New Caledonia: For the Love of Sea Scallops, Lagoons, and Cognac

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.

The view onto Anse Vata Bay from the Château Royal
The view onto Anse Vata Bay

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.

New Caledonia at dusk with wine from Le Vin Passion ("La Boutique")
New Caledonia at dusk with wine from Le Vin Passion (“La Boutique”)

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.

More about Christina

I am a psychology scholar interested in what makes life both pleasurable and meaningful. I suppose I am an epicurean in the sense that I like good food and wine; but, like the philosopher Epicurus, who actually advocated for tranquility, my international wine and food adventures are more about finding peace than anything else. They are about connecting with others, connecting with the earth, and practising self-compassion. My favourite grape variety is Nebbiolo, I love the way poetry expresses our common humanity, and I believe it's possible to find love in each micro-moment of life. So perhaps it was inevitable I would create this site called Falling in Wine.

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