New Caledonia Travel Guide

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Chicken Rock

Chicken Rock

Jane Olliff

New Caledonia is the fourth largest island in the beautiful Pacific. New Caledonia is made up of a series of islands. The beaches are to die for with pure, white sand to give your feet a holiday. New Caledonia’s best kept secret is the array of reefs, which lie just off the coast.

New Caledonia was initially settled by the Melanesians 2000-3000 years ago. The first European to sight New Caledonia was Captain James Cook in the 1770’s on his way to New Zealand.

The island wasn’t sighted again until 1853 when French Admiral Febvrier-Despointes claimed it as French territory. From then on French settlers and convicts flooded into the new island.

The people of New Caledonia are multi-cultural with 42.5% Melanesian, 37.1% European, 20.4% other in population. The official language is French but at least 33 Melanesian dialects are used. The prominent religion is Roman Catholic with 60% practicing it.

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