If you have ever travelled to France and simply loved the cuisine, lifestyle and culture but you don’t feel like flying way over there again, you have another option. Fresh baguettes, pastry, bistros and lifestyle are waiting for you at New Caledonia. What makes this island even better than France is that little dose of magic that only the South Pacific can provide. Recently, I had a vacation in this magnificent heart of the Pacific and it was the best vacation I’ve ever dreamed of.
The Largest Lagoon
This true gem of the Pacific hides something even more mesmerizing – one of the biggest lagoons in the world. The barrier reef of New Caledonia is just huge. Its beautiful colors, clear water and diversity of marine life will leave you speechless. Of course, I had to explore the beaches first, but once I found my spot, I stayed there for hours. I constantly went in and out of the breathtaking turquoise water and when I was on the shore I was lying on the warm sand reading my favorite book. I strongly recommend enjoying your “me time” at this lagoon, because it will relax and entertain you at the same time.
If you’re a big fan of relaxation, like I am, then spending hours on the beach will not be enough for you. That is why I decided to move my accommodation a bit further down the coast. I needed the most perfect place to enjoy various activities and relax and so I chose to stay at the Sheraton New Caledonia Deva resort & spa, which is the best place for on the whole island for relaxing. It overlooks the barrier reef and the service there is absolutely heavenly. What I loved the most about this accommodation is its location. It’s not far from the beaches and the shore itself, which offers an easy access to numbers of water activities that can ease your mind. I took my time and enjoyed plenty of snorkeling and exploring the interesting marine life. I also tried surfing, but even though it was a bust I had amazing instructors and plenty of fun.
Flora and Fauna
Due to its separation from the mainland, New Caledonia developed an amazing spectrum of various animals and plants. It has both dry and tropical forests which are filled with interesting animals, and some of them I have never even seen. Since I’m too scared to enter the wilderness alone, I decided to join the tour in zoological and botanical gardens near Noumea. This tour gave me an insight into the native species of this island, such as flightless Kagu, flying foxes, colorful parakeets, monkeys, black swans and many other species. There was also a decking area from where I could admire the aquatic life, including ducks, cormorants and egrets.
All of the people speak French and everyone is kind and welcoming. I can say same thing about their cuisine. The French cuisine is certainly one of the most common ones, and I was thrilled with it. I tried everything I could, from escargot and frog legs to yummy pizzas. However, my ultimate favorite was the bougna. This delicious dish is a combination of meat and sweet potatoes, wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked under the rocks. I cannot even describe the combination of flavors that exploded in my mouth! There are plenty of excellent restaurants around Noumea and other smaller towns that are worth every penny. Also, if you prefer cooking on your own, there are plenty of markets where you can buy fresh fish and local fruits and veggies.
Even though it’s a small and isolated island in the Pacific, New Caledonia has plenty of wonders to offer. I’m glad that I had the chance to visit such a marvelous place and I would do it again in a heartbeat. There are still plenty of things left to be explored.
About the author
Marie Nieves is a student and a blogger who loves unusual trips, gadgets and creative ideas. On her travels she likes to read poetry and prose and to surf the Internet. She is an avid lover of photography and regular author on several blogs.