As my usual ritual, I wanted to do something different on my birthday. I randomly picked New Caledonia (by glancing through the map and finding something closer to Sydney).
New Caledonia is situated in the south-west of the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the Pacific Island countries, known for its beautiful beaches and the lagoons around the island.
The island is a special overseas collectivity of France. For an Indian passport of mine, this meant that I needed a Schengen visa granted by Consulate of France.
Since Nouméa is the capital city of New Caledonia, I decided to go to Nouméa. The flight duration between Sydney and Nouméa is about 3 hours – which makes it a perfect weekend trip.
Apart from my flights and my stay, the only other thing I had planned was the Canopy tour – that I wanted to do on my birthday.
18 July 2015
“I am so sorry Raksha, it’s pouring out here and we have cancelled all the Canopy tours”, the tour lady said apologetically. For the first time in my life, I was not upset (Strange! Maybe there was something magical in the air of Nouméa 🙂 ).
It was 10 AM and I decided to head out and explore. The main street along the coast (opposite to my hotel – Le Pacifique) was buzzing with restaurants, tourist offices, jewellery stores, stationary stores, souvenir shops and ice cream stalls.
I started my tour with the first stop at an ice cream shop, where I bought a cup of Swiss chocolate ice cream (yummy and super delicious – came very close to Swiss chocolate ice cream in Movenpick).
After my ice cream, I window shopped through the jewellery (even though I was tempted, I stopped – I remembered my mother lecturing me not to buy any jewellery :/ ) and the souvenir stores.
I made my second stop at a tourist office, where I booked my Nouméa city tour for the afternoon 3 PM.
Since I had plenty of time, I strolled along the coast, experimenting with my camera (yes, I took lots of pictures – most of them selfies 😛 ).
Even after spending an hour clicking pictures, I still had plenty of time :/ . I had two options – One, to visit the aquarium and second, to take a taxi boat to a nearby island called Duck Island.
The Duck Island was about 20 mins boat ride away. The water bed was crystal clear and had off-white sand. The island had a restaurant in the middle, with an exhibition of sculptures all around.
The views of both Duck Island and Main Island were spectacular.
I was mesmerised by the sculptures. They were very creative and each one of the sculptures had the beauty of its own. Of course, I clicked pictures of every single sculpture that was exhibited ( 😀 ).
Once I was done with my photographic sessions, I settled down at a table in the restaurant, with one of Sidney Sheldon’s novel. A perfect location, beautiful beach, very good novel and a delicious lunch made the day all the more special. I loved every minute I spent at the island and I think it was one of the best decisions I took that day.
At about 1:30 PM, it was time for me to get back to the main island for my 3 hours city tour.
The city tour was in a yellow long train 🙂 – colourful way of seeing the city, huh!
We had an English speaking guide. She briefed us about the tour and elucidated the history of Nouméa, whilst we were driven through some of the most beautiful and expensive suburbs.
As part of the tour, we were also taken to three view points of Nouméa – all breathtaking and stupendous.
The drop dead gorgeous landscapes and the beaches and the super friendly people made me fall in love with this beautiful country. I will definitely plan to visit New Caledonia again for a longer duration.