January 2005

Nouméa is the capital of this overseas French territory. It concentrates most of the people who leave in New Caledonia, and this is where my brother (Stéphane) used to work. This is why I have decided to start the picture "show" with this location.

All pictures are available either in tar or zip formats. Also available is a tar archive of the original pictures, before being reworked (these are actually the same). Note that the tarballs contain all the pictures I took, not just the ones I present on this page.

Flying to New Caledonia.

I flew with my Mom from Reunion Island. This was a long journey, as we had to first hop to Mauritius, wait there for 7 hours, then fly to Sydney (was it a 10 hours flight?), then wait another 7 hours, and finally fly another 4 hours to New Caledonia. But surprisingly, I didn't find the trip all that long. Time ... flew! :-)
This is not a great shot, at it didn't capture the redish light that was lying low on the horizon. By the time I managed to get the camera out, remove the polarizer, and finally take the shot, the light had almost fainted. But it shows the wing of that Air Mauritius Airbus A340 that took us between Mauritius and Sydney.


We landed in New Caledonia late afternoon, and Stéphane picked us up with a little Twingo one of his friends generously lended us during our stay. And the first thing we did was to settle in the very nice appartment had reserved for us.

The appartment was part of the hotels managed by "New Caledonia Hotels and Resort", the company owning the hotel where Stephane works. As a consequence, we had an incredible deal where we ended up paying roughly 25% of the public price. The appartement came fully equiped, had 1 bedroom, a hide-away bed in the sofa, was close to two beaches, and had an incredible view.

As for Stéphane, he lived in "Ilot Maître", the tiny little island about 20 minutes away from Nouméa by taxi-boat. His accomodation was provided by the hotel, and was nothing less than the same bungalow that customers use... I thought it was nice to be living year round in the luxury that other people dream of experiencing once...

View from our balcony, on "Baie des Citrons", the trendiest beach of Nouméa, as I understand it.

Other pictures of the appartement are available there (presented in a separate location, because they were taken with a different (digital) camera).

Hôtel Nouvata
This is the hotel where Stephane stays when he wants to relax and spend some time in Nouméa. Being part of the same group of hotels, he stays for free.

Anse Vata

Anse Vata is the name of the bay just south of "Baie des Citrons". This beach is not as "picture-perfect" as "Baie des Citrons", but is also far less crowded. It's located just 2 minutes away by foot from our hotel, and was therefore our favorite location for little walks...

Ilot Canard.
A small sand bar in the middle of the bay, about a kilometer away from the beach.

Mom and Stéphane.

A Windy Place...

One of the many things that really struck me when I first arrived in New Caledonia, is how much wind this place gets. I tried to capture that in the following few shots...

Ooops, will have to rotate the picture to have the horizon straight
This picture also shows the little "promenade", the sea walk that runs along this rather long beach.

City Center

In many ways, the streets of the city center of Nouméa reminded me of Réunion Island when we first arrived, almost 25 years ago, in 1981. This is mostly because of the buildings, the sidewalks, and the shops.

One of the many entrances to "Place des cocotiers", the main square of the city center.

One cute little café at the heart of "Place des cocotiers".