Buttery croissants, café gourmands, snorkelling, and French wines are some of the puzzle pieces of how I remember New Caledonia.
New Caledonia is only 2 hours from Australia (from Brisbane, anyhow), and since it’s a French colony, French wines appear relatively inexpensive. There are also French wines that are hard to find in Australia, like some of the Drappier Champagnes I love. The food in New Caledonia is a delightful mix of French and Melanesian cuisines and may account for why one of the best sea scallop dishes I’ve ever had was in New Caledonia.
It must be said, however, that this Pacific piece of France is a little rough around the edges. And perhaps, for some, this adds to its appeal.
What I found appealing, though, was being able to drink good Cognac at night as the breeze moved in over the lagoon. As I looked out to the lagoon and into the vast darkness, I registered how far from Cognac I really was.
And sometimes it is nice to feel how small we are in the world.
Feature photo: The jetty at Anse Vata Bay near the Château Royal Beach Resort. From here you can catch a little boat to Duck Island for snorkelling and lunch, which was the best thing I did in New Caledonia.