches covered with white sand, a blue sky and plenty of smiles is what makes up the Isle of Pines. Easily one of the best places to visit in New Caledonia, the Isle of Pines, derives its name from the dense pine forest surrounding the beaches. There are some noteworthy places to visit on the island. They are the Oro Bay and Oumagne Grotto. There is a natural pool at the former. Walking a little further you may also visit the uber-luxurious L 'Escapade Island resort, with its idyllic bungalows that rival some of the best resorts in the world. Of course, I do not blame the competition being stiff with that kind of a natural setting.
6. The spectacular T'jiabou Cultural Centre
If you have not been to this place, designed by the legendary Italian Architect Renzo Piano, then you surely have missed something to regret about. The centre is built on the traditional concept of Kanak ceremonial houses and has 10 wooden structures. The culture centre houses traditional artefacts and celebrates the Kanak Culture. The cultural is renowned for showcasing the largest collection of Pacific art. For those who would love to soak in the past, this is among the best places in New Caledonia.
Of all the places to visit in Noumea, the capital city's heart is the most important of them. It is among the best places to visit in Noumea. Le Place Des Cocotiers is a 19th-century square, which is located at the heart of the city. It is famous for the bandstand, which was built in the 1800s. Luxuriant gardens are surrounding the rotunda, and the citizens love to spend their evenings roaming the place. It is also an ideal place for lunch for office goers. Do not miss the Thursday market. Quickly the most Instagrammable of all places to visit in Noumea.
8. Turtle Bay
Go on a boat adventure to Turtle Bay. It is one of the most adventurous places in New Caledonia. The area is a haven for sea turtles, and if they are in a good mood, you can also swim with them up close. If you are lucky, then a pod of dolphins may also appear near. Please walk up to the beach, and there are nests of sea snakes, curled up together and enjoying their time under the sun. You can go near since they are non-poisonous and harmless. Traveling to and fro from Isle of Pines to Noumea isn't much of travel since Air Caledonia does have regular flights. One can also hop on a cruise and visit.
9. N'Ga Peak
It is the highest point in low-lying Isle of Pines. It is a 262-metre trek and gives you a wide view of the entire lagoon. That it is beautiful is an understatement and not visiting the peak is criminal. You would need to start walking from Vao, and it takes about an hour. It is important to remember to carry a hat and some sunscreen since you will not find any shade on the way or at the top. N'Ga Peak is one of the best places to visit in New Caledonia. Also, easily one of the most instgrammable places on the island.
10. The Oro Bay
We did mention the Isle of Pines and the fairy tale that it weaves. Oro Bay is one of the reasons for that. Its clear water, the pine trees as the backdrop, is a perfect setting for a romantic getaway. The slat channels create a natural swimming pool, and travelers bask in the sun for hours simply laying around. The Oro Bay is also the location where the Le Meridian Resort is based. This is the island's only five-star resort. This place is the highlight of the Isle of Pines.
11. St. Maurice Bay
It is the location of the first Catholic Service on the Isle of Pines. The highlight of the place is the statue of St. Maurice surrounded by carved totems of turtles, eagles, serpents, and faces with extended tongues.
12. The Island of Mare
This is a natural aquarium, with the surrounding water teeming with life. The sleepy and untouched island of Mare is a phenomenon that needs to be seen to be believed. Surrounded by coral walls, this self-made pool of water is replenished by a subterranean channel. It is a refuge for fish and turtles, especially during the cyclonic seasons.
New Caledonia is a wonder that is waiting for your visit. With the best of the natural world all grouped in a single archipelago, this is the place to be. So pack your bags and get moving. New Caledonia waits for your footprint.
Devraj Lahiri is a resident of Kolkata, India. He is an IT Entrepreneur by profession but a writer, traveller and a photographer by vocation. Besides, he is a gastronome who indulges in eating the myriad variety of delicacies while the universe keeps tempting him. His favourite leisure activity is walking around his hometown. The city of Kolkata is his muse, and he wishes never to leave it except for the short trips for travel inspiration.