Hello lovely readers!!! Roxana is back on the blog with another wonderful travel story for all of you. Sit tight, grab a cup of coffee and spend some time with her in New Caledonia!
by: Roxana Oliver
I have always been a bit on the nesh side and could never bring myself to enjoy those winter wonderland moments. This is why I have always tried to persuade my husband to go away during the winter, someplace exotic and tropical. Luckily I managed to convince him and last December we picked out a perfect exotic getaway in the heart of the Pacific. Just east of Australia lays the alluring island of New Caledonia, a former French colony creating an intriguing blend of French and Melanesian culture. Although I expected a lazy vacation sunbathing on the beach, this mesmerizing island surprised me with its amazing content and captivating sights, so this turned out to be quite an active holiday after all. These are some of my favourite moments from the trip:
Parc Provincial De La Riviera Bleue
The Blue River Provincial Park was by far one of the most amazing destinations on this trip. This nature reserve located in the Yate Commune in the South Province is a true natural haven with its rich biodiversity and many rare species of plants and animals which we have never seen before. A beautiful blend of evergreen shrubs and tropical rainforests make this park an out-of-this-world experience and the sight of endemic species like kagu, notou and crow honey-eater made this reserve that much better.
Cœur de Voh
I had the luck of marrying a man who is quite the romantic type and is always finding new ways to surprise me. This trip was no different but I must admit that I was astonished by this gesture. A helicopter ride does not seem quite whimsical at first, not until you see the Heart of the Voh from above. Nature always finds its way and it certainly found it in Northern Caledonia, where an unusual vegetation has formed in the shape of a heart. While it is visible from some high points in the commune of Voh, the aerial sight is simply incomparable.
Ile De Pins
Of course, one of the main reasons why we decided on this mesmerizing destination is its tropical allure and palm-lined beaches. We certainly did not make a mistake by choosing the Isle of Pines, which is just a 2,5-hour ferry ride from Noumea. What makes this place amazing is its charisma of white sand beaches, azure waters and tranquility, but also remarkable flora and fauna. On the other hand, the Ile De Pins has a great historical and cultural significance as well. In the 19th century, this exotic island became a French colony and the ruins of a penal colony still remain in the west part of the island. An old abandoned prison and the Cimetière des Déportés near Ouro create a true contrast to the enchanting crystal sand beaches.
Culture of Noumea
The great thing about visiting the islands capital is experiencing the rich blend of cultures. On one side you might see the luxurious and distinctive French allure with its stylish promenade, astonishing architecture such as the Cathédrale de Noumea, but also a wide array of extravagant cafes and restaurants. Of course, you have a chance of enjoying true Caledonian culture if you only take time to visit the Tjibaou Cultural Centre or the Museum of Maritime History. The local market in Noumea gives you the opportunity to take a peak in the local products, different kinds of foods but also handmade crafts. And if you get bored strolling around the city centre and decide to take a more active approach, choose some of the many New Caledonia packages which offer a great deal of fun activities. Some of our favourites were at Anse Vata, which gives you the chance to try out different water sports such as kayaking, sailing and windsurfing.
During my lifetime I have traveled to many destinations around the globe, but there is just a handful of those perfect locations which I hope to visit again someday. I am happy to say that there is a new place to add to this list. A place which resembles paradise in the middle of the ocean.
Roxana is a travel enthusiast and lifestyle consultant from Sydney and she loves to write about her adventures. She is all about the healthy lifestyle, loves to run with her husband and dogs and has fun cooking exotic meals for her family. Being a typical Aussie, she often hits the waves and loves beaches and sunshine! You can find out more about her writing following her on twitter.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this guest post!