Castaways on the World's Biggest Lagoon; WOODEN SMILE: Theo and Ava Woodard Pose with a Carving by the Indigenous Kanak People INTO THE BLUE: Amanda Woodard and, Left, the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, Famed for Its 'Natural Pool'
ATYPICAL reaction when I told friends about our holiday plans was: 'Oh, New Caledonia, lovely. Where is that exactly?' But awareness of this collection of islands in the Pacific may be about to change - and not just for New Caledonia's closest neighbours, the Australians, but also for the British who go Down Under each year in large numbers.
Instead of the well-worn path taken by tourists up to Cairns, the gateway to the Barrier Reef, the same three hours on a plane from Sydney will set you down on the shores of the largest lagoon in the world and beside the second-largest coral reef.
New Caledonia, described in the brochures as 'a taste of France in the Pacific', became a French penal colony in 1853. And although the prisons have closed and the country has since won some independence, the French influence is everywhere. Travelling, as we were, from Australia after months of barbies and Fosters, chablis and foie gras were pretty high on my wish list.
When Captain Cook landed on the main island of Grande Terre in 1774, he saw a range of craggy mountain peaks shrouded in mist with deep gorges cut in their flanks and …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Castaways on the World's Biggest Lagoon; WOODEN SMILE: Theo and Ava Woodard Pose with a Carving by the Indigenous Kanak People INTO THE BLUE: Amanda Woodard and, Left, the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, Famed for Its 'Natural Pool'. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Mail on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: February 8, 2009. Page number: 30. © 2009 Solo Syndication Limited. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.