For many Christmases I’ve enjoyed looking at beautiful images of the tropical island paradise, known as New Caledonia. My Uncle & Auntie (who’ve lived there as missionaries since 1981) have frequently sent me calendars and newsletters, which certainly made a big impression on me as I grew up. I’ve always wanted to visit one day, and this Christmas has been my opportunity. For those that don’t know, New Caledonia is a small French island in the south-west Pacific; east of Australia and north of New Zealand. New Caledonia is made up of a main island, the Grande Terre, and several smaller islands. The main island measures 217 miles in length and 31–44 miles wide. A mountain range runs the length of the island, with five peaks over 1500 meters. It’s capital, to the south is called Noumea and is where I’m staying for 3 weeks.
A few days before Christmas I landed with my cousins, at La Tontouta International airport (built by the Americans in the Second World War). We were warmly greeted and each received beautiful wreaths of fragrant frangipani flowers.
My first week here has been spent seeing what island life is like, with my wonderful cousins as my tour guides! Activities included: a Christmas service at my Uncle & Auntie’s church; Christmas Eve party with some of the local families; exploring Noumea’s lookouts and beaches; a splash of windsurfing; trips to the aquarium and bird park; photographing sunsets and eating very tasty mangoes!
I hope you’ll enjoy these photos, and to see the full set, check out my New Caledonia gallery here: http://njrp.photoshelter.com/gallery/NEW-CALEDONIA/G0000Uh.KR.mlQ2o/C000082lG2f4DAHs