- 13.25 m
New Caledonia is an island in the Pacific Ocean with Nouméa as a capital city.
New Caledonia is a French overseas collectivity situated in the Pacific Ocean, east of the Australian coast, with Nouméa as chief town. Its inland is divided by a central mountain range, whose highest peak is Mount Panié (1629 m), followed by Mount Humboldt (1618 m). The coasts are covered by lush vegetation; in particular, the west coast, characterized by vast savannahs and plains suitable for farming, is drier than other areas.
The longest river in New Caledonia is Diahot, flowing into Baie d'Harcourt. Most of the land is covered by evergreen forests, even though the lower areas are characterized by savannah. New Caledonian lagoon, extending for 24 square kilometers, is one of the largest in the world and is sorrounded by the New Caledonia Barrier Reef.
The climate is tropical, with a hot and humid season from November to March, and a cooler and drier season from June to August. Trade winds strongly influence and moderate the climate, attenuating humidity. Between December and April, tropical depressions and cyclones can hit New Caledonia.
New Caledonia boasts the richest biodiveristy per square kilometer in the world. Flora includes 44 species of endemic gymnosperms, 13 of Araucaria and the largest fern species in the world. Fauna includes the New Caledonian crow, kagu, a flightless endemic bird, and 11 endemic species of fish.
The economy of New Caledonia is thriving, even if tourism finds it hard to develop. New Caledonia is one of the largest world producers of yam, taro, plantains and coconut. Furthermore, the soil contains 25% of the world's nickel resources.
During a stay or cruise in New Caledonia scuba diving must be tried to discover the rich submarine world. But if you prefer cultural sightseeing, attractions are still plenty. Nouméa has indeed much to offer, from the Museum of New Caledonia to Saint Joseph Cathedral and Jean- Marie Tibajou Cultural Centre, built between 1996 and 1998, by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano.