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A fusion of French and Melanesian cultures
New Caledonia's main island, Grand Terre, is the third-largest in the Pacific (after New Zealand and Papua New Guinea) and it's joined by the Loyalty Islands, the Isle of Pines and a host of islets and reefs to form New Caledonia.
Today the French still hold this territory – despite earlier sightings by Captain James Cook – and it beautifully blends Melanesian, Kanak and European culture. It's worth brushing up on your French before you arrive as English isn't spoken much beyond the suave capital, Noumea. Don't let the language stop you though: sailing, snorkelling, trekking and quiet, unspoiled nooks of sea and island await. New Caledonia is a nature-lover's delight, with 3,500 plant types, 4,300 terrestrial animals and more than 1,000 species of fish to keep you company in the water. Grab a New Caledonia holiday package and see another world. One you might happily lose yourself in for quite some time.