Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Noumea, New Caledonia

One of the ports that we visited on our cruise in "Celebrity Millenium" last November is Noumea, the capital city of New Caledonia. It is a city that is growing rapidly and is really like a little Paris in the Pacific. The city is built around a large harbour, much of which is a commercial port exporting Nickel ore. In fact, the hills of New Caledonia contain about 25% of the Earth's nickel. Many of the plants and animals of New Caledonia are found nowhere else on Earth. The one that I would like to know more about is the local species of crow; it makes the most complex tools of any animal (other than people and small bears). Noumea has a history something like Australia. It was a penal colony in the late 1800s, a major base for Allied forces during WW2, and is still in the process of integrating the French and the original Kanak inhabitants. When you sail into the harbour, one of the first things you notice is the huge stockpile of ore being loaded onto bulk carriers. Then you see the pretty town hugging the rest of the bay. Noumea is very different from Papeete; it is clean, cared for and friendly. There are some very pretty beaches around town and a famous lighthouse out in the huge lagoon. That's enough reasons for the Oldies and I to go back for a longer stay sometime soon.

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