New Caledonia: Tall pines & dazzling lagoons
The heady mix of climate, cuisine and culture make the South Pacific archipelago of New Caledonia a fascinating group of islands. Influenced by French traditions from its colonial past and set against a backdrop of astounding natural diversity, this is a serious contender for your next charter adventure.
The New Caledonia Barrier Reef stretches some 1500km, encasing the world's largest lagoon, the sensational Ile des Pins and other islets. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to a many species of indigeonous sea life and coral, just waiting to be discovered. Creating a multitude of protected and secluded anchorages, most of these stunning isles are uninhabited and a photographers dream.
New Caledonia weaves a rich tapestry of culture thanks to its location and colonial past; the native Kanaks preserve this heritage with tributes through music, dance, art and sculpture. The French influence is very much alive today in both language and food. In the capital Noumea, the colonial buildings and Kanak architecture are ubiquitous, while local markets are a delightful fusion of east meets west.
Expect colourful French cuisine with a tropical influence when dining ashore - lovingly prepared and beautifully presented. French wine and cheese are readily available together with sensationally flavoursome locally grown fruit and vegetables, ideal for your chef on board to create exceptional dishes. It's no wonder that New Caledonian vanilla is so highly sought after for its intense flavour.
An underwater paradise with warm, clear waters and plentiful marine life, the Shark Pit is renowned for exciting diving with grey reef sharks and barracuda
Kanumera Bay at the Isle of Pines is home to a large rock, sacred to the locals and a perfect snorkelling area
Home to the world’s fastest growing fern, with the oldest lineage, it is believed to be the plant from which all flowering plants evolved