New Caledonian Forest
Island culture meets European lifestyle in New Caledonia, a French territory in the South Pacific. Like its near neighbour — Australia — the past century in New Caledonia has been defined by urbanisation and industrialisation.
The mining of nickel is a major contributor to the nation’s economy, evidence of which you can see from the port in Noumea in the New Caledonian capital. While it has certainly created employment and wealth, this industry has also brought with it environmental challenges similar to those experienced by Australia in the face of its own mining industries. And like Australia these challenges compete with the need for protection of the natural environment. It also creates a challenge for industries like tourism that rely on the preservation of the nature.
More than 100,000 people visit New Caledonia each year, many drawn to Noumea. The city centre of Noumea is as urbanised as a South Pacific island gets: shops, restaurants, museums, bars, and all sorts of attractions. But venture just a little way out of the city, up into the mountains, and you’ll find the best attraction of all: sprawling forest with hiking trails and epic views over the bay…