New Caledonia

We are traveling this week from Brisbane, Australia to Fiji, and just spent three days touring the islands of New Caledonia, which offer gorgeous sandy beaches, warm turquoise water, and a combination of native Melanesian and colonial French culture. While both Ile des Pins and Maré have a sleepy, "get away from it all" vibe, the city of Noumea on Grande Terre is filled with international restaurants serving a variety of cuisines (and French wine, of course!)  within the city center and lining its palm-fringed beaches just out of town. 

We recently added two lightweight folding bicycles to our "must have" packing list. These get us off the beaten tourist track, allow us to visit a destination at our own pace, and add an incredible amount of physical activity to our days.

Please note all photos are our own. They have not been edited in any way, and they were taken with a Canon Elph. 

Warm Melanesian greeting, Ile des Pins 

Warm Melanesian greeting, Ile des Pins 

The beautiful Catholic church in the village of Vao, Ile des Pins, offered a cool, shady resting place during a long bicycle ride. 

The beautiful Catholic church in the village of Vao, Ile des Pins, offered a cool, shady resting place during a long bicycle ride. 


Baie de Kanuméra, Ile des Pins, features shallow water and cool shaded areas under Le Rocher. 

Baie de Kanuméra, Ile des Pins, features shallow water and cool shaded areas under Le Rocher. 

The enticing displays of fresh seafood and produce in the market of Noumea on Grande Terre made us wish we had our own kitchen and more time on the island.   

The enticing displays of fresh seafood and produce in the market of Noumea on Grande Terre made us wish we had our own kitchen and more time on the island. 

 

Noumea's Chinatown is home to restaurants offering delicious specialties. 

Noumea's Chinatown is home to restaurants offering delicious specialties. 

Duck Island, a quick boat ride from the beaches of Noumea, is ideal for snorkeling and a picnic lunch. 

Duck Island, a quick boat ride from the beaches of Noumea, is ideal for snorkeling and a picnic lunch. 

The Aquarium Naturelle on Maré is a shaded, coral-ringed natural pool filled with colorful tropical fish. 

The Aquarium Naturelle on Maré is a shaded, coral-ringed natural pool filled with colorful tropical fish. 

Pine and palm trees shade the soft sands of Wabao Beach, Maré. 

Pine and palm trees shade the soft sands of Wabao Beach, Maré. 

Folding bicycles are easy to pack and make getting around an island a breeze. 

Folding bicycles are easy to pack and make getting around an island a breeze.