Often described as the ‘St Tropez of the Pacific’, the French controlled territory of New Caledonia combines a wonderful Pacific climate with European inspired culture and heritage.
An easy-going city spread out over a large peninsula, Noumea – New Caledonia's capital – is surrounded by pretty bays and lagoons, and offers something to please every visitor. There are some excellent museums, including the City Museum, the National Museum of New Caledonia – which has a fine collection of Melanesian and Kanak artefacts – the Geological Museum and the Maritime History Museum. The latter celebrates three millennia of seafaring, and includes displays of finds from ships wrecked on the coral reefs. Also of interest is the National Aquarium, with stunning displays of tropical fish, as well as live coral.