New Caledonia

A dependent overseas

territory of France.

The population of approx. 270,000 consistis of a mix of Kanak people (the original inhabitants) and people of European, Polynesian and Southeast Asian descent. 100 miles to the north-east lay the Loyalty Islands of Mare, Lifou, Ouvea and the tiny Tiga, all of which are home to about 18,000 Melanesian people, each with their own unique cultures. To the west lay the Chesterfield Islands.


Noumea, the capital is a port city with a diverse population of approx. 100,000 and colourful European architecture reflecting its colonial history. We visited the Parc Forestier, overlooking the city, which covers 85 acres that are home to a large variety of wild and domestic birds, including the Cagon, the symbol of New Caledonia, that is a flightless bird with a call often mistaken for that of a barking dog. Onward to Ouemo’s Lookout Point, the site of a canon from WWII, before strolling through the town to the ship.